When it comes to hiring for a startup, here are some strategies to consider:
- Develop a strong employer brand that reflects your mission and values.
- Utilise an application tracking system (ATS) to keep candidates engaged.
- Tap into your professional network and encourage referrals internally.
- Leverage a contract management system to get new hires over the finish line faster.
Attracting top talent can be challenging, but having a scalable hiring process enables you to keep candidates engaged. If you can establish a reputation for having a smooth hiring process, this will encourage professionals in the startup community to keep applying.
In this article, we will explore the importance of crafting a comprehensive hiring plan for your startup. At the same time, we will break down some best practices for hiring at scale. If you get hiring right, it has the potential to change the trajectory of your startup and allow you to rapidly gain an edge over your competitors.
Steps for hiring
To create an effective hiring plan for your startup, consider the following steps:
1. Define your business objectives
You should clearly outline the short-term and long-term goals of your startup, and identify the key roles that will contribute to achieving these goals. Some examples may include:
- defining company voice and brand identity
- increasing revenue
- providing opportunities for employees to develop
- engaging more with clients
- building network
2. Determine your budget
When competing startups for talent, it is vital to allocate financial resources to hiring and compensation. This is not only about salaries and other employee benefits, but also about the amount you are willing to spend on advertising vacant positions.
3. Craft compelling job descriptions
Many job descriptions for roles at startups may fail to inspire prospective candidates to apply. If you want to attract the right candidates, you need to invest time in writing job descriptions, such as:
- making job titles specific
- outlining core responsibilities
- including unique company details
- specifying the relevance of the role within the team/company
- making realistic expectations
- describing job benefits and perks
4. Establish a timeline
From the outset, you must present a clear hiring timeline to all prospective candidates. This will ensure they are kept in the loop and do not move forward with other opportunities, for example how many stages of interviews they can expect, or whether there will be additional assessments as part of the process.
Best practices for hiring at scale
As your startup grows, you will need to scale your team to meet increasing demands and support continued growth. Competing for talent in a tight labour market requires a carefully considered approach to hiring. Some startup founders have found themselves priced out of the labour market by a “flood of newly-funded businesses”.
Here are some best practices for hiring at scale:
1. Develop a strong employer brand
You can attract top talent by showcasing your startup's mission, values and culture, such as by sharing stories of employee success. Offering a full range of competitive benefits and perks can also help startups gain reputations as employee-centric organisations.
2. Leverage the right technology
There is no shortage of applicant tracking systems, video interviewing platforms and contract management solutions available on the market. With this in mind, it is important to pick tools that neatly integrate together and enable you to accelerate hiring workflows.
3. Implement a structured interview process
To systematise the interview process, you should create standardised questions and evaluation criteria that are transferable across different vacant positions.
Who to hire for startups
Here are just a few tips to consider when hiring:
1. Look for passion and adaptability
When a startup is growing quickly, the environment is often unpredictable. Seek out dynamic candidates who are passionate about your mission and demonstrate adaptability and resilience.
2. Assess cultural fit
Alongside their professional experience, you should evaluate candidates based on how well they align with your startup's values, culture, and work style. The wrong mix of people can stifle growth and prevent your startup from working like a well-oiled machine.
3. Do not rely solely on traditional qualifications
While degrees and certifications can provide valuable insights, consider non-traditional qualifications and experiences as well. Candidates with diverse backgrounds, unique perspectives and transferable skills can often bring fresh ideas to your startup.
4. Network and leverage referrals
If you need to urgently fill vacant positions at your startup, tapping into your professional network is often a good idea. You should encourage employee referrals to find top-tier candidates that are not actively seeking new opportunities.
5. Consider hiring remote workers
Expanding your search to include remote candidates will enable you to access a larger talent pool. If you are struggling to find the best candidates for vacant positions in the local area, you could open things up by offering remote-working opportunities.
Read more about the importance of a first hire from our Tech Story podcast blog.
Streamlining hiring with a contract creation platform
As your startup grows and you continue to hire at scale, leveraging a contract creation and management platform can provide significant benefits. When used effectively, these platforms can successfully streamline the hiring process, reduce administrative burdens and potentially help mitigate risks associated with contractual agreements. Here are some key benefits:
1. Standardise contract templates
You can save time and ensure consistency across all employment contracts by using standardised templates that you can easily customise for each new hire at your startup.
2. Centralise storage and access
You can keep all contracts stored in a centralised, secure location. This can make it easy for team members to access, review and update agreements on the fly.
3. Track and monitor milestones
You can keep track of important contract milestones, including expiration dates and renewal periods. This can ensure timely action and reduce the risk of non-compliance.
4. Automate workflows and approvals
You can accelerate the contract creation and approval process with automated workflows. Automation can reduce the potential for human error and speed up the startup hiring process.
5. Prioritise compliance and risk management
With everything under one roof, you can ensure contacts adhere to relevant laws and regulations, protecting your startup from potential legal issues and any reputational damage.
Legislate enables you to create, manage and sign agreements under one roof. This platform can centralise contract management and enable you to have visibility across all contacts.
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The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.