Post-Product-Market-Fit Hiring: Avoid These Common Founder Mistakes

Reaching product-market fit is a significant milestone for any startup. It’s a sign that you’ve created a product that resonates with the market and is ready to grow. But hold on, this is where it gets tricky, especially with team expansion. We’re going to look at three usual hiring mistakes founders make after they’ve hit product-market fit, and how you can dodge them.

1. The Logo Hire Trap

  • The Misstep: Founders often believe that hiring executives from large, well-known companies will bring the same level of success to their growing startup.
  • The Reality: These ‘logo hires’ might be out of touch with the nitty-gritty, more used to delegating than doing. They are often several years removed from the hands-on work required.
  • A Better Move: Look for talent who has recently excelled at your current stage of growth. Focus on candidates who’ve got a solid history of getting their hands dirty in businesses growing at your pace.

2. Premature Market or Product Expansion

  • The Misstep: With new funding and growth targets, startups can often jump the gun, trying to grow their product range or bust into new markets too soon.
  • The Reality: This can stretch resources thin, meaning lots of quick hiring, which in turn detracts focus from solidifying the core product’s and replicating the team’s success.
  • A Better Move: Realise there’s probably more room to grow in your current market than you think. If you do branch out, ensure that any new product complements and strengthens your existing offerings.

3. Hiring Quantity Over Quality

  • The Misstep: Startups can fall into the trap of rapid hiring, thinking more hands on deck means more problems solved.
  • The Reality: The typical “Too many cooks” analogy. An inflated team can dilute efficiency and clarity of purpose.
  • A Better Move: Maintain a lean team for as long as possible, focusing on revenue per employee. Implement a hiring freeze after fundraising to critically assess staffing needs and cut roles that are not essential.

Extra tip:

Think of achieving PMF and closing a fundraise as a change of gear, you’ll feel the jolt, but momentarily you’ll slow down, use that time to assess the team, needs, and key metrics, and do some serious horizon scanning. Then ready, set, GO!


Steering through the post-product-market-fit phase means being smart with your hires. Stay clear of the big logo hires, don’t rush into expanding, and focus on hiring efficiency over quantity. The best hire isn’t just about a flashy CV – it’s about finding someone who fits where you are right now and where you’re planning to go.

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