What It Takes to Build a Robust StartUp Team Like Paystack

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Paystack is a Nigerian Fintech startup fixing the problem of online payment, something that used to be a hassle before now.

Going by the level of impact Paystack have made in the last few years, it’s unarguable to say that they have a robust startup team.

As any business person would tell you, establishing a business is half the journey, but running it successfully, twice the mileage!

During the early days, the urge to prove what you’re capable of helps you work your way up enthusiastically. But as responsibilities pile up, the initial adrenaline rush gets swiftly replaced by stress brought on by overwork.

As tempting as it may sound to be your own boss, you can’t afford to shoulder everything alone – even Shola, co-founder of Paystack isn’t handling his alone. In 3 years, he already have 27 people in his startup team.

Knowing this triggers the need to delegate, or in other words, onboard new hires who’re up for the challenge.

From how sustainable your business model is to your product/service’s relevance and longevity, you’ll find yourself competing for space in a highly dynamic environment. Consequently, the people who are to join your startup team not only have to understand your business objectives to maintain consistent project delivery but stick by you through thick and thin.

Hard-won wisdom comes with years of experience, no contest there. But the building blocks of your startup team that truly represents your organization is your resource pool. These 5 essentials will help you establish a symbiotic resource-project relationship!


1.  Potluck Resourcing

Robust startup team like Paystack

The human capital, while a worthy investment, doesn’t necessarily imply you must have a balanced startup team comprising solely of full-timers. In fact, it’s far more cost-effective to try out different resourcing contracts, especially when you’re just getting your business off the ground.

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a fledgeling business, you can reap high business value without shelling out excessively on the resourcing spend. What’s more, you get a divergent project management skills set along with experiential levels that fulfills the resourcing requirement.

Based on the quality of work handed during project delivery, you have the option to re-hire the same set of resources in the future or simply explore other avenues where similar or better qualified staff abound.

Temporary resources can be deployed alongside your regular full-timers to do the heavy-lifting, thus ensuring your staff’s productivity levels are healthy all year long. Another fact that merits consideration here is that not all your projects would require full-time commitments.

As such, resourcing contracts that give your staff the freedom to schedule their pace lets them optimize their time and efforts to deliver the project within the stipulated time frame. While the flipside to deploying full-time staff on short-term projects, is the possibility of an early finish, you also run the risk of having your staff change the scope by gold-plating the project with the spare time they’re left with.

A lot of effort goes into arranging your office set up. Therefore, you can outsource your ad hoc requirements as a freelancing or contractual project and work with several resources based on their asking fee, recommendations and quality of work. Moreover, both you and the people you work with can enjoy a no-obligation experience before deciding to extend a full-time offer to them.


2. Network Your Net Worth

Considering the reach and visibility an online presence gives you, extensive social networking is worth your weight in gold.

As encouraging as it is to know that over 58% of entrepreneurs are active participants on social networks that are part of a global platform, networking is a two-way street.

Not only does networking open doors to prospective recruits to know more about your product/service but also connects you to them quickly to see if they’re a good fit for the kind of startup team you are building in the long run.

As you move up the corporate ladder, you can use networking to solve resourcing problems such as filling in the skills gap, relocating and finding a new office space or even avail counsel from like-minded individuals.

Being an active networker grows your reputation and company information. This means clients and staff alike can look you up and provide referrals, winning you repeat business over time.

When your online credentials carry the badge of verification, a rapport naturally builds itself. This process, while slow on the uptake, pays off dividends in the long run, especially when you’re introduced to innovative ways to keep your workforce productive, engaged and most importantly- healthy!


3. The Personality Versus Cultural Fit test

A healthy work culture is the hallmark of your organization’s values, goals and practices. When you weave transparency into your processes, you’ll automatically gain a workforce whose personalities mesh, rather than clash, with your vision.

Helpfully, the Undercover Recruiter’s candidate experience survey reported that 15% of job-seekers with a positive hiring experience put more effort into their position. In other words, all automated hiring process doesn’t end at simply finding the right person for the right job. It’s about enabling them to progressively align their professional interest and skills into the roles they’re placed in. The right personalities bring your projects to life, letting you confidently take on similar or challenging endeavors.

The true test of resource longevity, however, is their ability to withstand pressure under adverse conditions. As the Harvard Business Review puts it, while some prefer working in siloed blocks, a collaborative environment lets your staff demonstrate their participation levels and ability to gel with coworkers, supervisors and the enterprise as a whole.

Employees who joined you as you started out can improve non-core activities such as mentoring, supporting and guiding newer hires thereby ensuring that there’s a robust startup team culture everyone would need to bring to the table during the critical phases of the project schedule.


4. Scientific Firm Reshaping

Highs and lows are inevitable irrespective of your niche. But what does matter is how you handle fluctuations in the workforce movement.

When you sharpen your ability to accurately pinpoint your resourcing requirements, you’re assured of a substantial supply of the right skills, experience and personal exposure ahead of the project curve.This can be achieved by weighing and comparing your resource capacity against projected demand.

Despite the negative connotation around restructuring, it’s a necessity that reshapes your team around a skills inventory that can adapt to a rapidly evolving landscape. Scientifically filing in your resource report removes irrelevant and/or outdated knowledge areas.

Moreover, if prior qualifications can’t be upskilled with retraining and certifications, your staff’s utilization rates are directly affected as a result of the increased bench-time. Consequently, as you wait for a feasible project they can be allocated to, your payroll costs increase without any perceivable value in return.

As such, you can achieve a close match between resources and projects with a comprehensive overview of where the required skills and experience were harvested optimally.

A project portfolio lets you collate feasible projects by duration, nature, resource availability and the likelihood of occurrence. You can then intuitively deploy your workforce around future commitments based on prior engagement levels. What’s more, your staff are informed in real-time of possible allocations, giving them sufficient time to get acquainted with the rigors of the project activities anticipated.


5. Productive Positioning

Given how every startup could use all hands on deck, it’s a time and cost-effective measure to involve your team in different aspects of the office setup. When your staff work on activities outside of their remit, they not only get to diversify their skills but are better positioned to support their fellow teammates.

Considering how easy it is to quantify resource efforts for a small or mid-sized startup team, you get the opportunity to appraise their contributions with an objective eye.

When secondary skills emerge, your staff can avail widened opportunities which keep them challenged without being unduly overwhelmed. In the event a particular employee is unavailable for a specific period of time, the remaining teammates can reorient themselves on pending tasks and pick up the slack, thus balancing out the productivity scales.


Author Bio

Aakash Gupta regularly advises on the best people-centric practices for Saviom’s Enterprise Resource Management. He can be reached here.

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  1. Yes I believe starting a business is just the beginning of your business journey, but managing the business to a success is another ballgame altogether.. Great share Emenike

  2. Hi Aakash and Emenike,

    What an interesting article about paystack! Seems like it cuts out all the problems one can have with an online business. It does so much!


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