Whether you need to hire a single employee or ten, it can be stressful to ramp up your startup quickly. Startup hiring has its unique challenges, especially for early-stage startups that are just getting their footing and aren’t even sure yet what type of employee may fit in best within the organization.
However, there are some strategies that will yield better results. Plus, they’re effective for companies of any size, from larger companies to scrappy startups that need to onboard several employees right now. Follow these practices to get a better return on your hiring time and budget.
Key steps to hire for startups or fast-growing companies
Even if you’ve never hired before, these tactics can help you get started. Consider implementing several for best results.
1. Build your company with a mission and vision
Salary alone may not be enough to attract the kind of talent you need to hit your milestones. How can you sell future employees on taking a risk? By communicating your reasons for existing, including why you do what you do, you’ll be better poised to find like-minded new hires who also feel passionate about your vision. Purpose can motivate when paychecks can’t. To do this well, however, you have to be rock solid about what your mission is and why it’s so special.
2. Create a great place to work
Brand reputation can be the best marketing tool you have. Work to make your company the envy of everyone, and you won’t need to spend nearly as much on a hiring campaign budget to find ideal candidates. Word of mouth is incredibly effective in a way traditional ads just aren’t. Plus, you’ll also have a lower turnover rate, which results in even fewer overall hires and a reduced cost per hire. (Also, if you need help getting your campaign off the ground, we have job description templates available to help you check that task off your list.)
3. Consider hiring remote employees
While the COVID-19 pandemic made remote work more commonplace than it was in the past, the perks of telecommuting will be valued long after things return to some kind of “normal.” There are many benefits of remote work to consider, including lowered costs for real estate and infrastructure, and even higher productivity.
For the company that struggles to get the best talent, offering remote work can help you be more competitive than companies that don’t embrace this benefit. Remote work doesn’t even have to be five days a week, either. Offering one or two days to work from home can be an attractive proposition.
4. Hire deliberately
Make sure you’re hiring for the future needs of your company, not just to put a body in a seat today. Even if someone has all the skills or experience you’re looking for, ask yourself if you can see them working alongside you when the company goes through the next one or two growth phases. Can you imagine them in leadership someday? Since many of the first employees of a startup go on to become management, it’s not enough to just check the boxes for a typical worker. They must have the potential to go all the way.
5. Hold onto your existing talent
As you’re hiring, don’t forget to reward and even promote the people who are already making a difference in your company. These are the ones who will pass down the company culture and train the next generation of workers. Do what you can to let your top talent know that they are valuable, even as you expand.
6. Hire for potential, not just track record
Experience is great, but some of the best hires won’t have much of a history to brag about. Look for signs that these potential candidates have what it takes to work hard and innovate, even if they haven’t had the room to achieve it before. Consider high achievers that may not even work in your existing industry or have the specific job titles you’re hiring for.
6. Hire for attitude, train for skills
Along the same lines as hiring for potential, look for those that have the right temperament and personality for a startup. Growing a company takes passion, hard work, and an incredible amount of flexibility, so not everyone is a natural fit in terms of skill set.
Don’t limit yourself to those who know your business or who are trained in the right tasks. You can always train high-achievers and fast learners to do pretty much anything, which helps them expand their skill set in the process.
7. Make sure the candidates fit the company culture
At the very beginning of a company, culture is all you have. Your mission and vision are the drivers, and any single team member who doesn’t share these can derail all of your efforts. Take time to ask interviewees what they think of your values and how they have implemented some of them in their own lives. No matter how talented, avoid those who will bring your team down or cause a “toxic” work environment, because this can easily spread—especially in small teams.
8. Invite them to be part of your team
“You’re hired!” may be the phrase we’re used to hearing with a job offer, but is it enough for a fast-growing startup? Maybe not, because you’re likely asking new employees to not only work for you but become part of your company’s DNA. This is a serious commitment, and one that is best expressed as an invitation to become part of something bigger than just a job.
Let them know that they have a unique place on the team and that you can’t imagine moving forward without them. You can further extend this part of your overall plan by shouting them out on your social media pages (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), and introducing them to the world as an important part of your team.
Consider outsourcing with an elastic recruiting provider
Startup founders and managers are already doing so many more tasks than those in larger companies. You may be doing everything from R&D to sales to payroll. As you add on more team members, consider how outsourcing can play a role, especially in the beginning, as you focus on things like culture and vision.
Sourcing an elastic recruiting team can help you handle all the details you may overlook, and they help to streamline your onboarding and hiring processes. This can elevate your brand reputation and support the company culture you want to be known for.
Want to learn more about elastic recruiting and how Comeet can help? Check out how we’re more than just “recruiters” and how we make hiring faster and easier.