Top recruitment tips for creating a great start-up team

As a small, growing business, budgets for recruitment are likely to be limited

One of the fundamental issues facing entrepreneurs with growing start-ups is when and how to ensure that you build the best possible team for your business.

It is a fine balancing act between ensuring that the timing is right to bring on more people and that you can access the right personalities and skill sets to take your start-up to the next level. Building a team for a start-up, to work with the founder or founders is very different to recruiting talent for more established firms and these roles tend to suit a specific kind of candidate.

Demonstrate you are a disruptor

Instead of trying to compete with the big firms on their own ground for talent, turn the tables. Show potential candidates why working for a smaller, agile business is great. Demonstrate that you are innovative and fresh and why you are the industry disruptor all the more traditional firms are scared of.

Give the freedom to innovate

One of the beauties of working for a start-up is generally the freedom to innovate, create and bring to market new ideas very rapidly. This is a huge selling point for great talent. Show candidates that they don’t need to be tied to the old ways of doing business.

Consider contractors and consultants

You may be in need of senior operations or technology advice, but don’t necessarily have the budget to hire a COO or CTO. This is where highly skilled contractors or consultants can come in. They can be utilised for a certain time period to set up a function, for example, and they’re often kept on retainer to offer advice and services on an ad-hoc ongoing basis.

Personalities matter

When you’re working in a tight-knit, small team, there isn’t any room to hide, so it is especially important that you look behind candidate’s skills and explore how their personalities will work with yours.

New ways of working

Consider offering flexible and remote working opportunities as a way to entice talent. Many larger organisations are still lagging far behind when it comes to offering working practices that fit in with the way newer generations want to work.

Remember emotional intelligence

While IQ is an important measure of intelligence, considering a candidate’s emotional intelligence is equally important. Using EQ in your recruitment process requires some careful judgement but the result is likely to be a diverse and better-balanced team, drawn from a range of cultures, sectors and backgrounds. Such a team will be more inclined to challenge the industry norms, bring new perspectives and thus engender competitive advantage.

Think about who you really need

As a small, growing business, budgets for recruitment are likely to be limited. As such, thinking outside the traditional roles generally accepted as the norm for leadership teams will be needed. Instead, by thinking cleverly about who to hire, you may be able to on-board fewer people to do more roles. By looking at people with diverse skill sets, you can kill two birds with one stone.

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