How to hire your first employees?

When you grow a company, if you want to scale - the #1 key success factor will be the quality of your team.

That’s why your #1 role as a CEO is to build a team of A-players.

In the past 6 years of building and growing lempire, I interviewed 1,700 people and hired over 200.

And along the way, I made tons of mistakes.

I’ve followed the “hire fast, fire fast” motto for a long time, and in my opinion, it was a mistake.

Hire slow and fire fast is the best approach.

Hiring is not a rocket science, but there are many ways to determine whether or not someone is a great fit.

Before giving you all the keys to make a great hire let’s break down the cost of a bad hire.

The real cost of bad hires

People think that it’s just the person’s salary but it’s not.

A bad hire will demotivate your team.

They will spend time training someone who’s not efficient and there’s nothing less demotivating.

The most talented people hate working with low performers.

The #1 reason they join startups is because they want to be challenged intellectually.

So a low performer and bad hire cost you actually A LOT more than what you might think.

I know many companies that needed to hire more people to accelerate their growth and ended up prioritizing quantity over quality.

Poor hiring practices resulted in them taking on board people who weren’t the right fit.

Candidates either:

  • had a different understanding of the role (because of the unclear job description)
  • didn’t fit the company’s culture (because there were no questions about it during the interview)
  • or simply overestimated their skills and experiences and since there was no case study to check them, nobody realized it until it was too late.

The result?

Wasted time and money, and no growth that everyone had been hoping for.

In the previous article, I shared how to source the best candidates and also how to write compelling job descriptions.

This article will cover 2 aspects of hiring:

1- The first interview and what questions you should ask

2- The second interview and why you must ALWAYS have people do a business case (and how to create one).

Interviewing candidates with the right questions

I’m not a fan of long interview processes when they involve six or seven rounds because, let’s be honest, no one has that much time.

A good interview should tell you everything you need to know about a candidate.

To make sure the candidate is a fit, you need to evaluate three things:

  • Understanding if they fit with the role
  • Understanding if it’s something they’re passionate about
  • Understanding if they’ll fit with the company culture

To do so we are gonna leverage ChatGPT to generate effective interview questions from your job description so you can hire your next superstar employees.

I used the same the Role - the Tone - the Task - the Context - the Format framework.

Here’s the copy-paste version you can use 👇


These are the questions ChatGPT generated:


You can simply write “Add more questions”, and it will give you as many as you need.

In a few seconds, you can generate fresh questions for every interview tailored perfectly to the profile you're looking to hire.

If, after the interview, you consider them a fit - then you should move to the next step: the business case.

Creating a business case to identify the right skills

Without a business case in the interview process - hiring is like a lottery:

You rarely win.

A specific business case can reveal if your candidate has the right skills, the way they think and make decisions, and how they react to feedback after you review it.

The problem is that creating a business case for each new position you want to hire can be very time-consuming.

That’s why I created a ChatGPT prompt that allows you to do it automatically 🚀

And get answers like this one 👇

Do you know what differentiates the best candidates from the average ones?

It’s not graduating from the top schools or having an A+ recommendation letter from their manager.

The A-players love a challenge.

I often hear from top performers that they were bored in their previous positions and were looking for something new.

That’s why when asking ChatGPT to design a business case, we’ll specify that we need challenging problems.

Here’s the framework we’re gonna use:

The role (define who ChatGPT needs to act like: a CEO with 2 years of experience, an HR with 10 years of practice, etc.)

The tone (corporate or, on the contrary, straight to the point and concise depending on your company’s culture)

The task (create a test for the job description)

The format (a business case that fits the job description and the company’s culture. You can even precise the number of questions you want to have)

This is the prompt that I used when looking for a Chief of Staff that you can copy-paste:


Let’s check at one of the business cases I got for my Chief of Staff using this prompt:


As you can see, it’s already better than most business cases you see out there! And if you need tweaks - simply ask chatGPT about it.

Remember, the right questions will guide you to the ideal candidate just as they guided me to my amazing new Chief of Staff

And the right job description is a part of the secret sauce, so don’t forget to check out the previous article.

Here's my free Notion document where you can copy-paste all the necessary templates and find all my useful guides and checklists:

Chapter 15: How to hire your first employees

If you want more explanations and examples, you can watch this video I've made.  👇

Every week I’ll publish new articles on how to build and grow a B2B business that generates millions of dollars.

Without any BS and giving you practical templates that you can steal.

Peace, love, and profit 💰

G. ✌️

You're a recruiter with 20+ years of experience.

You’re a master at asking the right questions, and that’s how you managed to hire the best candidates across multiple companies.

You have managed to get the highest employee satisfaction rate across the entire hiring industry as you master all the different methodologies to ask the best questions to know whether the candidate would fit in the company.

Your tone of voice should be:

- Actionable

- No fluff

- Approachable & casual

- Storyteller

The way you ask questions should be understandable by someone in 6th grade.

Based on the job description I will share below, you will develop 20 interview questions to ensure that the person fits the job.

You will use the following frameworks as inspiration for your questions:

- Reverse Interviewing

- Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)

- Narrative Interviews

- Structured Interviewing

- Cultural Fit Interviewing

- Values-Based Interviewing

- Competency

-Based Interviewing

- STAR Method

- Situational Interviewing

- Behavioral Interviewing

Here is the job description 👇



Here are some questions to start the interview for the Chief of Staff position:

  1. What information do you need from us to understand if this role ad our company is the right fit for you? 
  2. Imagine that you're in a meeting where two departments are having a conflict. How would you handle it?
  3. Could you share a story from your career when you had to step in and take charge of a project? What was the outcome?

You’re an experienced CEO who hired thousands of people in the last 20 years.

You’ve built the most remarkable teams in multiple industries thanks to your unique and creative approach to hiring.

You’re extremely agnostic when it comes to creating written tests for different positions.

Your tone of voice should be:

- Actionable

- No fluff

- Approachable & casual

The way you ask questions should be understandable by someone in 6th grade.

Based on the job description I will share below, you will create a written test for a specific role.

Make sure that the business case is unique and fit the company’s ambition and job description.

Here is the job description 👇



Written Test for the Chief of Staff Role

Thanks for your interest in the Chief of Staff position at lempire! Before proceeding, we ask you that you complete the following written test. This isn't about right or wrong answers - it is about getting a feel for your strategic thinking, problem-solving abilities, and understanding of SaaS dynamics.

Time to complete: Approximately 60-90 minutes

Part 1: Understanding lempire

What made lempire so successful in the past five years, in your opinion? What elements in the story of our growth caught your attention?

We've defined our core values as growth, ambition, impact, and innovation. Can you provide and example of a previous role where you embodied these values and describe how you applied them to create a meaningful result?

Part 2: Practical Scenario

Imagine it's your first month at lempire. In a team meeting, a team lead mentions that a critical project is behind schedule due to unexpected technical challenges. The delay could impact our ambitious 3-year goal.

Outline a process of understanding and addressing the situation.

What steps would you take to communicate this challenge to various stakeholders?

How would you handle the team and the project moving forward to meet the deadlines to ensure such delays are prevented in the future?

Part 3: Strategic Vision

Our goal is to reach a $1B valuation within the next three years.

Describe a strategic initiative that you would propose to help us achieve this. Explain why you believe this initiative would have a significant impact.

What potential challenges may arise while implementing this initiative? How would you propose to handle these challenges?

Part 4: Cultural Contribution

Cultural fit paramount at lempire. We believe that our employees are not just workers; they contribute to shaping our company culture.

Based on your research and understanding of lempire, what aspects of your personality and working style do you think would enhance our culture?

How would you foster the culture of innovation, collaboration, and high performance across the organization?

When you've completed your answers, please, return this test to us at your earliest convenience. We're looking forward to getting to know you better, and we appreciate your time and effort in helping us understand how you could fit in our ambitious future.