Posts Tagged ‘startup hiring’

Hiring for Your Startup and Beyond

December 22nd, 2014

As a human resources professional, your recruiting efforts will naturally be different when arranging for personnel for a well-established company that is already known to the public, press, investors and the available talent pool as compared to the work you will do to fill positions at a startup firm. You’ll need to hire people with the specific skills needed to take an idea from zero and turn it into a thriving concern.

What Stage Are You At?

It’s important to recognize what stage you are at in the startup lifecycle, noted a recent report by Henry Kim at The Next Web that describe growing a company from zero to $1 billion. As you start out, you’ll be hiring eager, dedicated individuals who have multiple skills to fill in where needed. You will likely be focusing recruitment efforts on less experienced and younger members of the workforce at this point to bolster product development and acquire new customers as rapidly as possible.

Once you approach the $20 million to $100-million scaling phase, you need to turn your attention to important categories such as branding and marketing, sales, finance and HR to give management a solid infrastructure to accelerate growth. By the time you reach the $100 million to $1 billion scale, it’s time to shift your focus on attracting leaders who have already demonstrated success in growing firms on a massive scale.

The early stages of recruitment can be likened to drafting a team in fantasy football, according to a recent post by Ann Diab at Tech Cocktail.

This means having a solid game plan and knowing what traits you will need the most in your new hires. What’s more, you’ll have to build your team for the long haul. You shouldn’t hire based primarily on who is available as much as you should look for people who will obviously fit in well with your team.

Strategies for Growth

When faced with a lot of competition for new recruits, it pays to have strategies for growth, noted Keith Rabois in a recent TechCrunch post. This includes polishing your mission and selling recruits on the idea of having an impact in the world.

You will want to recruit from outside your normal sources, such as finding prodigies straight from the university or industry geniuses who are not wrapped up in launching their own startup but would welcome the opportunity to be a part of your founding team.

There is so much excitement surrounding companies during their initial startup phase, and you can harness this energy to great effect as you search for your first recruits. Human resources professionals will fulfill their duties much more effectively when they have a concrete plan for cultivating a team that can not only hit the ground running but will have the skills and endurance to ride out the inevitable bumps and shakeups that come as you build the business.

 

What’s Unique About Hiring for a Startup?

November 3rd, 2014

startup hiringRecruiting and hiring candidates for a position at an established firm with a proven track record is different than finding good prospects for a startup company. If you have recently begun handling human resources to help a new firm gear up or are considering working at a startup, keep in mind that you will be evaluating recruits using different criteria than you would at longer-lived firms that have reached some measure of stability.

Determining the Best Candidates

You might be tempted to hire workers that have been employed at one of the major technology companies, since they must have great qualifications to get past the HR departments at such firms.

However, the skills required to do well and thrive in the stable environment of an established firm are different from what’s needed when an organization is still in startup mode, noted a recent report at Forbes.

Rather than considering inexperienced people who are fresh out of college, though, you would do better by looking for candidates who worked at other startups that have gone onto some success and are ready for another position that requires creativity and tenacity rather than one based on making small improvements to an existing platform.

Look for people who have exhibited a high level of competitiveness, as they will be the ones most willing to stay late and do what it takes to reach your organization’s goals. Many startups have done well by hiring people who play sports or who are former athletes, noted a recent report at Entrepreneur. The competitive nature of sports and the need to set goals and remain mentally and physically resilient are good preparation for working in a startup.

Other traits that are worth considering in candidates for startups include having a sense of humor and fitting in well with your corporate culture, according to an article at Mashable. After all, you are putting together a team whose members will be spending long hours together, and you need recruits who can integrate well with others.

These new workers should be flexible as well, since startups usually require people who can wear different hats every day. They will be able to take direction and then work independently to carry out their mission as effectively as possible. Risk-takers who are ready to hit the ground running and show passion and endurance will be more capable of dealing with the unrelenting grind of startup mode.

Your job hiring for a startup will go more smoothly if you focus on the chief characteristics required for success in a dynamic and sometimes chaotic environment. Selecting candidates who are curious and enthusiastic and who demonstrate a passion to compete while maintaining high standards of business integrity will serve you well during the birth of your new company.

The Keys to Hiring for Startups

November 1st, 2013

tips for hiringWhen you start up your own company, it seems like there is a never-ending parade of tasks competing for your attention. One of the most important things you need to take care of is making sure you have a good system in place for hiring new employees, as that will dictate the pace and psychology of your company moving forward.

Finding the right people for the right job is crucial, but it’s also very important that each person will be a good fit in your startup, culturally speaking, according to a recent post at The Next Web. Here are four key aspects of the hiring process that startups will want to take into consideration as they bring in more people:

1. Evaluate Outside of the Office Environment

Any experienced human resources professional can tell you that the credentials and skills listed in a resume will only tell you part of the story about your job applicants. You need to take the time to really get to know prospective employees, to truly gauge their capabilities.

One useful technique is to move your applicants from the office to see how they will react. For example, request a lunch meeting or ask applicants to go out and grab a drink. Putting them at ease in a more social situation can encourage applicants to speak more freely than if you were conducting their initial interviews in a stuffy conference room or your office.

2. Utilize Technology to Pick Your Needles in a Haystack

Your HR team is likely being inundated with applications from people who are eager to join your startup. What is the best way to determine who are the most promising candidates to bring in to speak with your team?

For example, if you are hiring a programmer, you can help narrow down the applicants with an online coding test. Similar tests exist for other job categories. The important point here is that once you get some initial results, you can follow up with phone conversations or bring them in immediately for further discussions.

In today’s hiring environment, utilizing applicant tracking software should also be able to narrow this task down. Although humans are great at many things such as communication and picking up on subtleties, software can definitly help a hiring manager’s job by sifting through data and bringing top talent to the foreground.

3. Get Everyone Involved in Finding Applicants

Make it clear to everyone in your company that they are involved in the process of finding applicants. Employee referral programs are an excellent first step. Your team members likely know qualified individuals who could make a real difference.  In addition, a proper referral program will provide incentives to those referring team members which will make them feel involved in the entire hiring process.

Remember to also harness the power of social media when you have a need for job applicants. Potential employees may run across your startup via Facebook friends or by reading tweets from your employees.  Of course, Linkedin is always a great source of hiring potential.

4. Make Sure Prospects Fit in Well in Your Culture

It’s crucial that you preserve your company’s culture, especially when you are still in the startup phase.

Even if applicants are a good fit on paper and meet all your technical requirements to do the job, you still need to make sure that they will get along with the other members of the team. A good way to get an indication about whether they are a good cultural fit is by letting them spend some time with your team during interviews and the evaluation process.

By getting your employees involved in finding potential job prospects and taking the time to get to know each applicant, you will be well on your way toward ensuring the future success of your startup.