The very first hiring from our SaaS startup was (surprise!) no engineer.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the first person on board at Wingback was a Fractional Head of Remote – and it was the best decision we made.
My co-founder, Torben Friehe, and I knew we wanted to be an asynchronous remote business, and we planned to grow quickly. Sure, our first hire could have been a backend engineer or a sales guru. But we had never tried to lead a team remotely – our first start together was completely personal. What if we mismanaged our first employees simply because we had no idea how to run a virtual company?
Saying “Confirm this before the end of the day” means nothing if everyone’s workdays span several hours.
If you have experience leading remote teams, it may not be necessary to have someone dedicated to remote work processes, but it’s hard for anyone else to overestimate the importance of this role in ensuring your employees are Rowing in the same direction: It’s especially true for founders and startup CEOs, whose time and mental energy are thin as it is (not to mention our communication skills can, well, be lacking).
As a startup founder, your most important job is to focus on your product and make sure you hire the right people, not spend your time checking that every team member has approved their vacation time or read company policies.