Hiring the right talent for your startup can be a game changer for your new company, especially if the talent is a perfect fit for the company’s culture, vision and skill set. Many startups may try to emulate the hiring processes of larger companies and organizations, thinking that doing so would enable the startup to get a heads up on their competitors. However, the hiring process for large companies is vastly different from that of startups, which is small and unstructured by nature. Large organizations have the resources to hire outside headhunting agencies to scout and acquire the best talent, and all of them have committed human resource departments to handle the hiring process. Also, due to their large size corporations can afford to make a mistake or two in hiring bad apples or talent that doesn’t fit in with their culture, but the same cannot be said of startups with limited resources and capital at their disposal. Therefore, it is important that new startups get the hiring process right so they can acquire a high functioning team to embark on their endeavours.
As the founder of a brand new startup, it may be tempting to hire and get onboard the first prospect that comes along. However, what if the new hire turns out to be less than ideal? What if you come to regret the decision later and wish you could fire the employee, but could not due to contractual obligations or the severe financial impact the firing would cost? Before taking the person on in a full-time position, have them undergo a trial period to observe whether they could be a good fit for your startup long term.The trial period is a good opportunity for both you and the talent to assess and evaluate whether the working relationship would be mutually beneficial for both parties, as well as giving you an up-close view of how the talent performs at the job.
When you have just formed your startup and are considering which places to look for the right talent and hires, chances are you will begin by looking within your social circle of friends and family first. Instead of listing your job opening on an employment or job posting site, your network of friends and family can actually be a great source for finding potential hires, as they can recommend people whom they know personally and trust as potential employees for your startup. Of course, this is assuming that your friends and family are already quite familiar with the goals and vision of your startup and the kind of culture it wants to grow and nurture. In a sense, they are doing the vetting and evaluation process for you by introducing trusted people within their network to you.
However, there are certain things that you must be aware of when using this approach. For one, solely relying on just your social network to hire talent can severely limit the available talent pool. If you are looking for a highly skilled artificial intelligence programmer, it may be quite difficult to find one from among your friends’ social circles unless some of them happen to be involved in the field of AI themselves. Also, it may be more difficult to turn down personal recommendations from friends and family due to social pressure; if you know the person just isn’t the right fit for your startup, don’t hesitate to put your foot down firmly but gently to refuse it.
Another thing to consider is that hiring from just your social network only deprives your startup of access to a richer, more diverse talent pool. In order to hire the best available talent, you have to go beyond your existing network and actively search and reach out to people. You may find interesting people that you are keen on having for your startup from online forums and social media platforms. Reach out to them through social media or by email; you might be surprised at how receptive some of them are to your approach. Even if they do decline your offer, you can always move on to the next prospect.
Hiring a capable, high functioning team from the very beginning for your startup is a crucial first step for achieving long term success. By leveraging your network, utilizing online forums and social media for broadening the talent pool and implementing a trial period first for observation of a new hire, you minimize the risks of bad hires while greatly enhancing the opportunities for hiring great talent.