The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

Learn from podcasts in a minute or less. Startups, tech, stories and more. Editor's choice, delivered every morning. It's free!

In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about how what perks and benefits should you offer your employees at an early stage startup.

Offering your employees perks and benefits can lead to a happy workforce, however, deciding what types of perks and benefits to offer can be challenging.

In this episode, Steli and Hiten why founders struggle with deciding what types of perks and benefits to offer, how Hiten typically approaches this issue at his businesses and the importance of establishing why you want people to work for your company much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About the topic of today’s episode

01:20 Why this topic was chosen.

01:50 Why people struggle with this.

02:37 How Hiten typically approaches this.

03:50 How Google handled perks initially.

04:22 The main types of benefits you can offer.

04:46 The importance of establishing why you want people to work for your company.

06:23 Questions to ask around benefits when you’re hiring.

07:21 The difference between benefits and perks.

08:46 Why it’s important to think about what types of benefits to offer your employees. 

3 Key Points:

People definitely struggle with this because they just don’t know what to offer and at what stage.I do the best I can in terms of benefits until I can do better.Benefits grow as the business becomes more successful.


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.


Steli Efti: And today on The Startup Chat, we're going to talk about perks and benefits. Just in general, how should you think about what you offer to potential employees in an early-stage startup to be competitive or to attract the right kind of talent? And so here's the setup. Right? We're talking about early-stage startups. You're trying to hire. Maybe you're less than 10 people. You try to hire an initial 10, 15 people on your team, and when you are negotiating with these potential hires, there's other companies that will compete for these people with you and make competitive offers. The main focus is salary and equity. It might be the main things that you are putting as an offer on the table that a potential employee could compare. But then there's also benefits and perks, and benefits and perks might be, especially for kind of first-time founders and less-experienced entrepreneurs, a more difficult to navigate world of like, how much should I care about benefits and perks? How important are those? Is this kind of a luxury thing that I do once I've raised $20 million? Is it something I do once we're profitable? Is this something I never do? I think it might make sense to unpack this a little bit and give especially earlier stage founders a bunch of ways of thinking about creating perks and putting benefit packages together for their company and their teams. What are your thoughts, and what are your experiences with that?


Hiten Shah: Yeah, people definitely struggle a lot with this, and the reason is they just don't know what to offer at what stage, and I think at the earliest stages, it's really tough to offer a lot. There's things like health insurance that most people require. There's even like you can bring people on, on contracts. So there's a whole concept here for me which is like, the people who are joining really early-stage, they're taking a lot of risk. And so my experience has always been just do the best I can in terms of benefits until I can do better and then do better. And better means the businesses is profitable, or the business is making money, or there's a significant amount of capital that we've raised, or something like that. I actually think that benefits grow in a business as the business becomes more successful, and that's my philosophy with it.

Key points in this episode

In this episode

Learn instantly from the Smash Notes weekly ->

Podcast summaries for the best in startups, technology, and personal health. Read it in a minute or less. delivered every morning. It's free!

download episode

Suggested Episodes