Employees are the backbone of any company, but they’re especially vital at the startup phase. Here are some tips on ensuring you hire the right folks.

So you’ve come up with a unique business idea, formulated an airtight plan and secured some finances to get it off the ground. Then it dawns on you — you’ll need more than your currently small crew to really bring this endeavour to its full potential. Big ideas can take a village, and you’ll have to find just the right people to manage to make your dream a reality. But what’s the best way to solidify a successful recruitment process?

Whether you’re looking for startup hiring tips, or wondering how to get hired by a startup, we’ve got you covered with our guide to 6 steps for hiring employees.

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1. Understand your company culture

While this may seem irrelevant, establishing early on what makes your company culture unique and being able to explain why it will make your company successful is important to finding ideal candidates that embody these ideals.

Once you’ve organized exactly what makes your company culture so unique, your potential candidates will also be able to see that this is something that you’re excited about, and will in turn get excited about it as well.

2. Make sure you hire the right people

Now that you’ve established your employer branding and company culture, you’ll have a better idea of the types of people you’re looking for.
Making sure you hire the right people isn’t just a matter of finding people with a great resumé. You can hire someone with all the correct qualifications and then some, but if they end up bringing down morale because no one wants to work with them, it can end up being detrimental to your work environment, product or service and eventually bottom line.

It’s important to remember that hiring the right people goes farther than just their job experience, especially in a smaller startup. Great candidates are also a great culture fit.

3. Utilize your connections

As the old adage says, great people know great people. Make sure you’re reaching out to people you know to see if they’re looking for a job that you might have the need for.

While posting on job boards like Indeed is great, LinkedIn can be a better way to get the word out to people who may be interested. Some ideal hires may even leave their current job to work at a startup with people they know, or even know through someone. Although they might not be actively on a job search, seeing a post with your job description could be enough to get them interested and applying for your job at a startup.

Another great way to find valuable hires is to make sure you and your team are spending time at hiring conventions and other local events to promote your company culture. If your employees are obviously having a good time at company events, this will cultivate a certain amount of desirability for those looking to put their skills to good use.

Bonus Tip: Many smaller companies handle their first-round (or even a few rounds) of hires themselves before getting to our next step…

4. Make sure you hire a great hiring manager

If you’ve been taking care of hiring yourself to ensure you’re onboarding team members that are perfect fits for your company, you may be ready to hire a dedicated hiring manager once you’re feeling comfortable with the interview process.

While it’s important to put someone in place for this position that understands the hiring process overall better than you, there are certain things about your particular company that you will want them to stick to.

This is where being in control for the first few hiring rounds can be invaluable — having gone through the process first hand, you’ll have some pointers for certain characteristics or traits that you may be looking for specifically in employees in certain roles.

Making a guideline for the hiring manager to adhere to and ensuring that your company has strong employer branding is a great way to apply your experience and narrow down the list of applicants that make it into final hiring stages.

Related: Best cities to start a business in Canada

5. Start thinking outside the hiring strategy box

Now that you’ve got some good leverage and some growing teams under you, it’s good to start thinking about the next steps for hiring. Here are a few ideas for ways you can stay ahead of the curve on the many ways industries can pivot with a moment’s notice.

Always be on the lookout for new talent. We’re not saying you should be leading potential candidates on with no intention of hiring them, but it’s a good idea to stay educated on what the market is like for jobs in particular fields and industries.

If people in the same position are generally getting paid more (or less) than what the employees on your team are making, staying aware of that is important.
Look internally for new hires. Rather than going directly to job platforms, social media or looking around externally, check to see if any of your current employees are ready to move up in your company.

One of the pros of this is that you’ll already know whether or not this employee works well within the company culture, so you won’t have to worry about a poor fit. While you may have to fill in the role that they’ve progressed from, you may also avoid a conflict in which a perfectly qualified and loyal employee may feel that they’ve been passed over for promotion.

Implement a hiring referral program. As we’ve already mentioned, great people know great people! If you start seeing a need to hire in a certain department, chances are your employees currently working in that department have connections you can utilize. Previous jobs, university, college or just being in the same industry are all great bonding tools that could end up bringing valuable employees into your company second hand.

This is also another great reason to always be investing in morale, since your employees probably won’t be itching to get well qualified employees and friends of theirs to be working at a company they don’t have a lot of attachment to.

These are just a few ideas for ways that you can implement creative strategies to get great new talent into your company, often without spending too much.

Related: How to start a business with zero costs

6. Make sure you have an appropriate insurance plan

Every business needs insurance, no matter the size. The wrong hire can be detrimental to your business, and it’s important to stay protected from any possible lawsuits that may be brought against you, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.

APOLLO Insurance offers custom insurance plans made for you. Contact our 24/7 support team and have a policy emailed directly to your inbox.

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