A startup is a company in the first stages of operations after one or more entrepreneurs decide to develop a product or service after finding a gap in the market.
Forbes explains that a startup can become a larger company by being acquired, opening more than one office, generating revenues greater than $20 million, or having more than 80 employees. Some examples of successful companies that began as startups include Apple, Airbnb, Microsoft and Uber.
Whether you’re looking for venture capital (a form of private equity financing) or you want to become a successful small business on your own, there are four essential components your startup must have:
- Product. You need to offer a clear and demonstrable product or service superior to what is already in the market.
- Market. It’s best if there’s proof that demand for your product or service exists so you know that people need it, want it and will buy it. 42% of startups fail due to misreading market demand.
- Money. As a founder, you must have enough money to keep funding the business, as a startup doesn’t earn profits immediately. 29% of startups fail due to running out of funding and personal money.
- People. A startup will only succeed with people who are tenacious, curious and ready to persevere under all circumstances. Whatever you can’t do well yourself, hire those who can.
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, said: “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”
So, let’s look at six of the best recruitment tips to ensure you get the right people for your startup to succeed.
Treat your candidates well
Highly skilled or qualified candidates are always in demand. So, prioritise, impress, and give them a great hiring experience so that they want to work for you – especially when they may be applying for multiple jobs.
You can also convince the best candidates to want to work for you through great benefits or compensation packages. This could include paid annual leave, complimentary drinks or snacks in the office, health insurance packages, a work phone or laptop, and a good pension scheme.
In 2021, Hooray Health & Protection asked startup employees to list their top three most desired benefits:
- 57% chose Business Health Insurance as their top benefit
- 45% chose Group Life Insurance
- 41% chose Extra Holiday Entitlement
- 35% chose Generous Pension Schemes
- 28% chose Retail & Leisure Discounts
- 22% chose Free/Discounted Gym Memberships
Consider applicants with previous startup experience
Startups need employees who can learn quickly, juggle between priorities and responsibilities, and get the job done with little supervision or guidance.
Candidates with prior startup experience will be better equipped to cope in a fast-paced startup environment, so look out for these applicants over someone who’s been working in a corporate environment for years.
The right person for the job may be a mum of three with multiple school runs to do each weekday. This means many candidates would be willing to work in a startup that offers flexibility regarding where, how and when they work rather than at a corporate setup with restrictions.
Startups can also boast about the freedom they offer to attract top candidates, especially when they can’t afford to pay the highest salaries or provide unique benefits.
Here are some flexible working options you can offer to your candidates:
- If your business is seasonal (for example, a Christmas tree decorating service), offer your employees extra days off during the slow season without making them work back the time or deducting their wages.
- You could offer different working hours (for example, 8am to 4am, 9am to 5pm, or 10am to 6pm) and let each employee choose the best for them.
- You could offer longer workdays in exchange for an extra day off each week. So, if your set hours are 9am to 5pm but someone works 8am to 6pm four days a week, they have earned a day (eight hours) off.
- You could offer hybrid working so employees can choose when to work at home and not commute into the office, based on a set schedule or upon request.
(Image Source: the balance)
Hire people with more experience than you
Someone may have more experience with web design or customer service than you do. As a founder or co-founder, you will know more about the startup’s mission and the products or services, but you will need to hire people who can successfully carry out roles you can’t.
Myles Hunter, co-founder and CEO of TutorMe, said: “As a founder, I have to take my ego out of the equation when it comes to hiring people with more experience in their fields than I have in my job as CEO. I’ve realized that as we hire more qualified people, it will be even less likely that I’ll be the smartest or most knowledgeable person in the room — and that’s the way it should be.”
Use a recruitment agency
Startups can’t usually afford a dedicated human resources (HR) department, so the CEO, CFO, or anyone with the time carries out the hiring process. However, because you’re not paying for the overhead of an internal hiring team, it makes sense to partner with a recruitment agency to find the best applicants.
Be sure to outsource an agency that understands your company’s mission and can authentically represent that mission and relay it to potential applicants.
Don’t limit your search because of geography
If your startup can offer remote working, then make sure you do. This enables you to select the best candidates based on skill and qualifications rather than geographical location.
In addition to startups having access to a broader talent pool, if they hire remotely, they will also benefit from saving money by reducing the need for a larger business space and overhead expenses.
Working remotely also positively affects the employees as they can balance work and life obligations more effectively. If your benefits package includes a work phone, ensure it comes equipped with a 4G or 5G connection so your employees can work from anywhere and still get the job done efficiently.
(Image Source: Pexels)
Hiring the right employees can help startups avoid unique risks. So, startups need strong recruiting and onboarding processes to retain ideal candidates.
It is essential to recognise that old recruitment strategies are no longer efficient, but the way the talent market is shifting is exceptionally well suited for early-stage startups – flexible, dynamic, and cost-efficient.