Best Recruitment Process for Startups: 7 Dos and Don’ts to Hire a Strong Team

Best Recruitment Process for Startups: 7 Dos and Don’ts to Hire a Strong Team

In the beginning stages of launching and operating a startup business, commonly startup founder(s) are doing it all; product development, attracting investors, sales, marketing, bookkeeping, and everything in between. However, when your startup reaches a certain level of success, hiring is essential to continue your growth as it will become impossible to do everything on your own. We have compiled the top dos and don’ts to follow that create the best recruitment process for startups.


What are the challenges of the recruitment process for startups?


Hiring as a startup comes with its own unique set of challenges such as budget limitations and difficulties attracting the right people. When your desirable candidates are considering all of their job options, they will weigh the differences between working for a startup and working for a more established business. 

A few notable differences could be:

  • Modest Compensation vs. Competitive Compensation
  • Continual Change vs. Steady Routine
  • Unpredictable Projects vs. Structured Job Responsibilities
  • Feeling Worried About Job Security vs. Comfortable  
  • Unorthodox Working Hours vs. Standard Working Hours


What is the best hiring process for a startup?


If you have prior experience working for a large company, your idea of how the hiring process works most likely begins with a standard online job posting, an advertised list of sought-after skills and qualifications, followed by a traditional interview process that is primarily facilitated by an HR department.

Due to the differences between startups and larger businesses, you must approach the hiring process more creatively and from a different angle.


7 Dos and Don’ts When Hiring as a Startup Business


To ensure you attract people that are a good fit for your business and will be instrumental in helping you achieve growth and success, there are some dos (and supporting don’ts) when preparing for and carrying out your recruitment process.


1. Build an attractive company.

Did you know that 56% of employees want to contribute more to society? Carefully craft your mission, vision, and values to reflect what your company stands for.


Don’t: Speed through this process. Establishing your ‘Brand DNA’ is at the foundation of everything you do, and job seekers are looking to work for a company that has a clearly defined purpose.


2. Create a standout online presence.

Think outside-the-box on how you can set your company apart. When you come across as truly innovative, you will appeal to people who are seeking to work in that type of environment. As a startup, there are low-cost marketing strategies you can follow that will give you the online presence you are aiming for.


Don’t: Underestimate the power of authenticity. There are many flashy websites and social media profiles out there, but do they accurately and genuinely represent the brand? Make sure your online presence is an extension of your startup.


3. Consider alternative platforms.

Research what platforms other startups in your region are using to build their teams. Often startups find talent in places other than popular job boards.


Don’t: Follow a generic job posting format. There will be nothing that sets your startup apart.


4. Highlight what your business can offer that others can’t.

One of the beautiful advantages of a startup is it can offer a unique work experience and benefits. Think deeply about what you can offer and what sets you apart from an employee’s perspective.


Don’t: Lead with compensation. There is no denying that it is very important, but chances are the compensation you can offer will not outdo larger businesses. Lead with the other benefits you can offer. 


5. Approach Hiring as a Mutual Partnership

Many job seekers feel it is taking a large risk to work for a startup business. For this reason, you should approach the hiring process as a mutual partnership. What they offer you needs to equally match what you can offer them. Be open to collaboration and negotiation with interested parties to ensure both of you are equally happy and excited to work with one another.


Don’t: Focus all messaging on what you are looking for in a candidate. Focus equally on how your startup can help achieve their goals. 


6. Let candidates’ skills and experience help craft new opportunities.

You may not have originally considered including a certain project or skill in your new position, but if the right candidate comes along with valuable ideas and suggestions, staying open can lead to amazing opportunities.


Don’t: Base hiring decisions solely on years of experience or academic qualifications. This is not to say these details can’t factor into your hiring process, but isn’t it true that some of the best entrepreneurial minds have taken the road less travelled? Non-traditional candidates can often end up being an asset to your team.


7. Attitude and outlook count for a lot.

You can teach an employee new skills, you can’t teach them personality or characteristics. Keep an eye out for people who are positive, driven, determined, self-reliant, and love learning new things.


Don’t: Form opinions of people off a formal interaction. Traditional first interviews can be stiff and not bring out an interviewee’s true colours. Because you are a startup, you will be working closely together. Try meeting for coffee for an informal discussion to get to know the person. This can set a more relaxed and natural environment.


Beginning preparations and planning to hire a new team member is often a brand new process for new startup business owners. It may seem overwhelming and you want to make sure you are doing things correctly.

Joining a startup incubator is a fantastic way to receive support, knowledge, and guidance through the hiring process along with countless other elements that you will need to learn as a startup business owner.


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