How to attract top talent to your startup
Startups need dedicated, talented employees who can bring a great deal of value-add to their jobs. Hiring the right talent is the secret behind organizational success. But how does a small startup concern attract and hire the industry's top talent?
Get Your Name Out There
Startups cannot afford to be passive and wait to be noticed. They need to get their name out there, and play on their strengths, whether it's networking, communications, and great service and so on. Being visible and doing what it takes to be visible among the big fishes is a definite draw for top talent.
Try The In-Person Networking Method
The internet cannot be a substitute for face-to-face, person-to-person networking. Personal interaction is powerful. Identify the talent that you want to hire, start networking with them online and try to meet them 1:1 at conferences, seminars and industry events. Even if you haven't identified the people you want, attending industry events will put in touch with people who'll have leads to the right kind of talent. Alternatively, you can also set up your own networking events and meet up with prospective employees that way.
Participate In Job Fairs
Attend job fairs at schools and universities, to have a look-see at their high-performing graduates. These graduates mostly deviate towards big names, but if you market yourself and stay highly visible and make the right offers, you can get some of them to turn your way. Universities, in their own way, try to encourage the local entrepreneur community. Try and get into their entrepreneur outreach programs, and you'll be able to leverage talented interns from almost-graduates.
Sponsor competitions and contests to find the talent. For example, if your company is into designing mobile applications, launch a competition for tech-school students to create and send a specific app for you. Outline exactly what you want the app to do. Offer a suitable reward and promise plenty of visibility to the winner.
Use smart apps such as Startupers, VentureLoop and Startuply to find the kind of talent you want. If you want talented interns, try finding them through InternshipIN. Create an attractive company profile, something that reflects the goals you stand for. Create an excellent Facebook presence as well, and project your company as a place to work, learn and play.
Do Some Net Spying
You can also scour industry blogs and forums and watch for people who seem to be in the know. Watch out for talented contributors and people who actively engage in your industry. You can easily filter the non-talented and the non-motivated types from the real deal, on these sites.
Align Your Team
Evaluate your current talent pool and identify exactly what your company needs. Get everyone on your team on the same page as to what kind of talent you need to hire. It's best that everyone knows the job profile of the desired candidate; that way, the candidate won't get the job profile described differently by different people on your team.
Make Your Office An Appealing Place
First impressions count. Top talents know that large companies will pay them better pay and offer better perks too. If you're getting top talent to walk through your front door, it's because they are motivated to be part of your team. Make sure that your office, its dÃ©cor, front office staff and facilities live up to the expectations your attitude has set.
See It From The Talent's Perspective
Why should a top talent work for you? Answer this question from the talent's perspective. In your job profile, indicate exactly why you're looking for that particular kind of person, and why that person should choose to work for you. Make sure that everyone in the hiring process is familiar with your reasons and can answer the candidate's questions.
Don't Focus On Selling Your Company First
Your first priority should be to find out what matters to your candidate, rather than canvassing your company's greatness. Speak to a bunch of potential candidates and ask your â€˜Why would you join a company like ours?' questions. Use the answers to draft the job profile and the candidate's Why Join You perspective.
Ask For Employee Referrals
Your current employees should be able to name people they've worked with, top performers from their previous employments. You can also ask your employees to find out other names from their ex-colleagues and their networks. In this way, you can create a list of prospective top talent you can target. You can offer referral bonuses in terms of money, coupons and so on.
They say that a big fish in a small pond enjoys greater attention, visibility and importance. Apart from a great package, communicate the unique advantage of being the â€˜big fish' in your small concern. Offer development, opportunity, growth, lifestyle and recognition, passion, and work-life balance.
This article was written by Sara Emmanuel. She runs an efficient e-commerce business and contributes insightful articles on ecommerce conversion optimization and landing page optimization on industry blogs.