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Markus Okumus, founder Canopei, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #36 - Markus Okumus: How To Hire And Manage Your Startup Team

Markus Okumus

September 12, 2019

1:49 – What mistakes do Swiss startups make repeatedly when it comes to hiring and managing people?
13:08 – The diversity question
25:48 – Good startup communication
44:47 – How to strengthen your gut feeling, in terms of hiring
49:44 – Should you hire friends and family?

The Episode in 60 Seconds

People can be an organization’s biggest asset but also one of their greatest pain points. Here are some of Markus Okumus’ key takeaways:

Attracting talent

  • In the early stages of a company, it is sometimes difficult to attract the necessary talent without being able to offer the corresponding monetary incentives.
  • A charismatic, passionate founder will be able to inspire the right people to follow along on the journey.


  • Diverse teams are more successful, so keep an eye on this score.
  • If diversity happens organically, great. If hiring in your network means you only have people who look like yourself around you, you might want to rethink your approach.


  • Every time you triple your number of employees, you have to re-imagine your entire structure.
  • Some people are unable or unwilling to grow with the company. Don’t be afraid to let them go.
  • If you grow to be a $ 100m revenue company, you’ll need someone who has experience with leading such a company.


  • Your values should be more than a subsection on your website.
  • Clearly define them and make them visible everywhere.
  • Justify your decisions in terms of your values. Your employees will start to identify with and be proud of them.

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