Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

First person to hire is a admin/someone who could take of simple tasks eating pie of your time. Figure out what is time consuming and find someone to delegate it.

Yup admin/secretarial. It's not glamorous but good secretarial staff is what lets/keeps every one else working on what they were actually hired for.

When the startup is starting and there is only a couple of founders what is it going to do a secretarial? Bring you coffee in the morning? When you have a team and you have your secound round of investment, then a secretarial is a must for the reasons you said, but at the beginning I don't see it.

If you're at a point where it's actually hiring and not 'talking some one into spec work by calling them a founder' some one has to answer phones, schedule appointments, file old shit, start looking through health plans, make sure bills get paid etc. It can be you, or you can work on your product.

'part time secretary needed, light admin duties, possibility of position growing to full time' is a completely normal job ad. Any temp agency in any city you happen to be in can give a hundred applicants if you're hesitant about hiring someone too early.

If you are 2-3 on your team and you feel you need someone to care about all those things, something is wrong in your company (for most companies). You probably receive a phone call and a couple of emails a day for customer support or other things, and probably don't have so many bills to pay. So you don't need someone full time or part time for this, unless you are a special case that need 4-5 meetings a day with different people.

> probably receive a phone call and a couple of emails a day

I'm not sure if this is too optimistic or too pessimistic, but I definitely don't buy it in general. Founders want to be building the product and talking to users. I can only imagine there's all kind of other crap that would be smart to hire someone to take care of.

Maybe not a first hire, but a lot of startups hire them too late. There's a lot of extra stuff that gets done to run even a small office or team. The right admin can do an immense amount of things. Interview support, basic book keeping, office logistics, food, basic HR & payroll, fielding phone calls, scheduling calls, etc.

This is what I meant. No for a first hire, but sure after you have a team of 5-7 and you start needing more people. Not I don't see it before

I think it depends a lot on the nature of the startup. If you're doing things that don't scale, then you might have enough work for a part-time general admin/support person quite early on.

The idea is to find the things where there's not a lot of value in having the founder do the work and find the cheapest way to get it done.

There's a few options for how to do that. You can go to a temp agency, or you can get a recent university graduate with generalist skills pretty cheaply.

That's not true for all startups, nor even most, but I've seen startups where the founder was spending more than a day a week doing data entry.

You can combine secretarial work and customer support into one role until both warrant having enough work for 2 separate positions.

You are 2-3 founders and you move customer support to another person? You have more chances to fail. Founders need to deal with their first customers to understand their needs and find the product-market fit.

If you are still at the stage of finding product-market fit, you shouldn't be hiring anyone just yet imo.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact