Very few people have ever claimed that starting your own company is a simple and stress-free process. There are countless responsibilities that new entrepreneurs need to worry about, and a plethora of skill-sets they must have in order to accomplish everything proficiently. In most cases, having a solid core team alongside of you can take a large chunk of the required tasks off of your plate, as well as strengthening your business’ prospects for when it finally gets out of the gate.
Recruiting quality employees can be a challenge in itself for a fresh startup. Here are five ways to make recruiting easier and help you get the right people in the right positions to maximize your future growth potential:
1. Look for Your Best People Before You Even Find Funding
If you’re planning to wait until it’s almost time to launch your startup before recruiting and bringing your key team members on board, you may be making a costly mistake. Although you might not be in a position to afford to pay a big salary, or even any salary at all, getting in contact with potential job candidates now will pay off exponentially later. Not only will having a tentative team in place help significantly lower stress when it comes closer to bringing people into your organization full-time, but it may also help you get there faster.
By finding the right people early on, they can get excited about your startup’s potential and become champions for your brand, helping you get your company’s name out there in the industry before your business even goes live. Even better is the fact that getting future employees hyped up over your new venture, can lead to finding new funding options through their networks of business connections.
2. Build Hype around Your Brand
If you were one of the top job hunters in your field and you received two offers from employers: a large, established company with a great compensation package and benefits, or a newly founded startup scraping together the funds to cover the first round of expenses, which one is likely to sound more appealing? While there are numerous reasons many employees prefer to take a chance on an up-and-coming business, many experienced professionals would opt for the more secure and reliable choice.
What can you do, as a small business owner, to combat this? The most effective option is often to build up the hype around your brand in order to rival the big salaries and job security of an industry-leading competitor with the future growth potential of your startup. Marketing your brand should be started and focused on early— it’s not just for reaching your potential customers. Making others in your industry hyped up about your new business through low-cost tactics such as social media will not only lead to sales later on, but more investor and employee interest in the beginning.
3. Have Systems in Place for Interviewing
So you’ve decided to begin looking for your dream team early on, have built up a distinct level of hype about your company and even have some promising prospects . . . but now what?
Recruiting for your startup is about bringing the best, most qualified people on board with you to get the wheels turning. If you want the best, you need to be prepared to sort them out from the less-than-stellar applicants. Experience and knowledge doesn’t always make the best candidate—you also need someone whose personality is compatible with you and your business goals. Develop interviewing and hiring systems early on to ensure that your meetings with potential recruits are effective and uniform so that you’re able to find the optimum employees for the early phases of your organization’s growth.
4. Work with Local Business Schools
If your business is located near a college or university with a business program, meet with department leaders to discuss recruiting recent graduates or bringing interns on to help get your startup off the ground. In a number of areas, even knowledgeable and skilled graduates are having difficulties finding career opportunities right out of college. This means you can find new hires with the most up-to-date educational training for a lower cost than someone who has been in the workforce for a while.
If you’re looking for even more affordable assistance, work with the school to develop an intern program which provides a win-win situation for both the interning student and your payroll budget. Consider offering a paid internship, even if it is just minimum wage. Paid internships attract much more attention than those which are unpaid, providing you the opportunity to select among the best of the school’s upcoming business leaders for a price that’s a fraction of what you would pay for a full-time employee.
5. Develop a Comprehensive Training Program
Your business may not be a Fortune 500 company, but that doesn’t make training any less important. Having a structured training program in place can help ensure your new startup gets going on the right foot. When just starting out, a startup’s employees are likely to be responsible for a myriad of different tasks, making training more difficult and time consuming, but still vital to long-term success. By taking the time to ensure that your first batch of employees are on the same page as you and your vision for the organization, future hiring and employee integration will go much more smoothly.
Having an adept and motivated team alongside of you is one of the best ways to maximize your startup’s chances of success. Still, finding the best applicants can be difficult, especially as a new company. By taking heed of these 5 tips, bringing the right people on board will become simpler, garnering you the powerful force needed to get your organization off of the ground.
Edd Rennolls has years of experience as an HR recruiter and enjoys helping small businesses find top-notch employees through multiple channels, including job search engines. Edd is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping startups succeed.
Image credit: CC by Dita Margarita