10 Expert Tips to Hire Talent for Your Startup

You create a product or service and start your own business. Then, you begin making money and earning a steady revenue. Now, it’s time to delegate some functions and hire talent to work for your startup.

However, it’s easier said than done to hire employees.

I founded a startup in 2015 with an idea to build Uber for web development. A business posts a project. The next available, pre-approved developer picks it up. During these years, I hired 32 people and fired 10 of them. Now, we are growing like crazy, but I made some notable mistakes along the way. Read on to learn from my mistakes and discover 10 ways you can hire talent for your startup.

1. Become an Influencer Before Hiring

The best employees choose the best employers. And the competition for good talent is even more severe than for market share. Until you are unknown, you lose.

Statistics show that a company with a well-established employer brand sees a 43% decrease in the cost per candidate they hire. These employers do not have to spend their hard-earned money on advertising and marketing campaigns to create awareness for their startups.

So, if you work on your recognizability and reputation consistently, you will attract the best talent with your strong employer brand.

Before you start hiring, make yourself known. Go public! Record podcasts and write and share guest posts. Attend meetings, speak at events, and get in touch with your local newspaper. Collaborate with other public figures and be active on social media.

2. Pitch Your Startup to Candidates

Great candidates consider numerous career opportunities. The future of your business depends on how well you can convey what you can offer. This is something you have that other, even more established companies do not.

Make potential candidates want to join your team so badly that they stop talking to other companies. Create a list of unique perks your company can offer that are unlike any other business. You may be able to offer opportunities for growth, vacation and PTO, flextime and flex scheduling, healthcare benefits, wellness, and a unique environment.

3. Never Compromise on Quality

I know how painful it can feel when the hiring process moves slowly. Many entrepreneurs need a hire that can immediately do the job. Sometimes, it can be tempting to hire a candidate as quickly as possible. However, if you rush into this and compromise on your standards, I guarantee you’ll regret it.

Hiring the wrong person can be a huge inconvenience for your entire team. In addition, it is potentially a big waste of time, money, and other resources. Seek quality over “right now.”

4. Seek Genuine Responses

Many employers believe it’s extremely important to make sure that potential hires fit their companies’ values. They want candidates to share their values.

Are you sure you can learn everything about a candidate’s values during the short period spent interviewing before hiring? Many candidates may say what they think an employer wants to hear. Be mindful of pre-meditated answers or answers that sound like they were Googled before the interview. Seek genuine responses that align with the company’s values and the candidate’s personal values.

5. Hold Your Horses

Undoubtedly, the typical interview process isn’t always the best way to uncover whether a potential candidate is a right hire. As a rule, you should do more to determine if a person will match your other team members.

So, make sure candidates spend plenty of time with you and your team before you hire them.

For example, we did a two-month project before hiring our CTO. We also consulted with the Head of Sales for a year!

6. Hire for Potential

Hire talent not just for their past achievements. Consider their future potential, too.

Do not focus only on past accomplishments or employers. Shift your attention to how a candidate would solve problems or challenges in this new role.

Early hires are usually jacks of all trades. If they are good, they learn and grow with you. Just be patient.

For example, we hired a copywriter with no writing experience. Now, she is the best CMO we could ever find. Our current CTO also had a different tech stack. Each of our 22 team members grew dramatically!

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Hire Friends or Family

Before you decide to hire friends or family, it’s crucial to understand whether they’ll contribute to the bottom line of your business.

Of course, you are not doing your business any favors by hiring a friend or family member that is unable to do the job well. Hire talent that has a track record for success and reliability. My co-founder is one of my oldest best friends. My wife also joined us as the Head of Client Success. Not even in the worst of times did I ever regret hiring them.

8. Care for Team Members

One of the essential rules for onboarding new employees is to help them feel like they belong. Assign them with an onboarding partner. This partner will work with a new hire until they feel comfortable in their role and the workplace. As a startup owner, you can also act as an onboarding partner.

Trust your new hire to take the lead. Regularly check in to see how they are progressing in their new role.

9. Give Employees Autonomy

Statistics show that only 15 percent of employees are engaged in their work. However, you can use various strategies to combat this apathy and motivate your team.

One of these strategies is a culture of ownership.

The ownership is essential because it helps employees focus on what the business needs rather than only what’s required of them. That’s because they can feel how much they can invest in the team’s success. When possible, give your employees some control over how they do their work.

10. Create a Healthy Environment

Offering healthcare benefits to their employees is something most companies do to ensure a healthy workspace. However, they usually leave out mental health benefits.

Develop a company culture that rewards all achievements and wins. Let employees openly share their opinions and ideas. As a leader, you also need to make sure that your employees feel supported in a collaborative and welcoming environment.

Aleksandr Volodarsky is the founder of Lemon.io, a marketplace of vetted offshore engineers. He has helped hundreds of startups to place exceptional remote engineers. Alex shares his journey and other experiments on Twitter.