You’ve done the work, you’ve gotten the funding, and you’ve built the company from scratch. Welcome to your startup –the apple of your eye- waiting to be picked up and ran with. But before it can grow into a fully fledged success of a company, there is one last crucial step: hiring the right team.
Now, it might seem like all the best talent would already be working for the competition or would simply not be interested in a new position. We’re here to tell you that you can in fact attract all your best candidates into becoming essential parts of your team by making your startup a talent magnet.
Here’s our advice on how to do so:
What makes you unique? How will you be changing the world? What is your distinctive contribution to our planet (and our mental health)? When building your company ethos, let it be concise and clear about what you stand for and how your team will help build this future.
A one-liner like ‘making all HR tools accessible and affordable’ works well, of course, but only if you have demonstrated that you can achieve it. So make sure you are clear on your vision and that you have evidence to back it up.
With your unique vision in mind, think about how you can put your successes and innovations centrestage. The goal here is to make talent see you and talk about you. Start a conversation, plan an event, or design an unusual ad – but make sure it focuses on the distinct issues you are dealing with and offering a solution to. Build brand awareness to make potential talent become part of the conversation before they have even joined your team.
And you know what a great way to do this is? Blogging.
Know Where to Look
It might be compelling to just post an online ad and call it a day, but this might not be the most effective way to get you all of the qualified applicants you deserve. Will your ideal talent be checking job posts on LinkedIn, or will they simply be looking for visions that they can identify with? Or better yet, is your ideal talent even looking for a job at the moment?
When it comes to top talent, you might have to do some digging yourself. Identifying key people that you want to work with and reaching out to them, creating employee referral schemes in order to grow your candidate pool, or simply increasing visibility and starting conversations that will increase word-of-mouth are all good ideas in attracting the best candidates
Be Worthy of Their Time
We have all experienced that moment of uncertainty, of not knowing whether we are good enough for a job. But, more often than not, these will be the positions that we apply for – not the ones that demand less of us.
One way to be a talent magnet is to make sure that your top candidates will not seem underqualified for the work you are proposing. Having the upper hand in this scenario is ideal, but should not just be a ruse. Although you may feel that you are reaching for the stars, the key is to make your case so strong that those who apply to work for you will feel the same.
Make it Known
Although you want to be the startup that everyone wants to work for, this shouldn’t make you unapproachable. Make it known that you are looking for new talent. Speak to your friends about it, post on social media about it, shout it from the rooftops if you must. And when it comes to the application process, make sure it is extremely straightforward. Do you apply just by following a simple link? Is there a custom email address people should reach out to? Put it everywhere.
Bonus points for making the application process as fun and interesting as possible. As much as people enjoy talking about your vision, they will also want to talk about the rest.
Sign up for a networking club, go to events, and never turn down an invitation from your high-profile friends. Being present and talking about your brand might be the easiest (but also, if you are an introvert, one of the most draining) ways to raise awareness of your company. As humans we find it easier to trust people we have met, as opposed to an email or an online presence with no apparent personality behind it. Capitalise on this by going to events, even the ones that might not seem directly relevant to your mission.
And when attending events isn’t enough, host your own. Design an evening with a goal in mind, and make sure it is directly related to your company vision. And at this event, or at others, make sure to get to the microphone even for a couple minutes. Speaking about your startup is a great way to showcase your expertise on the matters you are tackling, while also building your own profile
Keep in mind that your personal brand as a startup founder is just as important as your company’s. The events that you host, volunteer for, or speak at, will all speak volumes as to who you are and whether you can be trusted to achieve the goal that you have set to achieve.
Be Great, not Smug
Because being overconfident can be a dealbreaker. When building your own brand, make sure it does not seem that your startup is your whole life. Demonstrate your intelligence and competence in adjacent issues, establishing yourself as an authority figure.
An authority figure, however, does not mean someone unapproachable or over-serious. By being enthusiastic and amicable, you will ensure that candidates will feel more comfortable in connecting with you and, eventually, working for you.
By following these steps, you can make sure that both you and your startup become a talent magnet!