Hiring new talent for any company can be a time-consuming, tedious process. It starts with drafting an accurate job description and posting it to as many places as possible. Then you need to sift through hundreds of resumes, making sure you don’t waste your time on candidates who are completely wrong for the role. Interviewing can also take a long while, as you may want to conduct several interviews to make sure the candidate speaks to all of the relevant people in the company.

All of this becomes even more complicated when you’re trying to recruit new talent for a startup. First, startups have a tendency to be flexible with their long-term development, therefore, the job descriptions may change rapidly, as well as the company’s structure. Second, as startups are small businesses, they have less to offer to their candidates, so it may be more challenging for them to find capable applicants. According to a 2015 Bank of America survey, 45% of small business owners stated that candidates’ salary expectations were too high. 26% surveyed couldn’t provide the benefits the candidates wanted.

There are, however, ways to recruit talented people for your startup, even if you can’t offer them everything the big companies can. It all starts with being creative and thinking outside of the box. After all, that’s what startups do with their products and services, so why not apply that to their recruiting? Here are some tips that will help you get started.

Think Of Your Candidates As Customers

Your first point of contact with your candidates is the job post. Instead of just writing about the job responsibilities and experience needed, think about what you can provide the candidate. Why should they choose to work for you? Talk about the benefits in as much detail as possible, write about the great atmosphere in your company, talk about the fun team members, the prime location of the office and benefits of the city (in case someone requires moving for the role). In addition, when you describe the role, present it as something that will appeal to their ego and career goals. Showcase the role as an opportunity to be a part of something amazing, something they would be fools to pass up.

Consider Hiring Remotely

When you’re trying to locate talent that lives close to your offices, you’re limiting your options to a selected few. And those may not match your requirements, or may not be interested in the role, even if they do match. Allowing for your ideal candidate to work from home may be the creative solution to find the right talent for your startup. For one, this will allow you to search for people from all over the world. This also means that you’ll be able to offer the role at a lower salary, as people won’t have to spend time and money commuting, won’t have to relocate and could live somewhere cheap, and you could also pay according to the standards of that country.

Company Branding Is Everything

If you can’t offer your employees that much money, you should at least be able to offer them prestige. You want your employees to be proud to work for your startup, and your candidates to strive to work for it because of the name you’ve created for yourself in the industry. This is a process that should start from day one of your business and involves creating a compelling company website, producing leadership content, being engaging on social media, showing presence in industry events and treating your employees right. All of this will get candidates approaching you, instead of you seeking them out.

Try Outsourcing the Recruiting Process

Sometimes it’s okay to ask for outside help, and not try to do everything by yourself. If you see that you’re struggling to find the right talent for your startup, there are many recruiting firms that specialize in that niche. They have years of experience working with small businesses that may have less to offer and know how to approach candidates in a way that will convince them to consider the opportunity. They also have a pool of connections that they can turn to, saving you the time and money on posting the job and going through resumes yourself. This can be especially helpful in big cities, such as New York, where the competition is so tough around every candidate. The recruiter will learn everything they can about your company culture and brand and know who the right person is to approach for the job, so as not to waste time on those who don’t fit the profile.

Whatever method you choose to help you recruit talent for your startup, you should always take into account the strengths you have as a small business. Unlike large companies, startups are flexible with almost everything, as they are building their operations and rules as they go. This means that you can also meet your candidates halfway, to make sure you get the right person for the role.


Guest contributor from Recruiters LineUp written by: Colin Gordon

Leading the business activities of Recruiters LineUp with other on-line recruiting web-sites, blogs and forums to create a mutual win-win exposure and generate more traction.


Interested in being a guest contributor for the IES Blog? Contact us today at 858-300-2757.

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