“The first 10 employees will decide the next 100. So, hire carefully.”
When it comes to startups, one of the most crucial challenges they are up against is hiring the right talent. Now, you must wonder why is it so important for a startup?
It is because, unlike any established organization and company, startups cannot afford the cost of a bad hire. Many startups, initially, operate on a shoestring budget where a single bad hire can bring significant losses in revenue and productivity while simultaneously can cause problems and moral conflicts within existing team members, co-founders, and even clients or investors. Besides, startups don’t really have a brand value, reputation, and money to attract top tier talents which the established companies can accomplish at ease. This is even considered to be one of the topmost contributing factors behind the failure of most startups in their first year itself.
So, how can a startup expect itself to attract the best talents in town and around? Especially, with such restrictions in terms of resources and lack of reputation and competition from the big organizations. As even the thought of going against those reputed companies can be both frightening, crazy, and risky. But isn’t that what startup is all about? Being crazy enough to take the risk despite fear of mass failure.
So, how do we deal with them?
Simple. Keep Reading!!
Now, there can be a plethora of ways with which one can hire some excellent prospects to join their startup. The most common being asking a friend, friend of a friend, your trusted advisors, or people from your family circle. However, here are some important tips that can help you in attracting the talents that you had been looking for.
According to LinkedIn’s research, a primary recruiting site states that one in every four candidates changes their job because of the company culture. Hence, while recruiting, focus on sharing your long term vision behind the hiring process. Many candidates understand that startups, mostly, consist of a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Therefore, explain to them why they are fit for your startup culture. Try to hook them into one such point that can differentiate your startup from the thousands of others out there. And while doing so, always remember that it is a startup that needs talent the more and not the other way around.
While startups are always at a great disadvantage in comparison to the big companies, there is one place they score heavily over them – Working Hours. You see, “9-5” is a popular jargon used by a professional working for an established organization. And facts be told, most of them hate that because it represents the mundane life they have to carry on within their workplace which makes the rest of their daily life mundane for most parts. This is even one of the reasons people look forward to a startup way of life. As it offers them flexible and even remote working hours to have a more maintained work-life balance. So, capitalize strongly here.
To make the connection with universities is to stay ahead in recruiting the best talents. Don’t wait for the best prospects to come knocking at your door for an opportunity because they will not. Most of them will immediately apply or go with a big and established organization with secured packages. So, get yourself involved with promising students during their university days themselves. Join in student events and functions, interact with them, and in the process scout, the suitable talents you think can be an asset for your startup. Pitch him your vision and try to seal the deal at the quickest.
To sign up best talents, you will have to assure them that they are joining a path to their success. So, then the hard work that you have put into your startup so far. You can do so by sharing your company blog, social media handle links, and LinkedIn page details. Explain to them how you aim to convert them into a great success story for the company. Make it relatable to them as much as possible and you will be one step closer to hiring them.
Now that you have a built pathway for attracting the best talent for your startup, the only question must remain – Whom to hire? And this is, exactly, you can read in the points below.
As mentioned in the quote above, you should be extremely cautious and careful while hearing the first few individuals to work for your startup. As for any startup to grow, they will have to scale up the number of talents working with them on time. For this, the first few hired individuals will more likely work as managers who will be hiring them. So, when you are hiring the first talents ensure that you can see worthy managers in them. Managers who can stay committed to the success of the startup. So, go for people who have opinions and can honestly share the likes, dislikes, and beliefs in the visions, missions, and values adapted to grow your startup. Besides, one wrong-hired individual can be enough of a jerk to ruin the hard work of many for months.
In today’s time, a lot of people are well prepared for their interviews. They can convincingly answer most of the questions asked by the recruiters. Therefore, try to test them with an instant method to check their mindset and approach. For example, ask them to sell you a pen. This will help you in figuring out if they are the right talent for your startup immediately.
A lot of companies often lose out on a great prospect, simply, because they disliked their resume. A great example of this Brian Acton, who was rejected by Facebook and later co-founded Whatsapp. The point is real talents are way above their resume. Another example of this is Steve Jobs who was a college dropout. Therefore, try not to get blindsided by one’s resume and perhaps look into their working background and skill sets to evaluate if they are the right person to be hired.
When it comes to attitude, evaluate the person’s talent, intelligence, diligence, aptitude to learn new skills, eagerness to help outside of their comfort zone like working late night and weekends. And the best way to do so is to conduct behavioral interviews.
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A lone wolf by definition, a writer by heart, and a lost star with ambitions to light up the dark both inside and around me, sometimes by immersing myself into books or video games or traveling with a backpack to an uncertain destination believing that life is all about the choices we make and we don't.