We’re a startup with a great idea and no product (yet). How do we hire a team?

NEWHR Recruiting
3 min readMar 25, 2024


At the NEWHR Recruiting agency, we often help startups hire teams at various stages of development.

From our experience, hiring a recruiter is usually too early if a startup is at the “idea only and a couple of co-founders” stage. Likewise, reaching out to a recruiting agency for hiring may also be premature.

👉 Who should handle the hiring?

The most effective way to assemble a core team (e.g., CTO, CMO, and others) is for the founders to hire it themselves.

“If a founder cannot sell their startup to candidates, no agency can do it for them. In my opinion, a fundamental competency of a founder at the start of a business is to pitch their startup not only to investors but also to candidates,” says NEWHR founder Kira Kuzmenko.

👉 How do we attract candidates?

Candidates should trust the startup founders and believe in their ability to succeed.

“It’s hard to sell a startup on the idea level. Usually, people are attracted by personality and believe this individual can realize the idea,” says Olga Makarova, an executive search consultant at NEWHR.

👉 Where to find people?

In the early stages, the founder’s close circle of acquaintances and their acquaintances work well for recruitment. It’s great if the founder has a personal brand and public visibility, such as a blog or social media with a broad audience.

👉 How do we hire effectively?

At the start, consulting with an agency or an experienced recruiter to define requirements and expectations from candidates can be helpful. This allows for a reality check: assessing the current market for your desired candidates and the cost of their hire.

👉 Besides hiring, how can a recruiting agency help?

  • Inform about the labour market trends, salary levels, and effective hiring strategies.
  • Help to formulate a specific brief for hiring.
  • Assist in creating a hiring plan considering business priorities and deadlines.
  • Package the business needs into specific roles.

Sometimes, founders expect to meet different crucial needs by hiring one person. Here’s an example of such a request:

“We need a CTO who will code 80% of the time, assemble a team from scratch, speak at international conferences, and manage our product as a product manager.”

In such cases, NEWHR would advise dividing these tasks into different roles. For example, technical management should be separated from development and product management.

As a result, the startup will have a realistic action plan like this:

1️⃣ The founder or a technical co-founder will pitch to investors.

2️⃣ Once investments are secured, we’ll hire new team members, focusing on developers. We expect the CTO to participate in hiring and technical management.

3️⃣ For the product, we look for a separate product manager. Until then, the founder will take on these tasks.

✨ If you’re in need of new talent for your team, look no further than NEWHR Recruiting. Submit your request on our website or get in touch via email at contact@new.hr

Join us in shaping the future of your company with top-notch talent. 🚀



NEWHR Recruiting

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