A startup is an ambitious and risky venture, yet it’s more common than you think. According to the United States Gem report, 16% of the United States population are business owners. One critical factor that plays into the success of a startup is its employees. Hiring the right employees isn’t only a matter of skill and experience but also a cultural fit for the company. Hiring wrongly can harm existing employees and may mean wasting funds on a poor fit.
This article will look at startup challenges and tips to help us in hiring.
What is a Startup?
A startup is the legal establishment of a business by an individual or a group of individuals. They can remain as a small business, like a local supermarket, or choose to grow organically. Some also end up selling their startups to more established conglomerates. For the sake of this article, we will concentrate on tech-related startups since the world continues to shift towards tech-driven businesses and society.
Many examples of startups we know today are tech companies that thrive on new ideas. Startups that have grown into massive companies like Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Meta, Twitter, and Airbnb were all born from an idea and getting people to invest in those ideas.
This idea-driven trait of many tech startups makes them attractive and highly risky for both the owner(s) and investors who dabble in them.
The Challenges of a Startup When Hiring
A startup can get into sticky situations when it attempts to hire new members for the team. This section looks at three challenges startups are likely to face when recruiting.
It is Relatively Unknown
Startups are unknown companies trying to make a name in the industry. If there isn’t any known figure from the industry on the founding team, it becomes difficult to attract talent to the company.
It is a High-Risk Venture
A startup isn’t a business for everyone. Some candidates want a secure job and not one that can go bankrupt or close months down the line. Even if it attracts the candidates ready to take the risk, their compensation demands or cultural fit may not match the company.
Every Hire Count
The first few employees of a startup establish the culture the company has put in place. Every hire can make or break the team. A poor fit can disrupt the harmony and productivity of the company, while a good fit can multiply the startup’s productivity.
Defining Your Startup Value and Culture
Before we go ahead with the tips to improve your hiring process, we need to discuss the importance of establishing a culture and mission statement. It’s crucial to identify the values you want your company to project. Many tech startups are close-knit like family, flexible in their processes, and value new ideas from their employees. This can develop as the company grows, but the spirit of the company (its values) usually remains.
When picking company values, you can gain inspiration from other successful firms or experiment with what works for your company. Also, note that when building a culture, do not limit yourself to people that only think like you (tunnel vision), but encourage diversity and inclusion in developing a suitable culture for your company.
The company mission statement is not a topic often spoken about, but it is important to define one. A company mission summarizes what the company seeks to accomplish. This can help keep the team focused and continue to act as a beacon for their set destination. A mission statement can change as the company grows, showing a change in direction or broadening scope.
Tips to Improve your Hiring Process
There are many ways startups can attract promising candidates, and this section explores some of those ways.
Create an Attractive Brand
We live in the internet age, which comes with attention. The first other of business is establishing an online presence. An online presence entails creating an attractive website with helpful information about the company, service, and career opportunities. It also entails opening social media accounts and interacting with clients and the public.
The next step is to show the company’s values and culture through these social platforms and websites. Employee spotlights on the career page or LinkedIn are excellent ways to showcase company culture. As well as showing support for a cause, the company stands behind publicly and frequently engages on social media platforms.
Even though the company is in its infancy, encourage current and founder employees to leave reviews on career sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. This can help to solidify the company’s online presence.
To attract the best, compete when it comes to an employee compensation package. Most startups don’t have the resources to match their competitors and will give company stock as part of a compensation package.
Identify the Roles and the Type of Employees you Want
Startups shouldn’t just go on a hiring spree because they need to hire. They need to identify the key positions they need per time. Most initial hires will be employees with industry expertise who can multitask to reduce costs. These changes as the company grow and have more clients.
At first, the founders can hire based on instincts. That is, they know they need more employees by observation and intuition. But with time, they will need to back up these feelings with substantial proof the workload is overbearing. Usually, the staff will let HR know this.
Over time, the definition of a perfect employee will also change as the company grows. What you were looking for in your 4th hire may not be what you want in your 15th hire.
Build a Talent Pipeline
Building a talent pipeline is essential when recruiting. The talent pipeline is a network of individuals the employer has their eyes on. They engage them through newsletters, tips on passing interviews, and courses or certifications they can take to improve their chances of employment. They nurture these talents and keep tabs on them for current and future hires.
To keep an up-to-date talent pipeline, going out to network and source new talents is vital. Tools like SignalHire can help with candidate selection.
Gone are the days when candidates searched for you; now employers can also go talent hunting and build the talent pipeline for the present and future. Plus, when it comes to exceptional tools such as the one mentioned earlier, their Chrome and Firefox extension will suit your budget and functionality.
Stand out When Writing the Job Description
It may sound like common knowledge, but very few people understand the power of a well-written job description. There are several things one should note, and we will discuss a few in this section.
The language in a job description sends a message. Slang like “Ninja,” “Hacker,” and “crush competition” are bro culture slang. This can indirectly chase groups or people who don’t identify with those words. There is also the use of the pronoun, predominately using “He” in a job description can send the message that it’s an only male role (unless that’s the goal). There are software applications out there that can help you sound as natural as humanly possible.
We can divide job descriptions into three sections, and they are:
About the Company
This section can briefly introduce the company. What it does, its goal, its value, and the type of culture the company promotes. Make it concise and memorable for the readers.
About the Job
This gives details about the qualification and the responsibility of the employee. It paints a picture of the everyday life of an employee. You want to make your criteria clear, and you can divide them between essential and good-to-have criteria. It allows job seekers to understand the bare minimum.
Perks and Compensation
Many companies still use vague terms like “negotiable” or completely omit this information when 67% of employees claim that input is the most valuable element in a job description. Clearly stating the expected salary range and the other perks that come with being employed with you are necessary.
Stand out to Candidates in Their Recruitment Lifecycle
Leaving a lasting effect on the candidate is crucial. Candidates speak for themselves, and social media allows anyone to voice their options. If a recruitment process goes poorly, expect some reviews on popular career websites and social media sites.
Ensure that the candidate is respected and duly updated about their process. Timely communication (with a member of staff and candidates) and proper planning are crucial to the success of a recruitment process. Candidates assess the company the same way the company accesses them.
The hiring process of a startup can be complicated and even stressful, but it’s worth it because of the impact these new employees will have on the business. Understanding how important the first sets of employees are to a startup should help owners to make better decisions.