I'm moving into a Team Lead position after ~9 years of technical work (mostly R&D). The team deals with cryptography for a hardware startup, so we have a very diverse set of subjects we need to understand (abstract math, a few open source libraries we are integrating with, hardware requirements, to name a few).
At the moment there's only one team member I'll be in charge of, so I'll be focused on hiring.
My main question is what should I put emphasis on in the recruitment process? Is hiring a junior a valid risk? Are there gotchas I should be aware of?
In my experience most bad hires that don't work out in the end were a 'strong maybe' and for whatever reason I convinced myself to still go ahead. One common reason is hiring fatigue, when you interviewed a lot of people and just want to close the position.
If it's a 'maybe', identify why it's a 'maybe', and schedule an additional round where you get signal on those specific topics. If at the end it's still a 'maybe', then it's a 'no'. Doing an additional round may suck, but it's less of a suck (for both sides) than firing the person after they left their previous job, started working, completed onboarding, and it's their last week of probation in your team.