Most start-ups face the challenge of competing in the market they’ve chosen unless they’re in a very specialized niche with little to no competition. Many new companies have closed in less than three years because they couldn’t gain traction in their niche, retain customers, and gain new ones.
On top of that, start-ups also must face one challenge that can potentially make or break them—hiring the right employees. It’s not just the consumer market that has tough competition. Companies are also in a competition to hire top talents.
As a start-up, your organization won’t have the same advantages that bigger companies have, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have an edge over them. When hiring workers, you need to play your upper hand as well and to follow these tips to get the right people to build your company with you.
Communicate Your Needs Clearly and Honestly
Majority of the workforce today consists of the millennial generation, and there are two things most, if not all, millennials deeply value—authenticity and transparency. It’s expected, considering millennials are known as the most educated generation today.
All the information and resources they need are within their reach with just one visit to the internet, and they can use these to network and gather information from fellow professionals in their fields. That being said, it would take lots of maneuvering to hide anything from this generation of workers.
You will be able to gain their trust much faster if you communicate your needs and expectations clearly and honestly from the get-go. Most millennials prefer the hard truth over the smooth lie. They would rather know what they are getting themselves into as opposed to being blindsided later in the future.
Further, start-up companies are continuously growing and changing at a rapid rate. This means that the needs of the company will shift quickly and constantly at that. You must make sure that the people you’ve hired are up to the challenge; otherwise, you would be changing employees at a rapid rate. And a high employee turnover is a red flag for most talented workers.
Being transparent and authentic about your needs and expectations won’t discourage talents from accepting your offer; it will help you find people who share your vision and values, instead.
One more thing. Be clear about your expectations and policies. In these turbulent times, some companies have been under fire because of their questionable ways of dealing with sensitive social and cultural issues that arise in the workplace. Be clear about what you do and do not tolerate in your company.
For example, there are states in the United States that have legalized the use of medical and recreational cannabis. If you operate in these states, clearly communicate to your potential employees whether they are required to pass a drug test and keep themselves clean while they are employed in your company.
You should also be upfront about your policies and plans for inclusivity. This will help you repel prejudiced and bigoted individuals who may disrupt the open and harmonious environment you want to build in your start-up.
Find Employees Who Will Grow with You
Start-ups are more susceptible to change than more established companies. The company practices, processes, strategies, and structure will keep on changing until you find what works for you. The people you hire should be able and willing to adjust and assimilate to change; otherwise, it would hinder the growth of your company.
As the company grows, the people must also grow with it. Find people who are motivated and proactive in improving themselves. These types of people are the best at adapting to different situations and conditions and finding a place for themselves. You want people who can roll with the punches and get up to continue the good fight.
Highlight Tangible Benefits Your Start-up Can Offer That Bigger Companies Can’t
Many companies, big or small, are always looking to hire new talents. As a start-up, your company may not be able to beat major corporations that offer more stability and incentives to employees, but you have an edge over them. Start-ups have the novelty, closer working relationships with teams, and flexibility that bigger companies may not be able to offer.
Top talents are looking for more than just a great compensation package. They are keen on finding a workplace that has the environment, the challenge, and the opportunities they need to grow both personally and professionally, and your start-up company can provide all three better and more than bigger companies can.
Hire People Who Will Help Foster the Kind of Company Culture You Want to Have
In start-ups, the employees, especially the first few teams, are crucial to the development of the company culture. Usually, the environment and culture in the company are created by the pioneering people. When you hire people, you must look beyond their gleaming résumé and look at their attitude, character, goals, and motivations too.
You and your employees should be able to connect in your visions, values, and motivations. If you can’t agree on these aspects, you won’t be able to create a culture that can satisfy both sides. But be careful about hiring too many like-minded people. Great minds think alike, but fools seldom differ.
The Bottom Line
The employees are the backbone of the company, even more so in a start-up. While you do your administrative duties as the founder, it’s your people who will be at the front lines, serving clients and customers, producing the products and services, and solving your company’s operation problems. You need the right people to do all that and more, so be thoughtful about choosing your employees. Find those who share your goals and values, and treat them right.
Even when you have all the top talents you need, don’t stop looking for more. Talented workers will go where they can find the best opportunities for growth and improve themselves and present the most challenge. You want to keep a steady flow of talent in your company for when one decides to leave.