Recruiting for an Unknown Startup

Source: Fast Company, Aug 2016

OFFER A CHANCE TO MAKE OUTSIZE CONTRIBUTIONS

One of the biggest advantages startups have over well-established companies is that new team members are expected to wear multiple hats and make major contributions without having to climb corporate ladders.

LAY OUT YOUR PLAN FOR SUCCESS

… validate that there’s a real opportunity to make money—both for employees and the company.

So be transparent. Share your market research and projections. Whatever type of success you’ve already experienced—even if it’s modest, like a promising Kickstarter campaign—proudly show it off to prospective hires. They need to be certain that there’s potential here. Explain where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.

EVERYONE ALREADY ON YOUR TEAM SHOULD DOUBLE AS A RECRUITER

As a founder, obviously you’re going to be enthusiastic about your startup. Because that’s expected, it’ll be harder for you personally to instill that same enthusiasm in candidates who’ve never heard of your company before. They may, however, want to hear from the people who already work there. Whether if it’s an advisor, coder, or investor, having someone do some recruiting legwork for you can be an effective tactic. The reason? They’re already sold. And they can explain to others what it exactly was that made them join your startup.

OFFER JOB PERSONALIZATION

TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE

Recruiting great hires for a new company that’s just making a name for itself isn’t easy. But trying to ignore the fact that you’re just setting out and have a minimal cache as an employer is a bad idea. Instead, talk about where you see the company headed. When you use phrases like “we will,” it shows confidence that not only is your startup going places, but that the recruit is going to be a part of the action. When you talk with potential team members, discuss all those possibilities—the ones you’re both doing to achieve together.

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