If your startup is growing, sooner or later you will face the issues of expanding your current staff and finding new employees. And while it can be hard for a startup to compete with seasoned and well-known corporations for top talent, it happens regularly. How do they do it? Here are four simple steps to attract rock star employees to your business startup.
1. Get some publicity
Google, Microsoft, and other large companies have top talent banging down their doors every day. With so many great candidates, they are able to choose the top of the line employees that fit their team’s need and culture.
To achieve the same effect as a startup, you need to put your company out there and build your reputation. In other words, people need to start talking about you and the products or services you offer. Proactively reach out to the media and offer to give interviews to various magazines that fit your niche market.
This is a great way to generate some buzz around your company and your brand, but how do you tempt candidates to apply for a job offer and share it with their friends? Making a media recruitment invitation is a great way to entice people to join your team. Make sure it echoes the tone, style and messaging of your brand, and highlights your culture. It should reflect the kind of talent you are seeking — whether that means young Star Wars nerds or seasoned white collar professionals. Don’t be afraid to be a little unconventional in your approach — such things often become viral.
Whatever your startup company is about, remember that if a person can relate to it, they will certainly want to share it with others, thus making the job offer seen by more people.
2. Learn how to market your startup
The ability to sell is probably the most important skill that you need to master in your life. You have to sell yourself, your product or service, and your company and its mission and culture to those you want on your team. Why? Because they won’t come to you if they don’t like you or what you stand for, and they don’t believe in you.
So start by thinking about what you have to offer. Given that you may not have a lot of startup funds, it may not be an easy task. First, think about what motivates people to leave a well-paid job and do something else. It can be culture or values, or even the promise of growing with a company and being a part of something bigger than they are. Such people could be dreaming of a more fun working place, of greater freedom, and of a more interesting way of life.
But be careful. You may hire people who think that working in a startup means eating pizza and playing table football. You do not need or want these people. When hiring, get to know every candidate by looking beyond their façade and their resume and find out what motivates and drives them. Are they hoping your company will be a place to relax, or a place to create an excellent product with impact, and enjoy a challenging workplace with like-minded people?
Many people also love the idea of growth and holding higher responsibilities. In a corporate environment, a person usually performs some basic tasks. They have to struggle to extend the area of their responsibility. The situation is quite different for startups. When a person does something from scratch, they feel that they are making a significant contribution.
In addition, you can offer them opportunities to develop new and different skills. After all, in a startup one often needs to wear many hats.
3. Hire people for their attitude
When looking for recruitment ideas, this one may sound rather banal. Despite the fact that everyone will advise you to hire people for their excellent skills, over 80 percent of employees are dismissed for their behavior or bad attitude at work. At the same time, people are rarely fired for their lack of knowledge in a few areas. Training good people is common and even expected in the workplace, whereas a bad attitude is harder to fix through a few training sessions. Avoid hiring people who may seem difficult to work with, regardless of how brilliant they are. One bad employee can drive away a lot of great employees.
4. Do job interviews right
Humans tend to make mistakes, and often a first impression or the perception of a person — even after several interviews — can be false. Because of this, it’s important to hire slowly and fire quickly. While interviewing, ask yourself if the person can really do what you want them to do while adding to your company culture. This means looking beyond their resume. Ask them about their past experiences and get as many details as you can. For example, you may ask them to give an example of a situation where they faced lots of difficulties, but persevered nonetheless. If they answer, "I never give up," this is an insufficient reply. You need a specific story about what exactly the person did in a given situation and why they did it. Decide what skills you need in the employee and ask the candidate to talk about how they used those skills to their benefit.
It may be hard for startups to compete with big companies for top talent, but by honing in to these four areas, they can undoubtedly target and win the best employees for their businesses. So put yourself and your company out there, dig into what makes your startup a great place to work, focus on attitude, ask the right questions, and inspire candidates with your startup spirit. Over time you’ll see your talent pool begin to skyrocket!