For a start up business to really flourish, what it needs is the right people. In the early days the success of a new business is determined by the team behind it, so you want to build a strong one that will work well together and share the same values.

So how can you go about attracting and identifying the best people to join your start up? Here are a few things you should focus on!

1) Be sure that it is time to hire

Don’t feel obligated to expand your team purely because it is part of your business plan. Hiring is a big commitment, not to mention expensive; so you need to be 100% sure that it is the right time to recruit someone new. Are you in the financial position to hire and is the business ready for growth? You don’t want to rush things and waste resources finding someone before the business is strong enough to handle it.

2) Identify exactly what you need

Before you start hiring, identify the qualities and experience that you want and need in a candidate. Once you have come up with a list of requirements, it will be easier for you to assess a candidates suitability and to avoid getting side tracked by other characteristics. An individual may you win you over with their personality, but if they do not have the required skills, then they may not be the right option for your business.

The same goes for being completely clear with the candidates about what is expected of them in the role and how the role may change over time, so that they know exactly what they are applying for. This way you can ensure that you can identify an individual who is genuinely interested in an prepared for the responsibilities of the job.

3) Focus on creating a great company culture

As a startup you may not be able to compete with the fancy benefits and perks offered by the large global corporations, so you’re going to have to find other ways to convince job seekers that working at your company is the best option for them. You can do this by creating a strong company culture, that people can see themselves fitting into and would enjoy working in. If you can’t convince yourself that you have a positive and enjoyable working environment, then you’ll have trouble convincing candidates so.

Some of the benefits of working for a start up are having influence within the company, working as part of a collaborative team and the opportunity for professional development, so these are factors that you can use as selling points for your business.

Once you have created and attractive company culture, it won’t only help with talent attraction, it will also improve employee retention.

4) Hire someone who is a good cultural fit

When making your hiring decision, it’s important that you consider how the individual will fit in with your company, as well as their skills and experience. Are they someone that you think you will get along with and can build a good professional relationship with? Other qualities that you should look for are whether they seem like they would be reliable, trustworthy and hardworking, as hiring a loose cannon could be detrimental to your business.

Make sure you ask the right questions in the interview to build an accurate idea about the kind of person someone is. A couple of examples of these are “Why did you leave your last job?” and “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” These will help you to understand what went wrong in their previous role and whether their career aspirations align with the company.

5) Continue your hunt for talent even when you’re not hiring

By growing and maintaining a network of professionals within your industry, you will have an existing network of contacts who could potentially be interested in a role at your business when it comes to hiring. Even if they are not suitable or interested themselves, they may know somebody who is and be able to offer a referral. You can meet these individuals by attending events and meet ups regularly and being vocal within online communities.

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]

About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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