If you recently launched a startup, congratulations – it’s a bold decision that deserves to be praised. While it’s true that an entrepreneurial venture can survive in any economic environment, today’s rocky landscape is going to put yours to the test. Apart from a solid business plan, the one thing that’s absolutely essential to get right is your staff. Here are six tips to help you out as you begin the challenge of hiring for your startup.
1. Look For Enthusiasm
Staffing a startup is not like hiring for an organization in the corporate world. If your business is going to be successful, you need to bring on employees who are enthusiastic – about everything. They should understand that they might be asked to perform mundane tasks in addition to their specific responsibilities, and they should have a big-picture attitude when it comes to keeping the company moving in the right direction. Candidates should display a high level of energy during each interview, whether on the phone, in person, or online.
2. Avoid Making Salary Your Sole Selling Point
Since you’re just starting out, it’s unlikely that you can offer a high salary. Make that clear from the get-go. Instead of framing it in a negative light, though, turn it into a positive by showing candidates everything that comes with a position at your company. If you succeed and grow, they’re first in line for promotions. If you can offer a flexible work schedule, mention that as well. Candidates who are simply looking to hit it big on salary may not be a good fit for your organization, especially in the beginning.
3. Hire Flexible, Multi-Talented People
If you’re hiring an accountant, you don’t necessarily want one with capabilities in that area alone. Working at a startup requires flexibility and creativity, and there are times when bringing on a jack of all trades is better than hiring a specialized expert. Things change at a moment’s notice in a new business, so you want to have folks on board who can easily adapt and contribute. There are benefits to hiring older workers as well.
4. Consider Your Company Culture
Company culture is extremely important to a startup because team morale can go a long way toward building and sustaining your venture for the long-term. Therefore, it’s important to factor it into the hiring process. You likely won’t have a large staff at the outset, so don’t underestimate the effect that one bad egg can have on your overall productivity. Consider including a brief description of your company’s culture in any job listings and initial interviews.
5. Clearly Define Positions
Just like you want to bring attention to your company culture in job descriptions, make sure all roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, as well. The last thing you want is to set up interviews with candidates who are not clear on what their potential roles entail. Be as open and honest as possible and start off your relationships on the right foot.
6. Now that we’ve talked a bit about how to effectively hire for your startup, let’s discuss how to find talent. Dial up some fellow entrepreneurs and ask for a list of candidates they passed on and why. Just because they weren’t a good fit elsewhere doesn’t necessarily disqualify them from your company. Use online hiring resources designed with startups in mind such as StartUpHire and search outsourcing websites like Elance and Guru – bringing on a few independent contractors is a great way to cut costs, especially in the beginning stages of a business. Hiring the right people for your startup is essential, but conducting the process efficiently is just as important.
Do you have any hiring advice for startup companies?
Martin Roberts is a freelancer who writes tips for succeeding as your own boss – including building a website, hiring for your business, outsourcing tasks, and investing. He is a contributor at Money Crashers.
“Businessman Choosing The Right Person” courtesy of SOMMAI /www.freedigitalphotos.net