Phase 1. Initiating Operations

Early Startup Structure & Recruitment Plan.

H. Industries
7 min readJul 4, 2021

Phase One: Initial Startup Structure

H. Industries will grow as a start-up style trial business over two phases, the first phase delivering the final production design and the second phase delivering a launch ready product. The startup will evolve into a manufacturing business before embracing a franchise style distributed structure in Phase 5 along the lines of early Virgin business practices.

The first organisational stage will be grown with technical design staff then business enabling staff. By focusing on validating technical design within the first year and securing manufacturing plans, H. Industries can realise the first organisational structure within twelve months then evolve to deliver the second organisational structure within the following 12–24 months. Initial manufacturing in Phase 2 will construct one unit for testing and analysis then ten test units in Phase 3, with the scaling of manufacturing to full time production in Phase 4 being preceded by a business transformation towards the distributed goal structure.

First round recruitment will seek two core engineers before adding an astrophysicist and developer then corporate resources. The founder will take a project management and business development role, providing technical direction and securing business continuity. The electrical & aerospace engineers will be tasked with design validation and are the key to securing further funding.

As capital investment is accrued, recruitment will focus on professional resources to secure further growth. The recruitment of legal, marketing, procurement and project staff will allow the business to refine the original execution plans. These staff will be applied to business development, delivering tradeshows and demonstrations to fund further technical staff recruitment and the evolution toward phase 2, manufacturing. The second major wave of recruitment will seek technical staff to support design refinement and the delivery of requirement based manufacturing contracts.

Following recruitment of the business resources in the first phase, the second phase will seek to recruit mechanical engineers and manufacturing experienced staff to prepare for the transition. Teams will be structured under their respective disciplines with the senior member or an elected member taking the manager position. The management staff of each tier will elect their representative leader to give accountability for technical and business services to individuals. This is a position of responsibility and representation in addition to their existing job description. At later stages, these roles will become distinct positions rather than an additional duty.

It is important that teams have managers and managers have leaders from the inception of the business. Dispersing the burden of staff management to ensure that no one individual has more than five — ten direct reporting staff is a mission driven military leadership model intended to allow leaders in every second staff layer to focus on longer term goals while the direct layer above oversees short term goal delivery.

Recruitment Plan

The Phase One recruitment plan emphasizes finding the right candidates that will grow with the business. This means recruiting may take longer to complete however the retention of staff and knowledge will ensure this is time well invested.

Initially, only three staff are required to independently validate the founders work: electrical, aerospace and astrophysics; the addition of a developer would accelerate delivery capability. Ideally these candidates will be found through local universities based on graduate level work in numerical modelling of the respective fields. Due to the specificity of knowledge needed to deliver Phase 1, the only required experience to be successful is hands-on Matlab modelling. The candidates will be taught business specifics of satellite operation and superconductor design as part of the induction process and then are encouraged to apply their own expertise to further evolve the design. Knowing the limits of their knowledge and what is unknown will ideally drive recruits to pursue further learning and thus create a culture of growth and excellence. Recruit people that will grow with the business, minimise external consultants and knowledge will be retained, a key business asset.

The job descriptions detailed in the following section are posted to attract interest from ‘wild card’ candidates while serving as a point of reference for local universities to recommend graduate students. The university offices for Physics, Engineering (various) and Math will be contacted with an email pack, seeking to meet with professors then candidates. The email pack will contain the listed job description, concept papers and a comms message.

As the business will be widely advertised during the media release to call for funding, the job descriptions and available contact information will hopefully entice wild card candidates that are highly experienced and willing to lend their expertise to the business in pursuit of its lofty goals.

It is assumed that recruitment will take 3 months from the start of the process after funding is secured, one month each for finding, meeting then confirming candidates. This timeframe is likely much longer than required however will be maintained to minimise schedule pressure to select an available candidate rather than the right one.

Recruitment Process

The recruitment process will focus on validating candidate commitment, aptitude then experience. This focus on commitment and aptitude first will be critical to retaining knowledge within the business and achieving success. This process is lightweight at Phase 1 however is intended to be built upon. At later stages it is intended to offer equal opportunity to graduates & professionals or ex-service personnel with useful skills and older jobseekers with a wealth of experience to offer.

The job descriptions below provide an equal reference and chance for all candidates. Submission will require a cover letter, CV and short form responses to the questions listed below. Question responses will be assessed then cover letters inspected. Candidate cover letters will be shortlisted down to 8 per role with 4 candidates selected for interview.

● Q: Do you want to pursue a career in management or technical direction?
● Q: What do you want to learn next?
● Q: What was the last hard thing that you did?
● Q: Have you ever felt out of your depth?
● Q: What do you think reaching Mars could fix on earth?
● Q: Last book you read?

The initial interview will focus on company knowledge, technical detail and role requirements. Candidates are encouraged to study the public material in preparation for this interview as it will be in exam style. This ensures that all staff understand the company ethos and vision while minimising induction times.

Only two candidates will be selected for the team interview, minimising disruption to staff work efforts. The focus on team fit will ensure that the candidate it capable of communicating effectively and possesses the right attitude for the role. Feedback will be discussed several hours later then the hiring managers will reach a conclusion.

Employment Offering

The initial employees will be offered a mid range professional salary of $96,000 AUD and a small portion of equity, 1% each for the first two engineers then 0.5% each for the following five staff. The salary will be considered high for graduates but this is deliberate to ensure that all employees know they will be paid well and do not need to look for other opportunities to realise their financial goals. Staff can expect pay raises as they grow with the businesses to ensure their accumulation of skills and knowledge is rewarded.

Staff perks include a $30 meal/coffee budget per person per day in the office, Spotify subscription and a recruitment pack with a winter hoodie (with team patches) and noise cancelling headphones. The office location will be a house in Melbourne’s inner north, giving a range of workspaces and breakout rooms while offering end of trip facilities and staff parking.

Staff will be recruited on Fixed Term Agreements by delivery phase, giving conditions of permanency. Once the business secures the next stage of funding, these roles will be converted to full permanent employees. Contracts will be offered 3 months in advance of milestone delivery for agreement by both parties then activated from the date of milestone delivery.

The founder suffered through many projects offering extension then failing to deliver paperwork before the final date of a contract, often forcing him to seek alternative employment to maintain a secure income. This experience cannot be allowed to happen to H. Industries staff, the loss of knowledge at an early stage will have significant business impact.

No work is more important than helping and retaining our staff.

Job Descriptions

Job descriptions focus on the high level tasks required with each deliverable and evolve by phase. This allows short job descriptions to be drafted and when combined with the candidate expectation of an exam on business and technical aspects, stimulate further thought in the candidate on how to execute the task and what comes next. The purpose of specific task based role descriptions is to provide clarity to each employee and a clear milestone based marker for contract renewal.

The following sample job descriptions are partly outline the role, with task then deliverable to give clear guidance on outcomes.

Electrical Engineer (Power Systems / High Magnetic Fields)
· Review Excel model — Accuracy & Improvement Report
· Construct Mk.0 Propulsion & Power System in Matlab — Force Evaluation
· Review Mk.0 design for improvements — Mk.1 System Requirements Report
· Collaborate with Aerospace Engineer on Matlab modelling and other items.

Aerospace Engineer (Satellite Systems / Orbital Mechanics)
· Review Force Evaluation, determine orbital context — Excel Model Uplift
· Construct Mk.0 Satellite frame in CAD & Matlab — Mk.0 Reference Design
· Review Mk.0 design for improvements — Mk.1 System Requirements Report

For any interested candidates intrigured by the sample of the role description, please get in touch at:

Thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you,

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