How to effectively recruit for your start-up

Start-up businesses are dynamic organisations that are ever-growing and evolving. Naturally, as milestones are met, the requirements of the business will advance. Consequently, the ideal of a 'perfect' candidate will change and knowing how to recruit can become increasingly difficult.

Take your time

Steer clear of any 'reactive' hires – you don't want to recruit because you need help 'there and then' -  you should recruit when you have found the right person for a defined role. Take your time with your recruitment process. Where possible, wait until you have found the right fit for the role and the company. The following steps will help you begin your search:

  • Determine what exactly it is you need – specify the focus areas of the role and what you aim to achieve from the new hire
  • Know exactly what the role will entail; schedule a meeting with those affected by the new-hire and begin to form a job specification encompassing all of the responsibilities of the position
  • Ascertain the required skillset and any qualifications that are necessary to carry out the job.

Think ahead

Your company is always evolving, as is what is expected from the work-force. You need to think about the long-term requirements of the role and any specific skills that may be needed in the future. Consider the pointers below when gauging how successful a hire may be:

  • How do you see the candidate performing in 3,6,9, 12 months time? Think about the plans in place for the company – do you believe that the candidate will successfully help to implement these aims?
  • Will the role evolve or will it stay static? If the role is likely to expand into other departments, are you willing to help train a candidate or will they need to have experience that is transferable?

Attract top talent

You're ready to begin advertising your job vacancies but how can you make your start-up stand out and attract the top talent? Firstly, you need to spread the word about 'who you are', then you can start to tap into the candidate pool. Read our tips for getting your name out there and attracting the best in business:

  • Firstly, you need to get people talking about you (for all of the right reasons). Find out where the talent you require can be found and build a presence there. For example, if your talent is on social media, consider platforms such as, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Build an impressive 'Careers' or 'About Us' page and highlight: what you do; where the organisation is headed; the company values; and the kind of people you employ. Your aim is to make people want to work for you.
  • Use job-boards – these present you with attractive job postings and will ensure you gain maximum coverage for your vacancies. CV-Library, the UK's largest online job-board, contains in excess of 8.6 million CVs and receives 16 million job searches each month. By using sites such as this, you can be sure that many will see your vacancies and naturally, you will receive more applications.

Define the interview

You've spread the word about your company, candidates have applied and now you have the interview to overcome. You need to ensure the candidate offers the right skills to fulfil the responsibilities of the role, but also that they are the right fit for the company. Here are our top tips for the interview process:

  • Tailor the interview to the role. Pull out the job description and form questions that are specific to the responsibilites.  Ensure that the candidate has the relevant skills, qualifications and/or experience to carry out the requirements of the position.
  • Remember to ask behavioural questions. When start-ups are still young, generally the work-force is smaller and a sense of team-work is crucial. Determine some questions that will enable you to gauge if an individual will fit in with the ethos of the company.
  • Listen to what is important to the candidate at interview stage, if you are thinking of offering them the job, this will prove helpful at the offer stage.

Showcase your business – convince candidates to work for you

You've found the perfect person, but how do you convince them to take your offer of employment?  If you've found the right candidate, this shouldn't be too much of a challenge, but it's always good to have a few selling points up your sleeve:

  • Remember what was important to the candidate at interview stage and react to this. If you offer something that was important to them, explain this.
  • Do you offer cultural/social benefits as well as monetary? From get-togethers after work to flexible working hours – if you offer such things, let the candidate know. A happier working environment can be more important than the salary.
  • Do you offer medical/dental benefits? If so, shout about it!

And finally – remember that this is just the beginning. Getting the right team on board from the outset is essential to maintain sustainable growth. By spending time on this vital stage, you are making a wise and precious investment in the future success of your business.

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