How to hire the best people for your startup
Priya Wadhwa
10X People

How to hire the best people for your startup

Hiring is incredibly difficult and time-intensive for startups and SMEs.

You have to first find the right person, and then take a chance on them and hope that it turns out well. This article walks you through some tips to hire the best people for your startup or SME.

It’s often said that if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. As a startup, the focus is to become bigger, quickly. Naturally, you need the right people to join you on this journey for this. But how do you find those that can help you achieve your dreams? And what can you offer to have them want to join you? Read on to find out some tips to hiring the right people for your team.

Hiring people is one of the most crucial tasks as an employer. From finding the right people and getting them on board, to retaining them through motivation and inspiration. No matter the position or industry you’re hiring for, with today’s economic climate, you’re likely to see a plethora of applications. Not all of them will be a good fit, and it is often easy to weed them out in the first glance. However, how do you attract and choose the right talent for your company? It starts with knowing what skills you need and judging if you both will have a mutually beneficial relationship. Let’s divide them into before and after on-boarding. Following are some top tips to get you started in finding the right people, before on-boarding:

1. Figure out what talent you need and what you’re willing to offer them

Make a hiring game plan for your company. Prioritise the areas you need support in and build the role. Write down your expectations and realistically decide what you’re willing to offer for that position; from package, projects, responsibilities, and ownership to other benefits such as flexible working hours, leave policy, and health insurance.

2. Build a team that becomes your ambassador

Build a smart, fun and tight-knit team that is passionate about their work, love to come to the office and work on projects and most of all, have fun doing so. A positive and fun environment will make your most valuable assets, your ambassadors. There is nothing that convinces and attracts people to your company more than hearing employees be truly happy and content with their work lives.

3. Look for millennials, graduates and offer them learning opportunities

There are a few points that work in your favour here: millennials are more responsive to start-up environments, where they feel their work is making a difference; and young graduates wanting to learn and take on responsibilities to grow in their careers. Yes, it’s true that they may not have the field experience you prefer to have, but they’ll work towards accomplishing goals with a stronger drive.

4. Hire from within

Bringing in interns at a lower pay and then training them to understand and deliver quality work is one of the best ways to prepare your employees for the roles. They will know your business better, you’ll know how well they fit into the team, as well as the training period will be over when you hire them at full pay. It also offers them a sense of achievement, which will make them more interested in being within the team, as they will see their efforts being recognised.

5. Look for a mutually beneficial relationship

You may find the best candidate you’re looking for, who has the experience and skills it takes, plus fits within your budget. However, you also need to find out what they are looking for in terms of team, responsibilities, exposure and growth. If you think you can’t provide them all that they’re looking for, then try to stop the urge to convince them otherwise, as it will be a dysfunctional relationship which will eventually fall out.

Now that you have hired the right people in your team, the more challenging part begins: to continually work with them to sustain the relationship and retain them as a valuable part of the team. Check out some of the tips to do so below:

1. Empower them with business decisions

Startup work environments have gained much popularity in the recent years, mainly because they can offer what larger corporations struggle with — empowerment to make decisions. Your employees need your trust to be able to do their jobs properly and happily, instead of being micromanaged. To give them the responsibility and allow them to see it through increases their sense of ownership and attention, which leads to better quality work. It’s easy to keep interfering as you need the project to be done to perfection, but any leader will tell you that that has the opposite effects.

2. Offer challenging projects

Work helps people find validation as well as purpose and passion. The worst thing a young employee wants to experience is boring, routine work. They joined a startup for a reason of course. Larger corporations often see too many cooks on a single project, with managers doing the more interesting bits and lower level staff doing the normal routines. But letting your team work on more fun, interesting projects instead of handling them yourself will keep work interesting for them, and allow them to experience heightened levels of achievement.

3. Support them all the way and treat them well

This is the most crucial element of all. While things are casual in a start-up, you are all equally important to the growth of the company. Hence, it is extremely important to treat everyone with respect, and support them whenever and wherever they need you. This will foster a respectful environment where your team will feel that you have their backs; this is the single most important factor that determines their experience within your company.

Your employees are your most valuable assets. Invest in them and care for them and you’ll see the returns not only in your company culture and growth, but also your bottom line. Work on managing people, and they will manage the day-to-day for you even better. After all, as the founder, your responsibility is to support your team in their work, not do the work yourself. Lastly, like any other company, no matter the size, you may not always make the right decisions, and that’s okay. After all, every startup has a learning curve. With the tips above, we aim to have provided a good point to start. Are you ready to build your dream.