October 11, 2022

How To Hire For A Startup? [9 Creative Ways]

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How To Hire For A Startup

Hiring has never been simple, especially when you're recruiting for startups. At times, it might feel as if you're competing in a time-limited obstacle course competition on television. You see, startups are typically young businesses that are just launching into the market. As a result, their status is made more difficult by their low financial resources. They have a tight labor market, fierce rivalry, and labor-intensive sectors. Recruiting a person who doesn't align with the startup's beliefs, objectives, and mission could hurt its ability to succeed in the future.

According to Forbes, this frequently occurs when businesses expand to much more than one location, bring in more than $20 million in revenue, or employ over 80 people. The employees are ultimately what matters because they propel a startup's expansion and ultimately lead it to glory.

How Can Top Talent Be Hired for Startups?

Sadly, only about two out of every five businesses make money. The rest either fail or continue to lose money. Thus, it is crucial that the hiring process is seamless and that candidates are engaged in novel ways. Most of your associates should stay with you for about four years if everything goes right. Here are the 11 revolutionary methods to assemble a startup team with outstanding talent.

1. Determine Your Hiring Criteria

Make a note of the following:

  • Organization's goals and missions
  • What stage of development is your startup?
  • Goals and aspirations for the near- and medium-term future (considering the long-term ones)
  • Roles and responsibilities of the current workforce

Uncover the talent gaps by mapping these at this stage. Estimate how many new employees you'll need to bring on board over the course of the next year. Sort them according to their roles and functions. Write down the specific reasons why you must hire the applicant for each post you would like to fill.

2. Establish A Hiring Budget

It's challenging to run a startup with very little to no money, especially when you have to hire for a startup. Hence, besides considering the costs related to prior recruitment efforts, consider a few more, including, 

  • The sourcing method that has historically produced the best results for you (depends on the role and position)
  • Determine and monitor the cost of each hire for a startup in addition to other recruiting and onboarding variables.
  • Consider budgeting tools (a spreadsheet might work in the beginning) and maintain records of all the costs associated with hiring.
  • Emergency funds

Based on them, you can determine a preliminary estimate of the entire recruitment budget.

3. Select Candidates Who Possess These Qualities

If your company is in its early stages, you should consider hiring generalists, those who are persistent, who are enthusiastic about the startup's aims and vision, etc. 

Usually, these traits would nevertheless be relevant if you were in the growth phase. However, you may relax a little bit about the aforementioned conditions. Most likely, you should choose those who:

  • Are professionals
  • possess the capacity to expand a startup (prior experience is definitely a plus)
  • having the capacity to swiftly adjust and handle numerous changes
  • can help broaden one's goals and ambitions
  • are representatives of your startup's culture and brand

All in all, a person's attitude should be valued more than their knowledge or expertise. 

4. Possible sources of prospects for your startup

You can find the types of applicants you're looking for by using the channels listed below:

  • Business community:
  • Social media
  • Agency
  • Jobs Boards
  • Forums and platforms for industry
  • Internal recruiters

5. How to Draw Applicants to Your Startup

Very few individuals will be interested in joining your startup when you're fresh in town. Naturally, it will be rather simple for you to discover viable candidates for your firm if you have obtained some investment and have made some headlines.

The first step is to be extremely clear on the goals and vision for your firm. The ability to pitch your firm to potential hires should follow, similar to how it might at an investment pitch meeting.

They won't likely join if they don't have faith in your concept or the potential/goals of your startup. You never know when circumstances can alter, and they could be excellent candidates for openings in your firm and eager to join your business.

Your job postings and advertisements should showcase the character of your company. Use original ideas when posting on social media. Create a positive candidate pool from the very beginning of the screening process. Offer to publish guest blog pieces on well-known websites and platforms. Give media articles your insightful advice. Request invitations to conferences and events.

These procedures will assist you in creating a strong employer brand, but keep in mind that a false brand won't be effective.

6. Create Appealing and Intriguing Job Descriptions to Attract Talent to Your Startup

Read other people's job descriptions. Do not copy them verbatim. What you want the individual to do after joining your startup should be expressed in your own words. Their tasks and roles would be established by this.

Be as precise and succinct as you can. There should be no room for ambiguity. Discuss your startup's mission, goals, and activities. The culture and working environment at your startup should be highlighted.

Unless you are Elon Musk, avoid promising Mars and the moon to applicants and instead use language to pique their curiosity in working with you. Keep in mind that creating a job description is likely the first step in connecting your firm with prospective employees.

7. Draw Up A Pay And Benefit Schedule

You can rely on a recruiting firm or an in-house recruiter to gather the data for you. Or, you can use platforms like Glassdoor to figure out the market rates for specific roles.

The compensation trends can also be investigated by speaking with other business founders. Having mentors and subject matter experts who have handled employee remuneration and benefits in the context of your industry of operation, the positions you are recruiting for, and the locations of both you and the prospects is also beneficial.

8. Create A Smooth Interviewing Procedure

No matter how tiny your business is, establish an interviewing procedure. Prior to the interview, thoroughly get to know your prospect.

  • Make a list of questions and ask as few ambiguous, open-ended inquiries as possible. (For instance, what do you envision yourself doing in 20 years?)
  • Align the group of candidates for the interview with the duties and responsibilities of the position, the perfect candidate, and the importance that you assign to various qualities in a possible employee.

9. Consider Using Freelancers And Remote Workers

The culture of a startup is more vibrant, adaptable, and open than that of the majority of large corporations. You might prefer an independent contractor over a standard contract if that's what you're searching for. The realm of freelancing is a wealth of skills and talents that can satisfy your needs. Additionally, you can come across outstanding individuals who prefer remote work or a flexible work schedule.

What Positions Should You Start Filling for Your Startup?

Budgets and demands vary among early-stage businesses and startups. You must determine the ideal candidate profile that serves you best. The roles listed below are ones to consider.

  • A manager of operations or human resources. They are abreast of new laws and compliances. Thanks to the implementation of payroll software.
  • A promoter. Someone that can develop content, qualify leads, understands SEO and email marketing, etc.
  • A salesman. Your salesperson ought to be so good that they could even offer ice to an Eskimo.
  • Finance Manager. Someone who is capable of managing all the funds, working on a budget, and monitoring the bottom line.
  • Product Manager. The person in charge of overseeing the changes made to your product and how they can be improved further is your product manager.

Do and Don'ts of Hiring for Startups

Throughout the entire recruitment process, there are a few actions that you should or shouldn't do. Have a look. 

Certain Considerations You Must Make While Making Your Initial Employees

  • Pay attention to potential, soft skills, and a solid background.
  • Always keep the objectives and vision of your firm in mind.
  • Throughout the entire process, be absolutely clear with all the information.
  • Keep current workers informed of new recruitment
  • Let the applicant or employee go if you believe you made a mistake somewhere along the hiring process.

Absolute No-Nos When Hiring in a Company

  • Just while there is a lot of work to be done, you shouldn't rush the complete experience.
  • Do not try to imitate the approaches, styles, or techniques of your rivals (every company is unique)
  • Do not be scared to inquire frequently.
  • Do not be reluctant to ask an expert or any other employees of the core group for assistance.
  • Do not underestimate the influence a strong onboarding procedure may have

One of the most challenging aspects of starting a business is recruiting people, but you must get it right (a few mistakes are acceptable) to ensure that your company is scalable and sustainable.

Wrapping It Up 

Your business may have trouble hiring staff members and handling payroll, particularly if you plan to expand internationally and must comply with various labor laws and regulations.

Are you in need of a new employee but don't have time to go through the lengthy hiring process? Test2Hire is the perfect solution for you. With our online skills testing tool, you can quickly and easily examine a candidate's language competency or standardized intelligence abilities. You can also make precise predictions about how they will perform in the near future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What does it cost to bring on the first employee for your startup?

You are entirely responsible for this. First of all, the method you choose to use to publicize the position, how long it takes to employ someone, how many applications you interview, etc., are all important considerations.

2. When should I appoint my first employee?

Upon noticing any of the following, you might consider employing additional staff:
A high rate of staff turnover.
(a) Unusual increases in client complaints
(b) Frequently failing to achieve objectives
(c) Frequently needing deadline extensions
(d) Being unable to accept new clients or projects.
(e) Demand for specialized knowledge.
(f) It's been months since your last vacation.

About The Author:


With Flair in Human Resource study and an Avid HR Reader, Writing and traveling are food for her soul. She is currently studying French at Alliance Française de Delhi. Avneet has also done double bachelors in English Honours and Education.

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