How to Hire the Right Talent – for Start-Ups | Article – HSBC VisionGo

A guide to start-up recruiting

23% of small businesses fail because they don’t have the right team. – Joey V. Price, Founder of Baltimore

Talent is the key to start-up success. As an entrepreneur, no matter how big of a dream you have about your business, it won’t come true without the right people. For most start-ups, hiring the right people is more complicated than it seems.

Obstacles to good hiring

As an entrepreneur, you probably are a master creator and problem-solver, but you might not be a hiring expert. What adds to the challenge is that limited budget makes installing internal HR functions simply unrealistic.

To lend a helping hand, we’ve summarized a few common mistakes entrepreneurs make during recruitment:

  1. Focusing too much on technical skills
  2. Not offering the right compensation
  3. Looking in the wrong place

In response to these mistakes, here are 3 tips to kick start your hiring.

Tip 1: Hire for the fit above the skills

The start-up stage is unique in that it requires cooperation and trust more than any other stage of a company. For this reason, a positive attitude, teamwork abilities, and ample motivation are often more important in a candidate than knowing a specific coding language.

The start-up stage is also the critical time when a company forms its culture. Hence, it is important to define your organization’s values early on so that you hire only those who truly fit your culture. Not only does this build a better team, it also increases talent retention and is more sustainable in the long run.

Tip 2: Offer an attractive compensation – this is not always the highest salary

Candidates who apply to start-ups know that their salaries will not compete with Goldman Sachs’s employees. For them, working at your start-up company is also an investment. It is a smart move to offer your employees shares in your firm, as it increases their involvement in your company’s success.

Tip 3: Establish multiple reliable candidate sources 

Start-ups are unable to set up internal HR functions because they do not have resources or scale to do so.   This poses the burden on all founders to source for talents and taking part in hiring process.  A lot of founders will go for low-hanging fruit by leveraging on existing connections the most accessible recruitment source. However, this hiring technique is unreliable and not sustainable. After all, your friend’s son in high school might not be the best person to be editing your website.

Leveraging online platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor can expand your hiring reach with little costs associated. Outsourcing part of your recruitment process is also an effective way to save time and eliminate endless searches, as recruitment firms have the capability to quickly find potential matches so founders can focus their time on core roles and scale up their business as soon as possible.  

In short, for entrepreneurs, hiring the right people is a difficult but critical process that is worth the efforts. Having an effective recruitment strategy ready on-hand is ever so important to the realization of your start-up dream.