At Singularity University I was in the incredibly lucky situation to build a team pretty much from scratch. I spent a significant amount of time and energy vetting literally hundreds of candidates before I settled on the wonderful crew I now work with.

Your team is everything Tweet This Quote

The thing with teams is—they make or break your company. It might sound like a platitude by now, but your team is everything. There is a reason why smart VCs keep telling the world that they invest into teams first, ideas second. Good teams figure out what to do, good ideas are just that: Good ideas. They will never turn into a good company without a stellar team in place.

With that being said—how do you find your dream team?

First: Invest time and energy into the process. Hiring is hard work. Probably one of the hardest things I do—it takes shitloads of time and energy to review applications, talk to candidates, be truly thoughtful and diligent.

Invest time and energy into the process. Hiring is hard work. Tweet This Quote

Second: Ask the right questions. And ask lots of them. Personally I love to talk about past experiences and dig deep into specific areas—as I can learn more about a candidate from his past actions than from hypothetical answers to forward looking questions. I also want to understand how a candidate ticks and what drives her. One of my favorite questions is: What do you want to do two jobs from now and how does this job help you get there?

Don’t make the mistake of hiring someone you have doubts of or you feel there is something off. Tweet This Quote

Third: Never settle for second best. And trust your gut. Don’t make the mistake of hiring someone you have doubts of or you feel there is something off. Chances are—your gut is right. And you end up with a candidate who is not the right fit.

If that all sounds like hard work—it is. And trust me: It’s worth it. You will spend a good 2,000 hours per year with this person (assuming you work about 240 days at eight hours a day together). It’s worth spending a decent amount of effort on finding your perfect team.


This post originally appeared on Pascal’s personal blog.

About the author

Pascal Finette

Pascal Finette

Pascal is the Managing Director of Singularity University's Startup Lab. He is also an entrepreneur, coach, and speaker who has worked in Internet powerhouses, such as eBay, Mozilla, and Google, and Venture Capital—starting both a VC firm and accelerator program.