If you want your company to be the best in your field, you have to hire the best people. People are the thing that will shape your business and create its culture. Not everyone will jump at the opportunity to work for you, though. If you don’t put in the work to make candidates want to be a part of your company, you will end up with all the wrong people who will be there either just for the money, or because they are not qualified enough to find work elsewhere. Since you’re a startup, the process of attracting talent is a little different than with established brands and the profile of the candidates is not quite the same, either. So how do you make sure that you will hire the best and most talented people?
1. Know when it’s the right time to hire
A lot of startups make the mistake of hiring employees when they don’t need them. At a time when their income is still small or next to none, they get so focused on assigning every title to someone that they lose sight of the bigger picture: they still have to find a way to pay all those people. This can lead to a lot of complications and ultimately result in shutting down of the company, so avoid making that mistake at all costs. You really need to recognize that it is time to find new people, otherwise you’ll waste money and time you’ll spend hiring someone who is not required to be there yet.
2. Don’t hesitate to hire remote workers
Hiring someone who lives nearby is great, but your neighbourhood is probably not crawling with all the talent you’ll need. I mean, it’s possible, just not very likely. Great people can be found on every side of the world. Relocating that specific person can also cost a lot and require of the person to leave his or her family, friends and whole life that they’ve built. Your offer would have to be so obscene that they couldn’t say no, and since you are a startup, you’re not likely to make that kind of offer. In that case, don’t be afraid to hire people from abroad, from different states or different cities. The important thing is that the work gets done and it shouldn’t matter if the person is sitting in their office or at home.
3. Take the time to find the right people
Looking for a new employee can get frustrating, especially if no one seems to fit your standards. If that happens, remember that it’s much wiser to wait until the right person comes along than to hire the wrong one just so you could be done with it. Make the commitment to yourself to really take your time until you’re certain that you’ve made the right choice.
4. Find people with a ‘startup mentality
As I’ve mentioned before, the type of person that is good for a startup is a little different than for other businesses. Some people will like the challenge, some people need a change and some will want to directly influence the company’s decisions. Whatever it is, your job is to converse with them in a direct and clear way, and make sure that they really understand what working for a startup really means. Sometimes they will have to do things that are not in their job description and they will have to fight twice as hard in order to make the company a success, so make sure they know it.
5. Knock on every door
You shouldn’t limit yourself to one job ad or you might miss out on some great talent. If you have a bigger group of candidates, you are more likely to find just who you’ve been looking for. Ask your coworkers, friends, business associates or post about your open job positions on social media and websites. You can never go too far with it because you never know where talent is hiding.
6. Consult with your team before you hire
Your new employee will have to work with the rest of your team, so why shouldn’t they have a say in who is hired and who is not? It creates a stronger bond between yourself and your employees because it shows that their opinion matters, too. Include the rest of your team when you’re conducting interviews and not only will they feel more appreciated, but they will also provide some great feedback and a different perspective, which might lead to some great choices.
7. Don’t hire someone you don’t like
Sometimes a person will look perfect on paper, with a flawless resume and the right amount of previous experience. It still doesn’t mean that they are the ideal choice for your company. If you are not completely convinced even though everything seems to be in order, don’t hire them. Successfully doing business sometimes means relying on your gut and if your gut is telling you that you wouldn’t want to cooperate or share coffee with the candidate, listen to it.
8. Continually look for talent
Many entrepreneurs will start looking for new people only when they need them urgently. If they are not able to find a suitable person, the job position might remain open for months. To avoid this error, be on the constant lookout for talent. You might not need it at the moment, but someday you will. Being able to contact somebody you were really impressed with and offer them a job could save you a lot of time. Also, you could come across a person who you’ll realize would be a great addition to your team, even if you weren’t officially planning on hiring anyone.
9. Test their skills
Before you set on one person, give the selected few a test job of sorts. It could be anything, from creating a presentation to a report; whatever will give you insight on their work ethic. You could easily change your mind since I guarantee there will be at least one candidate who will quit instantly, while someone else, possibly with less experience, could impress you with their hard work and investment.
10. Offer benefits to your potential employees
Working for a startup is a great professional opportunity that can bring a lot of good to those who work for it. Since you probably can’t afford to give out big fat paychecks, you have to attract people in some other way. No individual that has self-worth will last long at a place where he’s not getting anything in return for his hard work. For instance, you can offer employee equity, but if that seems rather much, even simpler things like healthcare or food will increase your chances of landing the right people and keeping them happy.
11. Create a good atmosphere
When everyone gets along nicely, is respected and motivated, enduring the long hours becomes so much easier. You are the head of your startup, so everything is supposed to start with you. Apart from the things that normally make up a good boss, you can organize social gatherings, take your team out for coffee or encourage them to be friends outside of work. Your enjoyable atmosphere will only attract more talented people who are looking forward to working in such environment.
These days, startups are competing against one another at who can score the best and most talented individuals. In order to beat the competition and really make something of your company, you have to fight for it at least as much (if not more) as your potential employees have to fight to get the job.