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How To Recruit Top Talent For Your Startup

Published
05/12/2015 by
IMAGE: Getty Images
 

Having the right employees can make or break your company. As a startup entrepreneur, you may already be balancing the juggling act of determining how to invest in your company and also recruit the best talent for your staff - especially if you aren't well-funded. It's a good question, and looking at other businesses' strategies is a great way to get ideas.

Here are four strategies that other tech founders are currently using to recruit top talent:

Build Your Brand in Prospects' Minds

Companies know a lot about - and focus a lot on - building their brands with their customers. After all, in today's competitive marketplace, even a little extra name recognition can mean the difference between success and failure.

However, building your brand with potential job prospects is just as important - if not more so. People want to work with companies that they respect, which is why developing your brand in this way will give you access to top-tier talent. If you aren't sure what the perception of your company's brand is from an employment perspective, monitor sites like Glassdoor.com that allow candidates to share information about your culture, leadership, and more.

If you build a great brand that your employees love, they'll act as ambassadors that help new job candidates embrace the idea of working there. If you're confident that your brand is on-track, encourage happy employees to post about their experiences on social channels, Glassdoor, and similar spaces online. Top talent needs to know who you are and why they should want to work for you.

Remember, a great culture costs you nothing but your attention.

Strongly Consider Remote Staff

If your company is in a highly competitive niche, it might make more sense to recruit and hire remote staff than to fight for limited local talent. In addition, a flexible work-from-anywhere option is a great way to attract top-tier prospects. Remote working opportunities are basically free for you to offer, but highly valuable to your prospects, who gain much-desired flexibility without the hassle of relocation associated with joining your team.

VSee, a telemedicine platform company, found that they could attract recruits from all over the world and from all walks of life by offering remote work arrangements, allowing them access to candidates above and beyond what they could find in their local area. That said, they did find that screening for personality and culture fit was more important for remote workers than traditional employees, so keep their experiences in mind.

Regardless, offering remote work arrangements allowed VSee to compete for top talent that otherwise would have passed them by. If it's at all possible to adopt remote work arrangements at your company, do so to open yourself up to greater hiring opportunities.

Use Appropriate HR Technology

Joe Essenfeld, founder and CEO of Jibe, talks about the importance of having the right technology in your recruiting efforts. A recent survey run by his company found that many recruiters are struggling to keep up with the mobile generation, and - as a result - are becoming more and more obsolete to millennial job-seekers.

To attract the best talent, you need HR technology that doesn't get in your way. It should provide not only an easy, up-to-date interface for applicants, but also a system that monitors analytics for your hiring efforts - just like Google Analytics does for your business website.

What kinds of hiring metrics should you be tracking? Well, for starters, you can test your recruiting efforts by tracking which employees go on to succeed and compare that to how they went through your hiring process - who approved them, who gave them a thumbs-down, etc. If you're diligent about tracking this information, it'll ultimately help you find out how your process is working and potentially remove poor talent evaluators from the hiring group.

Keep Recruiting Efforts Ongoing

Even if you fill your team with great talent, you should have a "bench" in your mind of other top talent - both inside and outside your company. Always be recruiting. Tech employees are a tough, very competitive market, and that doesn't look to change anytime soon. As a result, you've got to be continuously engaging potential hires on social media and at networking events, building your roster of "possibles" in case you need to hire.

There are many different ways to keep the recruiting process ongoing. Make sure you know what your most critical positions are, and know at least two or three people you could approach to fill that position if needed. Keep an eye on outstanding staff who are most likely to be recruited away, and be aware of other talented individuals who could take their place if they are.

In addition, be proactive about protecting your company's culture. Offer continued development and growth opportunities to all employees to keep them engaged. Provide regular feedback and praise (when appropriate) so that they know their efforts are valued. And invest in creating and maintaining a rockstar culture, so that, once you've recruited them, your staff members won't be tempted to leave for greener pastures.

In the ongoing tech recruiting battle, sometimes the company with the most money and toys wins. But sometimes they don't. In many cases, employees value things like recognition, flexible work arrangements and increasing levels of responsibility over free lunches and on-site massages. These are all perks that cost you nothing to provide - and that could mean everything when it comes to your recruiting efforts.

By building your brand in prospects' minds, offering remote work opportunities, using appropriate technology, and keeping recruiting efforts ongoing, your startup will be uniquely positioned to compete for top tech talent. It's how other tech founders do it, and it's something you can do at your own company as well.