How to Acquire the Right Talent for Your Startup

Author: Mayank Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Talent Pad

Whatever the nature of a business, finding quality employees to help the company succeed and grow is paramount. Many companies, especially among startups, are struggling to find the right kind of talent today. Given the dynamic nature of new age companies, conventional hiring methods of accepting hundreds of resumes and scheduling interviews may no longer be as effective.

Though India has the largest database of tech professionals worldwide, the demand for tech oriented roles currently outruns the supply. To find the right fit of people who have the skills and experience to match and can blend in with the startup work culture and take on challenges as they come, recruiters are looking past candidates’ resumes to evaluate individual traits like social and emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and personality type.

With A-list talent in short supply, companies are resorting to unconventional routes to scout around and hire the right type or person. From blogs, tech events, CRM tools and sometimes even poaching from competition, startups are transforming the recruitment process with innovative hiring platforms. Zomato.com, for instance, organized a ‘trial week’, where potential candidates were invited to work on real-time projects with the team on an all expenses paid basis. At the end of the week, shortlisted candidates were made an offer to join the company.

So what are the hiring strategies should startups, big or small, resort to, to engage talent?

Building a pipeline of talent

Most companies recruit on a need basis. While some may be lucky enough to find the right person immediately, for others it may take months to fill a position. To avoid any downsides in hiring time, startups should always be on the lookout for new talent. Social networking tools make it easier to stay connected and updated on people and their movements.

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Network, network, network

Instead of seeking out talent, create an environment which attracts the right kind of people to the culture of your organisation.  A lot of hiring takes place in social settings and any networking platform is an opportunity to speak about the values that define your company. You never know where your next employee will come from.

Test real skills

During the hiring process it is easy to get carried away by a person’s credentials. While it is important to focus on job specific skills and prior work experience, it does not essentially mean that the individual is the right organizational fit that you are looking for. A person may possess all the relevant technical skills needed to essay a role in an organization, but may be lacking in personality traits to fit into the working culture of your organization. It is important to evaluate the non-technical skills of a candidate before making the hiring decision. Testing for both technical skills and the ability to handle real time challenges will help in making the right decision.

Offer REAL benefits

Working in a startup is a risky proposition for many, so to effectively hire and retain the best talent, you should be ready to offer real benefits and compensation higher than what large MNCs would offer.

Offering employees an equity stake in the company is a sign of valuing their relationship and can offset any salary compromises. Simple, budget friendly benefits like food or technology allocations can also help attract and retain employees.

The startup generation is booming and to stand out in the crowd, companies have to think out of the box and come up with innovative hiring techniques to attract the industry’s best. Using witty job titles and descriptions is a new trend among startups and established players, that is challenging the rules. It brings out the creative side of a company from a recruitment standpoint, in an otherwise tech jargon laden process, which instantaneously catches the attention of and inspires candidates to be a part of the company.

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Some dos and don’ts for potential employees

  • Research the company so that you are well informed and sure about your decision to be a part of the organization
  • Be clear on your expectations and goals and how you can contribute to growing the company
  • Build a portfolio – To stand out among competition and be job ready, it is very important to have an impressive portfolio built through internships and participation in hackathons, Olympiads, etc. Crucial for Tier 2 and 3 city candidates

Disclaimer: This is a guest post. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamWire and the editor(s).

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