The conundrum of many small business entrepreneurs is knowing how and when to engage new staff. When it comes to startups, human capital is one of your most valuable assets. Running a lean, efficient team means every single head count is critical to the current and future success of your business. There’s plenty of ways to trawl for new staff, but what are most effective methods to ensure you’re in the running to snag the best talent?
Proceed with caution, but there’s no shame in straight out asking. As a startup, much of your success relies upon your ability to market your business and one of the primary avenues of spreading the word boils down to your networking prowess. Similar to the way you’d use this channel to launch a new product or service, or promote an existing one, there’s nothing stopping you from using your networking ability to source top talent.
Besides industry networking events you can also utilize online networking sites such as LinkedIn to research the career history of potential candidates. Once identified, create ways to meet them face to face and explore the opportunity of employment together.
Tailor your benefits
Employing the right talent in the right role has the realistic potential to impede growth of your business, right at the critical time when your focus is likely on expansion. Competing with larger, long standing businesses can be tough, as they reply upon branding and formal employee benefits programs to lure candidates.
As a startup, one of the primary selling points is your capacity to individually tailor a remuneration and benefits package that will tempt high performers to want to work for you. Identify who it is that you want to join your business, then thrash out what they’re looking for. Use this as an incentive to make it happen.
Be clear on the career progression
Offering flexibility, career growth prospects as well as sharing your employee value proposition will all help bring top talent on board. Interestingly, Bloomberg recently noted that a shift in trends has resulted in college graduates preferring to get involved with the next Facebook Inc. or Tesla Motors Inc. than pursue more traditional career paths such as those in the banking sector.
Executive level staff may chase equity exchange to compensate for the risk of joining a smaller business. Middle management candidates will likely seek longevity, job stability and career progression, so map this out and prove how you can make it happen for them.
Still value in using recruiters
Engaging talented staff is such a critical factor, don’t be afraid to bring in the big guns. If you’re finding yourself chasing your tail with existing responsibilities, engage a professional recruiter who is already a specialist in your field. Ensure any placement is backed up with a guarantee, and the hiring fee may be money that saves you a small fortune later down the track.
Think smart and think outside the box. You’ve come this far to design and build your own startup, hiring staff is nothing different.
Author: Joe Flanagan has experience in running a variety of entrepreneurial endeavors with plenty of hiring along the way. He currently helps candidates at the Velvet Jobs resume builder and provides career advice to a wide range of job searchers. In his spare time you can find him studying Chinese Mandarin and playing 5-a-side soccer.