The Great Wall of China was a massive and awesome structure that was created to keep China’s enemies away. But no matter how strong and fortified it was, it was still not enough to keep them at bay. Why? Because of the people who were tasked to guard it.
In the same way, no matter how strong and promising your startup is, your success or failure rests in the hands of the people who run it, and the team keeping it going. Though it will be mainly you and your partners calling the shots, the individuals on your team still contribute a lot to your potential success. This is why hiring is such an important (if not the most important) part of building your startup. You are selecting people who will eventually be the backbone of your company, so it is more than just finding people to do specific jobs and tasks.
In this article, we share 8 startup hiring tips that will help you find and land the best people for your startup.
1)Always have a hiring mindset.
Even before you start the hiring process, having a hiring mindset can help with startups especially, in the early stages of the business. How do you get into this mindset? Everywhere you go, find qualities and traits in people you feel will be an outstanding addition to your team. This mindset can help you keep track of skills, interests and personalities when you meet new people. Whether it’s at a networking event or a casual get-together, you can take note of people who could be great additions to your team in the long run. Keep their business cards and make notes about their personality. You never know when you’ll find the need to hire a person for a position you never considered before.
2)Pre-screen candidates by being specific in your job listing.
To save time and money, you can prescreen your applicants by casting a smaller net. When you post a job opening on a job listings website (like our 24/7 Job Marketplace) try to be as specific and detailed as possible. For example, instead of “IT Specialist”, you can try a more job specific title such as “Software Development Engineer”. Not only are you able to filter your applicants, your job listing will also stand out from the numerous postings available. Make your description clear and your qualifications specific, to avoid any miscommunication and false expectations from the start.
3)Show your company’s identity.
Aside from having the right skills for the job, you also want the candidates to be a good fit to your company and its culture. As such, be sure to make your applicants feel that culture. They should know what working for you will be like from the way you write your job listing, to your website and through your interview. This can also screen out any candidate whose personality does not match well with your company’s culture. Most people looking for their ‘dream job’ are very picky with company culture.
4)Sell your company and the job.
The usual thinking when it comes to hiring is that candidates try to sell themselves to the hiring manager. But in truth, it actually also works the other way around. As a hiring manager, it is your job to sell the company and the position to the candidates. Remember that he or she could be comparing your company to other companies. And as a startup, you could be competing against bigger companies who have a lot of resources to spare to win over your applicants. Showing off your company culture is a great way to sell your company and differentiate it from others. Another way is to highlight the benefits of working for your startup, like the importance you establish on growth and personal development.
Hiring is a two-way street, and hiring managers should also look for ways candidates will benefit from the job and from the company. Listen well when a candidate tries to negotiate working terms, salaries and benefits. A good way to prepare for this is to define non-negotiable terms even before putting out the job listing. That said, you should also list areas where you are willing to be flexible. Having this defined list can help you make a more thorough decision instead of acting on your emotions, especially when the candidate negotiating is someone who seems like a perfect fit.
6)Ask for help.
As with anything, asking for help is always a great idea. Involve your partners and members of your team in the hiring process, as they will likely have input you overlooked. Plus, you want them to jive with this new employee too. Otherwise, if you hire them and one of your partners just doesn’t get along with them, it’ll cost you big in the long run. On the otherhand, some of your members may even be more qualified to make decisions, especially for skill-based positions.
7)Agree on a trial period.
Being impressive on paper and in the interview is one thing. Actually being there at work is something different. This is why it is a good idea to agree on a short-term trial period when you decide on the candidate. Not only does it give you the chance to see how well the candidate works, it can also give the candidate an opportunity to see whether or not the job and the company is a good fit for him or her. The length of this trial period would depend on the company and the job, so try to find that right amount of time that is best for you and the candidate.
Finally, make sure you give proper attention to the onboarding process once you’ve decided to fully hire someone. Onboarding is more than just orienting the person on the ins and outs of the office and the company. It deals with making sure the candidate has a good transition from candidate, to someone on a trial period, to a fully committed member of the team.
At the end of the day, hire people who can help you reach the goals and mission/vision you built your startup upon. If these people work well with you as colleagues and as friends, then good for you. If not, just always remember that each decision you make will make you better.
If you made it this far, it’s likely you’re a startup looking to hire someone. So, check out our 24/7 online job marketplace. We have thousands of highly qualified talent that are on the hunt for their dream job, and that could be you!