For startups, the right hires can make a huge difference. They can be the foundation upon which you build the business by providing different levels and types of skills and expertise. However, hiring a new employee comes with a financial burden and some commitment from members of the team. Building a competent team that is composed of the right people is crucial, especially for startups that want to grow quickly. The question then becomes, how do you find the right candidates for the positions you would like to fill?
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Know What You are Looking For
The hiring process should be geared towards finding candidates who have the skills required for the position(s) you are filling as well as a passion for the position. Some qualities such as creativity, flexibility and problem-solving will be required for all the positions you hire for while others will be tailored for specific positions.
Also, matching the skills that a candidate has to their potential position is very important. However, you might be required to tailor the positions to fit the candidate, especially when you find a candidate with exceptional skills that will come in handy in the future. Allowing candidates and new hires to bring their interests and passions into a job might give them an edge and might even make them better employees than the people you already have.
Ensure They are a Good Cultural Fit
Although there is no test that will tell you if someone is a great cultural fit, you can usually tell during the interview. A great indicator is if they can discuss their life, passions and career goals outside the context of the position they are interviewing for. In some cases, you might want them to be passionate about the work and bring in something different. Also, if the person responsible for the hiring process does not envision talking to the new hire about anything else but their job and tasks, chances are they will not be a good fit.
See What Ideas They Bring
Many entrepreneurs and business owners want candidates who can think along the same lines as they do. This is not only good for cohesion but it is also great for when the business owner would like to bounce ideas off the new hires.
However, the candidates should also have their own ideas. Different perspectives, and arguments in some cases, are healthy because they let business owners see things from a new angle. They can also help expose blind spots that the business owner might not be aware of.
The best candidates not only have constructive opinions about ideas you throw at them but also come up with ideas you would not have generated on your own.
Go for Versatility
The best candidates are those who are able to perform tasks that could be performed by people in different positions. For example, if you are hiring candidates for a business position, it might be difficult to fit everything you need them to do in the job description. This is because these types of positions are usually fluid, especially in new startups; the candidate might find themselves handling finances one week and helping with decision-making the following week.
Candidates who have already completed an online MBA in Canada, for example, not only have the skills required for the position, but can also perform tasks that could fit different roles. Just remember to ask new hires if they are comfortable with this arrangement by showing the potential list of tasks they could handle once hired. This way, there is transparency from the start. Also, expect higher salary asks if you want versatile candidates.
Be Honest About the Future
In addition to versatility, the candidate should also be flexible. Although the candidate may be required to handle different types of tasks in the near future, their role might change in the years to come. The best candidates not only embrace this potential for change but also welcome the flexibility and challenges that such changes will present.
When being honest about the future, it also requires talking about the future of the startup. While some may frown upon this, making guarantees that you cannot deliver on can lead to a high employee turnover. Ensure the candidate understands that the potential rewards and risks associated with working for a startup can both be quite high.
Talk to Them About Rapid Changes and Chaos
As a founder, you already know that routine is an illusion in many startups. Things can change and get chaotic fast and the candidates you hire should be able to thrive in this environment. Many of the people who choose to work for startups understand this, which is a plus for you. However, it is always a good idea to check if they are comfortable with this during the interview process.
Consider Unique Work Conditions
Widening your search as far as possible improves your chances of finding the best hires. One of the best ways to widen your search is by offering remote work options. The state of work is moving to remote work arrangements, which is very attractive to many candidates. Additionally, offering remote work helps you find talent outside your local area.
Flexible working hours are a great alternative to remote work, especially when coupled with options to work from home on some days. There are perks that many traditional employers do not offer and might give you an edge when you are looking to attract candidates looking for these options.
Cultivate a Relationship with Candidates
For many businesses, once an interview is over, the candidates who were not hired do not hear from the business again. Some of these candidates may be good hires in the future but not a great fit for the positions you are currently filling.
Building a positive relationship with all candidates ensures the ones you do not hire today will be open to coming to work for you if you ever need their skill set in the future.
Hiring the first batch of employees for your startup can be tough, especially for new entrepreneurs. However, going through this process the right way can make it easy to find the candidates you need today as well as those you need in the future.