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Five ways to recruit the best talent for your startup

Recruiting new employees can be tricky for any company, but it’s especially difficult for startups that aren’t as well known as more established competitors. However, the paradox is that SMEs will need a talented team to combat these difficulties, refine their brand, and operate their company.

As a new business owner with limited cash flow, your team will be small to start with and each person will have a very important role to play in your enterprise’s growth and development. Therefore, any mistakes in the hiring process could end up being incredibly costly, so avoiding any potential risks is critical.

1) Look for multi-skilled candidates

When searching for prospective employees, you should only consider candidates with the various skills your startup needs to succeed. This could be employing someone who has experience working within a range of industries or job roles. You should be able to get a sense of their strengths and talents at the first hurdle in the job application process—the CV. Well-written CVs will “highlight the relevant experience” and emphasise “top skills and strengths to show the company how (they) are a good fit”. Look for those who are as specific as possible about their previous roles, perhaps even using data and statistics to back up their achievements.

Similarly, pay attention to candidates who highlight their knowledge of industry-specific software like InDesign or Google Analytics. Sought-after proficiencies will depend on your industry, the purpose of your business, and the particular role you’re trying to fill. However, you also want to employ people with the soft skills needed for startup culture. In general, some of the most important skills in the workplace include agility, to adapt to the needs of your business and clients, creativity and collaboration, for coming up with new ideas and solutions, and verbal and written communication.

2) Consider remote workers

It’s natural to want to directly oversee any new employees in the office, allowing you to offer guidance and monitor their progress at close range. However, you could be greatly limiting your startup’s potential if you confine the recruitment process to your immediate location, as it leaves you with a relatively smaller talent pool to choose from. On the other hand, being open to remote working gives you the ability to hire staff from far and wide.

The world really is your oyster if you put effort into optimising your channels of collaboration and ensuring straightforward communication can take place between employees wherever they are. What’s more, offering remote working is also more likely to attract candidates of a high calibre—a quarter of jobseekers reject jobs that didn’t offer flexible working arrangements. Therefore, the option to work from home could be the difference between your business enticing average candidates and exceptional ones.

3) Hire fans of your business

Anybody applying to work for you will obviously already have an interest in your company, but the best of the bunch will show a real passion for who you are and what you do. Compared to a regular employee, who may see the role as “just a job”, hiring a fan means your new recruit will be far more invested in making the startup a success.

You may want to look for suitable candidates online by reaching out to users who have posted about or engaged with your startup on social media. Those sharing content or having discussions related to your sector may also be a good match. Not only are these employees likely to work hard, but dedicated followers of your business could also be a valuable asset when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing. People are more likely to trust feedback from those they know, so if your new hire tells their friends that they enjoy working for you, it may encourage them to get in touch next time you have a role to fill.

4) Hold on to existing talent

Even while looking for new people to join your team, it’s important to never neglect the talent that you’ve already acquired. These new recruits will not just be joining your startup, but also joining a team, and talented people will be keen to work with equally impressive people. Research has shown that relationships within the workplace are ranked at 7.85 out of a possible score of 10—making it the most important factor to workplace well-being. Therefore, celebrating those you work with by either emphasising their value and achievements publicly or by implementing job perks can work to boost professional relationships, giving you happier employees. This can, in turn, prompt other valuable workers to apply for the positions if they can see how hard work is well rewarded.

5) Encourage graduates and entry-level employees

Experience is crucial to driving a business’ success, especially for a startup trying to establish itself. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on the lookout for fresh blood as well. Hiring graduates and other entry-level employees can be a great recruitment strategy. As these budding workers won’t have picked up any bad habits from previous roles, they can be moulded to fit your company culture and work ethic. As well as being highly educated, ambitious, and eager for an exciting opportunity, their lack of experience also means they’ll provide a fresh outlook on your business and be able to bring new ideas to the table. Look for this talent on LinkedIn and graduate-specific job boards.

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