For startups, the greatest resource is the employees. The most successful startups are the ones who hired employees who really believed in the mission of the company and feel invested in the product or service being sold. But how do you find these employees?
When it’s time to find new staff for your startup, here are a few tips to make sure you are hiring the best of the best.
Don’t be afraid to go remote
Many employers worry about hiring remote employees for a number of reasons, most often because they’re worried about productivity issues if an employee is out of the office. However, being willing to hire people who are not located within driving distance of the office opens you up to literally an entire world of possible candidates. You don’t need to hire all remote employees, but if you find a great web designer or copywriter who just happens to live out of state or even out of the country, don’t be afraid to give him or her a try.
When hiring a remote employee, there are a few key characteristics to look for that will ensure they can handle working out of the office.
- They get the work done – It sounds obvious, but a good remote employee will be on top of their work and update you on the status of projects without being hounded regularly.
- They have the tools they need – A remote employee should not be saying things like, “I can work remote if I have XYZ.” Someone who is used to working remotely will already have what they need.
- They stay in touch – Beyond updating you on project status, they are always available during normal hours either via phone, text, hangouts, Sykpe, etc. Working remotely does not mean falling off the grid.
Make it about the opportunity
If you’re a startup, you might not have the biggest budget. Unfortunately, great talent demands great pay. If exceeding market value (or even meeting market value) just is not in the budget, emphasize the opportunity rather than the pay.
If you have really cool, innovative clients you work for, let potential employees know. Express your individual leadership style, speak a little bit about the other people who work for the company and their accomplishments, sell the company as a whole—not just the salary. Besides, making it all about the compensation could attract people who are more interested in the paycheck than the work.
Create a cool culture
One thing startups are known for is their unique and “hip” culture. This can attract a lot of people who just want to work at a cool place, regardless of the work they are doing. Sometimes, this leads to startups with employees who are unmotivated and disinterested. That said, developing a buzzed about culture at your company will attract great employees who are interested in working for a company like yours.
For some people, finding a company with a standout company culture is more important than the pay. Just be sure to weed out the one’s who just want to party during the interview. (Questions like “How often to you guys go to happy hour” or “Do you do beer o’clock in the office” should be a dead give away.)
Always have good candidates in the pipeline
One of the best ways to ensure you get great employees at your startup is to make sure you always have qualified candidates in the pipeline whether or not you’re even hiring. Going to local meetups and networking events is one way to develop a good talent pool. You can also work with talent recruitment agencies that specialize in your industry. It’s their job to do the groundwork finding and vetting candidates so by the time they get to you, you know they are a potential good match for your company.
Test potential employees
It shouldn’t be that surprising that people fib on their resumes. But there is a big difference between saying you can type 80 words per minute when you can really only type 70, and saying you are experienced in web development when you’ve really only taken a basic course.
Keep yourself from getting burned by testing a potential employee’s skills. This doesn’t have to be comprehensive, but a few tasks related to the job they will be performing will help you gauge whether they can not just do an adequate job but a great job.
Offer great benefits
If you want to find great employees and keep them when competition is fierce, offer great benefits. This is also essential if your pay is not up to snuff. Consider solid healthcare choices, a 401K (and some degree of matching if possible), lots of vacation days, time off during the holidays, time off to volunteer or pursue a passion project, compensation for phone bills, a work laptop, or just about anything else you can think of.