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How Startups Can Recruit Talents

 Follow Rania Kudsi 

Don’t passively wait for talented people to come to you — pursue them and show them why taking any other job would be a mistake.

As a business owner, you must find a way to persuade a successful individual with a secure job to come work for you. Entrepreneurs have to make a compelling business case for why a candidate should come work there. Below are some tips and advantages to attract candidates to your startup company.


Build An Exciting Company That Does Something Big


Attracting top talent starts with building a business that people want to be part of, says Robert Hatta, talent partner at Drive Capital, which invests in Midwest companies. Everything else, including where a startup is located, is secondary, he says.

“If you build an exciting company that’s trying to do something big, good people will want to work for you,” he says. “And the people who work for you will tell their friends how awesome it is”

You have to sell your vision "We pay less. We work harder. We work longer hours. The only reason to join our team is because you want to be a part of what we are building. The best people want to be a part of big visions, so sell the vision. "ADAM LIEB 


Define Yourself Before You Hire


For Julie Maurer, president of SilverLine Consulting, hiring successfully begins with defining who you are and figuring out what set of skills you are looking for. In other words, the exercise of creating a job description in many respects is more important than the document itself.

“You have to really think about what your company is doing, where you are at and what your culture is,” Julie says. “Think about top talent in the context of your company, define it and then recruit for it.”

It isn’t enough to have a great position you know candidates will love. The right title and an appealing company description have a large impact on whether or not a candidate will continue to read a job description . Inbound Marketing and Social Media Specialist, Jessica Palmeri , gives some tips and tricks to creating an effective job title:

“Use the most searchable job title that the right candidates are most likely to search for. If you have a creative job title for the role, use it within the description instead. It’s OK to give your description some personality with a trendy title – just make sure the job title represents the role and keywords a job seeker would be searching for.”


Make Connections Early 

Almost three-quarters (72%) of the 2015 grades we surveyed had an internship, apprenticeship, or co-op during college. Not only can this type of work experience get promising candidates excited about working for you even before they've graduated, it also helps you pinpoint—and even get a head start on training—the top talent early. Companies that don’t offer internships or similar types of opportunities are all but leaving the best entry-level employees on the table for their competitors to recruit.



Referrals can solve a lot of your recruiting problems. If one of your contacts refers a candidate to you, chances are good that they’ve done some of selling work already. For the same reason, offer rewards for employee referrals. Candidates who come in through these referrals usually have a more accurate picture of the company than those who come in through ads, and in most cases employees recommend only people they think will be a good match.

Network at Conferences "We have found it helpful to attend industry-related conferences and casually chat with people who are attending or speaking to spread the word regarding available opportunities. If the person likes us, they will like working with or for us and/or recommend us to others who they think would be a good culture fit. Finding the right culture fit is more important to us than the depth of their skills." SHRADHA AGARWAL 


Foster Talent Communities

One of the best ways to decrease the time to hire is to have a pool of talent you can look to whenever you have an opening. Startup companies are realizing this and have a steady pool of candidates they can tap into whenever a new position opens up.


Hire for Attitude and Passion

Hire for attitude and Passion don’t concentrate on skills and experience if the candidate has the passion for your company culture and the right attitude you can invest in training them. Training a passionate candidate is easier than training normal candidates. Passionate candidates are self-motivated and they work easily and faster to gain the experience.



Most business leaders understand the importance of integrating social media into their sales and marketing strategies and it’s importance to attract top talents in the market.

Startup companies should work exclusively on boosting their presence on social media through sharing their company culture, events, projects, and activities.

Most importantly startups should know how to use Social Recruiting. They should know what are the popular hashtags that candidates use mostly to search for jobs “ #jobopenings #jobs #recruitment #hiring #careers”, they should know the tools to search and attract passive and active candidates thru social media and they should have an active profile on Linkedin.



Small companies often offer more flexibility in working hours and in working remotely. You can use this to attract candidates that prefer flexibility over working with big companies.


Promote Opportunities for Advancement

Small organizations have more opportunities to grow than larger companies. In order for job seekers to see that, however, it has to be conveyed through the job description and presentation of company culture. Employees are less likely to be criticized for their opinions in a smaller organization and they are more likely to have their thoughts heard by individuals that have a say.

“Sell this opportunity to your potential job candidates. Let them know that working for a small business or startup will give them more opportunities to have their voice heard, make a difference, and most importantly, get promotions more quickly, so long as they prove themselves.” Marketing Content Manager at Zane Benefits, Abby Rosenberger ( @RosenbergerAbby )


Invest in High Potentials

In order to seek candidates with the most potential, you have to know exactly what you’re looking for first. Develop a highly specified job description taking into account everything the job requires, functionally and culturally, by developing a highly specified job description including the required skill set, personality traits, and necessary experience, small companies can attract competitive candidates as well. The new hires will have a better understanding of what is expected from them in the beginning rather than once they are onboard.

Small businesses aren’t at a disadvantage when it comes to hiring candidates. They are more competitive in growth and promotion opportunities than their larger counterparts. The difficult part is telling candidates why your company is the one to work for. It all starts with a job description. An appropriate title and a job description that conveys a sense of duty and culture create the perfect bait for your big fish. Within the job announcement or interview for that matter, tell candidates of potential opportunities for advancement. If they know there are more opportunities for growth, they could be more willing to join your team.


The Hiring Process Should Reflect Your Culture

Recruiting for culture, not just skills, is an important point. A startup should decide whether or not a candidate shares their values.

Hiring managers should pay attention to values like passion, respect, individual responsibility and the desire to grow rather than skills.

Discover a Shared Passion

BRANT BUKOWSKY "Share your vision for your startup and what you hope to accomplish. Trying to lure top talent with perks, pay or other options may get their attention, but the people you should really be seeking are the ones interested in finding a role where they can have a meaningful contribution to something exciting. Plus, someone who isn’t passionate about what you are doing won’t be a great fit."


Empower Them With Ownership

SHARAM FOULADGAR-MERCER "Empower them with ownership and the opportunity to make decisions. People drawn to startups are disillusioned by big corporate structures and weary of working in an environment where they have no voice. If you tie the talent to the success of the company, everybody wins. Moreover, allow them to exercise the skills they enjoy employing. Retention skyrockets when talent is empowered and impassioned."

Be Transparent

MITCH GORDON  says "I'm always transparent with potential new hires. I show them our progress, but I also want them to see the warts. This is important for two reasons: 1) They'll know exactly where the company stands. 2) It builds trust. Sharing the bad with the good shows employees that they can trust you to tell it like it is. Transparency sets an important standard for any company."

Show Off Company Talent

SARAH SCHUPP says "A-players want to work with other A-players. So, it's critical to showcase just how talented your current team is to a prospective employee. Besides making the recruit feel special, it also makes your team feel special to know that you value and respect their talents and abilities."



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