To say that recruiting is difficult would be accurate for any company out there, but recruiting for startups is a whole different ball game.
You have multiple other aspects of recruiting to consider when finding new hires for startups – such as the company culture, the mission/vision of the company, and if they’re a good fit for a small team.
In this article, we will go through the top 3 recruitment methods for startups, as well as discussing the benefits and drawbacks for each.
Let’s get started!
One of the best ways to find new hires is through networking. Now this can encompass a variety of activities, but the most common and effective way to network for recruiting is through LinkedIn.
There are a few different ways you can use LinkedIn for networking when it comes to recruiting:
- Use the search function to find potential candidates that fit your desired criteria
- Connect with 2nd or 3rd degree connections that might know someone who would be a good fit
- Join relevant groups and participate in discussions – this will help get your name out there as well as give you insights into what potential candidates are talking about
- Use InMail to reach out to potential candidates that you might not be connected with
Here are a few tips for using LinkedIn effectively for networking:
- Keep your messages short and to the point – no one wants to read a long message from someone they don’t know
- Personalize each message – generic messages will likely be ignored
- Try to find a mutual connection before reaching out – this will help increase the likelihood of getting a response
- Make sure your profile is up-to-date and professional looking – first impressions matter!
You can also network through other avenues such as:
Attending industry events
These events and functions are happening often, if you know where to look. Try to attend events that would be relevant to your target market/industry.
This will give you a chance to meet potential candidates in person and get a feel for if they’d be a good fit for your company. Not only that, but it’s also a great way to get your company name out there and build your brand awareness. You could even consider campus recruiting if you’re looking for new graduates to join your firm.
This one is a bit more broad, but you can use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to reach out to potential candidates.
You can do this by posting about open positions on your company page, or even searching for relevant hashtags and connecting with people that way.
Benefits of networking
There are many benefits to using a networking approach for recruiting, which is why it’s one of the most popular methods.
It’s a great way to reach out to passive candidates that might not be actively looking for a new job but would be open to hearing about new opportunities.
It can help you build relationships with potential candidates – which can come in handy further down the road if you need to fill another position quickly.
Gives you insights into candidates that you might not be able to get from reading a resume.
It’s relatively low cost and doesn’t require much time investment.
Drawbacks of networking
Like with anything, there are also some drawbacks to using a networking approach for recruiting that you should be aware of:
It can be time-consuming, especially if you’re reaching out to a large number of potential candidates.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll find the right candidate – it often takes a lot of trial and error to find someone that’s both a good fit for the position and the company culture.
You might come across as pushy or sales-y if you’re not careful – it’s important to strike the right balance between being persistent and being polite.
Webinars are another fantastic way to reach a large audience with your recruiting message and they can be very cost effective.
You can use webinars to promote open positions at your company, give information about your company culture, and answer any questions that potential candidates may have.
To make sure your webinar is successful, make sure you promote it well in advance, give clear information about what will be covered in the webinar, and offer a valuable incentive for attending (such as a free ebook or course related to your industry).
In terms of the actual process of recruiting someone through a webinar, you would
- Open with a slide that has your company logo and the position you are hiring for
- Give a quick overview of your company (mission, vision, values, etc.)
- Go over the requirements for the position you are hiring for
- Spend some time talking about your company culture and what it is like to work there
- Take questions from attendees at the end of the webinar.
Benefits of webinars
You can have multiple people from your team present, which gives potential candidates a chance to see what the team dynamic is like and if they would be a good fit.
Webinars are also a great way to show off your company culture. You can talk about the social activities your team does, the remote working policy, dress code, and anything else that makes your company unique.
They can be recorded and used as a marketing tool to attract future candidates. You can post the recordings on your website or social media channels and use them to generate interest in open positions at your company.
Finally, webinars are a great way to connect with potential candidates who might not be actively looking for a new job but would be interested in your company. This is because webinars allow you to reach a large audience with your recruiting message.
Drawbacks of webinars
Webinars can be time-consuming to set up and promote, and they require a lot of planning.
Another drawback of webinars is that you need to have a large audience for them to be effective. If you don’t promote your webinar well or if the topic is not interesting, then you won’t get many people attending.
Webinars don’t offer a close one-to-one experience with candidates, which can be important when making a decision about who to hire.
Finally, webinars can be expensive if you use a paid platform like GoToWebinar or WebEx.
The most obvious method for recruiting for startups is referrals. You can ask your current employees if they know anyone that might be a good fit for the company.
The process for referrals is as follows:
- You send an email to your employees asking if they know anyone that might be interested in the position
- Your employee responds with a name and contact information of someone they know
- You reach out to the referral and set up an interview
Do’s of this method:
- Do ask your current employees if they know anyone that might be interested in working for the company. They may have friends or family members that would be perfect for the role.
- Do try to mix things up and don’t just hire people that are like you. It’s important to have a diverse team with different perspectives.
Don’ts of this method:
- Don’t just hire people that your current employees recommend. Make sure to do your own research as well!
- Don’t forget to check references. Just because someone is referred by a current employee doesn’t mean they’re automatically qualified for the role.
Benefits of referrals
There are multiple benefits to using referrals when recruiting for startups.
If your employees are referring people they know, then chances are they’re skilled and qualified for the position. This saves you time in the long run because you don’t have to weed through as many unqualified candidates.
Your employees know the companies culture, and therefore any candidate they refer is likely to fit in well with the company.
Referral programs also help with employee retention. If your employees are referring people they know, then they’re more likely to stay with the company for a longer period of time. This is because they feel invested in the company and its success.
Drawbacks of referrals
The first drawback is that it can be time-consuming. You have to reach out to each referral, set up interviews, and then hope that they’re actually qualified for the position. This can take up a lot of your time, which is precious when you’re running a startup.
Another drawback of referrals is that it’s not always easy to find qualified candidates. If your employees don’t know anyone that’s qualified for the position, then you’re out of luck. This is why it’s important to mix things up and use other recruitment methods as well.
The final drawback of referrals is that it can be difficult to keep track of everything. You have to keep track of who referred whom, when they were referred, and if they’ve been contacted or not. This can get confusing and overwhelming quickly.
Now that we’ve discussed the top 3 recruitment methods for startups and gone through each of them in detail, hopefully you have a better idea of how to recruit for a startup.
Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks that you need to consider before using them.
Overall, the three methods are a great way to find qualified candidates, but you need to be aware of the time commitment and the potential for things to get overwhelming quickly.
Do your best, vary your recruitment methods, and see what happens. Good luck!