The Startup Hiring Guide to Getting Top-Quality Talent

By Alishba Agha 
| April 28, 2022

You might think fundraising for your startup was tough but recruiting is where startup founders struggle the most. The biggest barrier to startup growth is hiring – not having the right people, in the right roles, at the right time. Here are a few strategies to get you way ahead to help you make smart, strategic hiring choices and build a killer startup team.

Perfect the hiring process
Startup hiring is learning how to find candidates whose values and working style fit your business. The startup, when hiring, should think about jobs from the top down. The employees in a startup set the tone of the company.

As Dave Carjaval writes in his book Hire Smart from the Start, “If you hire smart from the start, you will accelerate your business’s success, and it will flourish beyond what you thought possible!”

It is crucial to look beyond the employee skillset, whether the candidate is up for challenges or prefer repetitive tasks. Brainstorm and come up with proper jobs descriptions and requisitions. Sourcing and attracting talent become simpler once there is clarity on precisely what the startup hiring is for. Once the job is decided, you may post it on numerous websites to generate leads.

The next step in startup hiring would be to work on the screening process and design a take-home trial. Initial screening can be done through the applicant tracking system, which uses keywords to select candidates.

Then candidates can be called for a trial exercise to see if they can work under pressure or exhibit the talent needed for a startup. While the startup is hiring, it is important to check potential employees’ passion by giving applicants take-home work samples to complete.

Some budget-friendly recruitment ways are online platforms that give many leads as soon as you post. Keep the recruitment process interactive.

If you are a tech company, use infographics or some form of an interactive puzzle to give potential hires insight into your company culture. Freelancers also are great when hiring for startups. They usually work remotely and overall cost less to the company.

Initially, startups do not have huge budgets for recruitment. It is best to reach out to executive search teams to hire capable managers if yours does. Startups can be thorough with executive search teams by conducting multiple interviews and checking references.

Set Up a Trial Day
Startups usually have dynamic, high energy and look for candidates who can manage more than one role. It is not for everyone, and some may find it too overwhelming. A trial day allows the startup to reduce turnover. You get to study the personality of the candidates in the office setting.

Will they be able to work in a team? How do they communicate with their network? What values do they bring to the table? How creative are they? All these will help you gauge your candidates better before making a hiring decision. It also allows candidates to see if they fit in the company culture. This makes sure that hired stay longer.

Connect with the startup community and network within
Networking with like-minded and creative people in other startups will keep you informed about the talent pool. It will help with candidate screening and building your startup image in the community.

You may get many good resources through leads in this circle. In the long run, it will serve you well to garner these relations as most lead to referrals. Hiring will be easy, and most people might refer suitable candidates.

Communicate the Values and startup’s future
After the 2020 pandemic, all companies, especially startups, are wading through unchartered waters in this new work dynamic. Candidates want to know where they stand, the startup’s vision for the future, and what everyone is working towards. Keeping applicants engaged and making them feel like being hired in this startup is the best decision.

As a startup hiring, it is important to be flexible and within reason. Rigid rules and procedures also drive away talent. Being flexible means that you allow your people to solve problems in the way they want. Employees have a life outside of work. Respect that and permit them to deal with personal issues when they arise. Individuals want employers to allow for such a balanced lifestyle.

When hiring, startups should consider that jobs should cater to different generations. While millennials want more paid time off work. Generation Y born in or after 1980, Generation Y tends to value work/life balance over money, has high expectations for career development, and demands collaboration and transparency

Devise enticing benefits and compensation packages
It is not all about the wages, especially for the largest generation in the workforce, millennials, and their younger counterparts, generation Z. These professionals care deeply about their experience, development, and what they can learn in a company. So, they will highly appreciate employee benefits that encompass these concerns. Some examples would be access to wellness coaching and a personal development plan. Unsurprisingly, for 60 per cent of people, employee perks are on top of considerations when deciding whether to accept a job. If you think which benefits matter the most, keep in mind that we’re living in a post-pandemic era. Forty-five per cent of people find that health perks are the most important, with paid-time-off.

Final Thoughts on hiring top talent in your startup
Recruiting top talent for an established company is difficult, let alone startups. Startup hiring becomes difficult because of applicants being spoilt for choice. What may help for startup hiring is casting the net widely then sifting rigorously, so managers can select well from a vast pool of applicants.

Useful strategies for recruitment startups can fill the applicant pool with as many candidates as possible, creating robust processes for filtering them, coupled with good interview questions and sample work.

It’s best to recruit freelance talent when you’re building a team because it gives you access to a larger pool of experienced and vetted talent. It also lets you hire them on an as-you-need-basis which is economical in the long run.

Sign up on Synerge to access the top freelance talent and hire for your startup!

Synerge connects freelance experts with startups.

You may also like