3 Ways Startup Founders Hired People When Getting Started. See What Would Work for You.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Being a startup founder is never easy. One must know how to manage people, plan, develop workflow, innovate, deal with money, and so on. One of the essential roles is the ability to manage the people working in your startup. Some might think that managing people is the role of the human resources (HR) department. True, but in any startup, founders usually do everything at the beginning. This is why it is important to have the skill of managing people to manage the HR head of the department later on.

People management is a broad concept. It includes problem-solving, organizing teams, distributing tasks and roles, managing salaries, recruitment, performance monitoring, training, etc.

Founders tend to have different ways to manage people. In this article, you will learn the 3 common ways founders manage people in their startup…

1. Interns

Although not many startups do it, this is the most economical way to save a lot of money and get the job done without commitment and sometimes without even paying, as some startups offer the chance for the intern to get the luxury of experiencing working at the company and this can be very useful for the interns especially at their early stages with no career history. Most of the interns are students and fresh graduates — it’s unlikely to see seniors work as interns unless they wanted — they can get their resumes started this way which can be appealing to many companies when recruiting.


  • Cheapest way — sometimes free.
  • Easy to manage.
  • Easy to hire.
  • Less hiring complications.


  • No to limited experience.
  • High risk — not recommended for sensitive roles.
  • Unsustainable — the intern might quit without warning, either for getting a job offer or boredom, especially if they are working for free.
  • They might need training if they are hired in a creative job — coding, writing, social media, etc.

2. Outsourcing

This can be another choice for hiring people that do a certain job for a specific time. One of the best things about this way is the flexibility in the hiring processes. The founder(s) can interview the freelancer(s) and see their work. There are a lot of online websites that provide this kind of service. There are marketplaces for freelancing like freelancer.com that connects freelancers and business/startup owners.

This is the simplest way to manage people in your startup and get an external party service to manage people and teams in your startup. Many startups built this way in the early stages then moved to an in-house department — usually HR — or hired an HR agency to work remotely. This is very usual, especially in IT and web development companies. Founder hires remote teams — some are dedicated — to manage and develop their website and IT infrastructure. Usually, India and Pakistan are the popular choices for many startups as they usually are saturated IT markets and much cheaper than local development companies.

Some hire a freelancer depending on the startup needs, others need small teams — two to 5 employees — and few need dedicated teams — usually more than 10 employees up to 50, which costs more, of course.


  • External management.
  • Less risky.
  • Much cheaper than contracts.
  • Flexible working hours.


  • Remote communication — which is not easy, trust me.
  • Less managing power.
  • More complex to sustain.
  • Single point of failure — especially if you hire a freelancer.
  • Transaction fees for foreign countries.

3. Contract Employment

This way is preferred for one-time jobs. Jobs like website design, logo design, translation service, consultancy services, etc. It is recommended to hire professionals to do these jobs as they tend to be expensive and the price you pay is not refundable — most of the time. Some startup founder(s) choose to sign a contract with a party to do a certain job. Professionals or agencies can do many jobs with contracts — either monthly, yearly, or per service. Such services include IT services, maintenance, security, insurance, legal services, and so on.


  • Contract terms — which can give you peace of mind.
  • Professional services — experienced people that you can communicate with easily.
  • Fastest service — if agreed on.
  • Most sustainable — you can extend the service if it’s expired.
  • Less managing headache — hire & fire.


  • More expensive — most likely.
  • Changes in the contract come with a fee — change order.
  • Payments in most cases are not refundable — say you did not like the service.
  • Sometimes you need to explain what you are really looking for — especially creative services.

Which Way is the Best For Me?

At the end of the day, choosing which way to go with can be challenging. It is recommended to use the 3 ways in different cases. Start thinking from intern to professional. What do you need? What is your budget for this? Are you looking for long-term or short-term work? And so on. After that, you may decide. There is no fixed way to choose which way for certain jobs. For example, developing a website for your startup can be done with a skillful computer science intern, a freelancer, or a contract with a web development agency. All can get you the same results. Going for the expensive choice is not always the better choice. This is another challenge that startup founders face daily. The most important thing is to look for the work done. Make sure to ask whoever you hire the following two questions:

1- “Can you show me your work, please?”

2- “Can you provide me with some clients that you worked for before, please?” — give them a call and ask them about the service that they got.

See the work for yourself, evaluate, ask around, then decide.

Good luck.

Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed it.

If you did, it would be great to share it.

You can reach me at @alounpro on Twitter.

Have a lovely day!

Ahmad Aloun



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Ahmad Aloun

Ahmad Aloun

・Writing・Self Development・Productivity・Entrepreneurship・E-Commerce・Business・