“The days of ‘I’m so lucky to have a job’ are now a case of ‘We are so lucky to have these employees,’” said Rhys Hughes, executive talent partner at GV.
Thanks to the pandemic which resulted in ‘The Great Resignation’ — hiring and retaining the best employees in tech was always not easy. But now it’s more difficult and for various reasons.
Just last year, 69% of companies reported talent shortages and difficulty hiring which is a 15-year high.
Keeping all this in mind, it becomes especially challenging for startups to hire. As opposed to the established organization that can offer better security and perks.
Therefore, as an entrepreneur, you need to follow some strategies which are still going to work regardless of the influx economy.
Because as a startup, you need the best talent and you need them to stay long term to progress.
With that, here are 5 proven strategies that are going to help your recruit and sustain top talent.
1. You Don’t Always Need a Perfect Candidate
One of the misconceptions about starting a business is thinking that you only need perfect candidates. But that’s not necessarily true — especially when it comes to early-stage startups looking for technical skills.
It’s better to hire someone who has some expertise in a particular area than someone who’s great at everything but lacks specialized knowledge in a key area like data science or software development.
Look for candidates who are strong technically but may need some training or mentoring. Or those who have experience working on related projects in other organizations that could transfer over easily into yours.
2. Create Your Company’s Identity
Creating a strong company culture is important for attracting and retaining top talent in any industry. But it’s especially critical for startups because so many folks in this field want to work for companies that share their values.
Your company brand should reflect who you are as a business — what makes you different from other companies in your industry. What drives your success and why people would want to work with or sell to you.
You should also let potential candidates know what it’s like to work at your company by providing information about benefits, perks, and employee satisfaction through social media and other channels.
3. Always Be on the Lookout
This is probably the most obvious strategy, but it’s also one of the most important. If you don’t have a formal process in place for recruiting, then you’re going to miss out on great candidates.
Even if you do have a process in place, you still need to be looking for potential hires outside of it. You should be keeping an eye on job boards and social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter.
You should also be talking with other entrepreneurs and business owners who are hiring to find out who they’re looking at. And finally, you’ll want to pay attention when your existing employees start talking about people they know who would be good fits for your company.
4. Align With Your Business Goals
You want to attract candidates who can help you reach your company’s goals, so it’s important to tailor your job ads and application process accordingly.
For example, if you’re looking for someone with experience in marketing automation technology. You should emphasize that in your job description and let candidates know that you’re only accepting applications from candidates who meet these criteria.
You should also consider your business objectives for the next one to five years, and then tailor your acquisition strategy to meet those needs. While hiring talent, remember that your company will grow in the long term and then find employees who can help you get there.
Related: Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself While Doing Market Research
5. Avoid Traditional Interviews
Traditional interviews are not the best way to determine if someone will be a good fit for your company. They don’t allow candidates to show their true colors, and they don’t allow you to see how well the candidate will fit in with the rest of your team.
Instead, try new methods like behavioral interviews or role-playing exercises that allow candidates to show their true colors while they’re still in front of you.
You can also invite a candidate to a less formal social event with members of their potential team. Or conduct the interview online via Zoom, as people are less nervous during such interactions. The key is to become acquainted with the candidates and what they have to offer. And the outcome is significantly different if you take the time to get to know people.