Inspiration & AdviceHow to Hire on the Right Foot: 3 Tips for Startups

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Guest blog by Jeffery Fermin. This post is brought to us by our partner, TriNet.

You thought you had covered all your bases when you began your startup. You envisioned an office space, a perfectly branded product and the happy faces of satisfied customers. It all seemed so perfect until you walked into an empty office space and realized that all the chairs were empty.

Small businesses and established businesses alike regularly run into difficulties when hiring. First of all, there can be mountains of qualified resumes, long hours that keep you away from regular work and the general hesitation before negotiations and commitment. However, the success of a start-up always starts with quality hires. With such a daunting task ahead of you, here are some tips and ideas to help you ease into the process.

Hire for Startup Passion:

One way to pick out potential rock stars that will fit with your small organizational culture is to assess their passion and experience with small businesses. While there are exceptions to every rule, people who have worked exclusively for large corporations are not likely to have the right mindset (or interest) when it comes to working for a startup. A lot of excellent recruits come out of small businesses. While small businesses are different than startups, commitment to local businesses shows an ability to work in small teams and handle more responsibility.

Keep An Eye on Social Networking:

Social networking sites offer an excellent opportunity to connect with and view lots of potential employees in a short amount of time.

Build a web of talent.

While you might not find the perfect fit for your positions, there are plenty of interesting people online that can offer you advice or referrals. Look for hires but also look for potential bridges. On many sites, like LinkedIn, you can ask friends for introductions and join groups that attract like-minded people.

Don’t be afraid to make a snap decision. You don’t want to invest too much time evaluating each person’s profile. Make as many good connections as you can and move on from there.

The easiest (and least-committal) place to find connections is Twitter. You can be fairly liberal with your followings and watch who follows you back for interest’s sake. Connect with people, even if you are not ready to hire them. You never know what your future will hold.

Create Local Buzz:

The easiest way to attract talent is to create local buzz around your startup. Have your pitch ready! Pitches are not just for investors. You never know when you are going to speak to someone who could be your newest rock star.

Know your talent and competition. If you are hiring for specific skills, figure out which skill is an absolute must and figure out who is the best. Memorize the champions. Get to know their friends. Even if they are happy in their current job, they might know someone else who is looking around. Likewise, know who else is hiring the type of employees you are looking for. How are they attracting talent?

For further exposure, consider:

  • Attending any relevant events: It goes without saying that shaking more hands will maximize your hiring opportunities.
  • Sponsoring an event: Put yourself out there and gather up interested parties.
  • Speaking at events: Try landing a speaking gig at an event. It is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and build your reputation.
  • Writing a blog: Sound silly? Blogs are the perfect platform for building your reputation. It will attract others to your startup.
  • Attract local media: Meet and network with local reporters. Pitch stories and offer to be a relevant source. People naturally want to work with smart and successful people.

Most importantly, take your startup hiring seriously. It will give you the extra boost you need to get up off the ground. Don’t lose hope. The result will be well worth the extra effort.

Have a successful startup hiring story? Where is the best place to find relevant new hires? We would love to hear from you.

Jeffery-FerminJeffery Fermin is a co-founder of OfficeVibes. This post originally appeared on the TriNet blog.


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