Hiring for Start-ups: Work with What You Know



As the founder, owner or leader of an enterprise, you know that a start-up only really starts up when you have the right people in place. It’s an enviable task, especially with many other corporations vying for the same pool of talent, and likely with more to offer in terms stability, reputation and remuneration. Yet individuals driven to work in a start-up are usually of a different breed, and there are a few things that are good to know when attempting to recruit them.


Know Who You Are

As a new start-up, you’ll need to stand out to stand out from the crowd in a way that matters to potential candidates. Without the clout (and budget!) of bigger, more established companies, your vision, purpose and personality are crucial. That means being able to articulate who you are, what you stand for, how you’re changing that game; and why it will be awesome working with you. Therefore creating an attractive – and more importantly authentic – brand should be the first thing you focus on.


Know Who You’re Looking For

One of the key reasons start-ups find it hard to find the candidates they want is that they are unable to accurately define the role they are looking to fill. Just because the founder is a Jack-of-all-trades doesn’t mean everyone in the company should be the same; defining exactly what is expected of a potential employee narrows down the field, and can double up as a set of criteria on which to evaluate candidates. More importantly, this helps a start-up personalise a value proposition specifically to attract those who may be interested in that particular role.


Know How to Treat People Well

When it comes to start-ups, every person counts - even those you don’t end up recruiting. A good experience for applicants goes a long way in creating positive word of mouth; even if you don’t hire them, they may still talk about how well they were treated, how cool the office was, how knowledgeable the people were – all of which adds to the allure of your start-up, and will hopefully begin attracting attention from the right type of candidates.


Know Your Options

Sure, hiring outright is favourable; you need people on-site and on-the-ready at all times to get things done. Or do you? If you can’t find the perfect candidate for a position right now, instead of settling for someone OK, why not explore other options? Apart from roles that absolutely require someone in-house, consider outsourcing to a professional service provider, or working with a freelancer. Especially in terms of freelancers, if they turn out to be the right fit, you could even offer them a permanent role later.


Know No Limits

The benefit of being a lean and agile start-up is that you don’t have to be constrained by conventional limitations such as layered decision-making and long-drawn processes. This allows you to get creative in the way you recruit. Looking for a problem-solver with coding skills? Host a hackathon. Need great negotiators with a strong drive to win? Start an online auction. The ultimate objective is to observe proof of real-life talent and aptitude, so anything goes.


Another alternative to consider is to use a human-centric job matching app like KABEL. It puts powerful branding and personalisation tools in your hands, allowing you to pitch your unique vision, and use guided questions to create an accurate picture of the position. KABEL enables two-way communication with potentials, upping the human factor and reducing time spent with unsuitable candidates. Try it out here and get in the know.

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