One of the most pivotal challenges for any startup or high-growth company is finding and hiring the right talent. Even in today’s talent-driven market, discovering exceptional candidates that align with your organization’s mission, vision, and values can be difficult to do. As your startup is beginning to scale, finding the right talent that can support your organization’s upward growth is critical to overall success.
So how can your startup engage premier talent? What are the keys to discovering candidates that can boost your performance and elevate your organization? Here are some ways that startups can scale and hire quickly:
Adjust your way of thinking
Rather than pigeon-holing talent into traditional roles like CFO, COO, or CMO, why not think about these individuals a bit differently? In the early stages of developing your team, it may make more sense to sort your talent into different categories, such as:
- The Dreamer
- The Visionary
- The Doer
- The Innovator
- The Taskmaster
- The Connector
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to start your business, first think about which one of these functions best fits the role that you will play in the organization. This will help to more effectively find the types of talent that you will need to support your company.
Be mindful of the attention economy
Studies show that 60% of applicants lose interest in working for an organization during the hiring process. Don’t force your talent to wait for you. If your recruitment timeline is too lengthy, your hiring results will likely be more negative than positive. Remember: we currently live in the attention economy, where candidates are being engaged by dozens of different companies and employment opportunities. Be aggressive by going out and gaining the attention of the talent marketplace.
Use SMS and messenger tools
Sending text messages and leaving voicemails will enable startups to separate themselves from the competition. Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger have nearly 15 times the monthly active audience than job sites like LinkedIn. And while emails are typically answered within 72 hours, candidates usually respond to text messages in about three minutes. Through voicemail messages, prospective employers can put a more personal touch on the recruitment process. Utilizing these forms of communication can generate instant results during your talent search.
Conduct skill-based testing or behavioral assessments
Interviews can be stressful for the candidate and the employer. With a limited amount of time to get to know the individual, you’ll want to maximize the questions that are asked during the interview process while also allowing time for the candidate to talk and ask queries of their own. That’s why it may be useful to have a candidate take a skill-based test or behavioral assessment to better understand the candidate’s on-the-job competencies and mental makeup.
Develop a competitive compensation strategy
Early on in the life of your startup, it may be difficult to part with precious equity in order to entice talent to join your team. That’s why it is crucial to develop guidelines for compensating your first employees. While you may be forced to use equity as a form of compensation, do so prudently. Our team at Viaduct can walk your organization through different formulas and approaches that will help to dictate the amount of equity that employees are eligible to receive. By striking a proper balance between a base salary and equity, your recruiting efforts will be more fruitful, while your organization will be set up for long-term success.
I often give entrepreneurs the following advice: your company is only as strong as your team. Your people are not just individuals working in your business—they are your business. By finding and hiring the right people, your startup will be able to more effectively secure funding and be driven toward attaining exceptional results.
By Pete Petrella, Managing Director