The Startup Talent Standoff: How can you hire when time isn’t on your side?

By Jody Robie | Startup Boston | October 19, 2021

As a rapidly scaling business, securing the right talent is always a key aspect of your growth plan. In the early stages of a business, it’s your people that will make or break you. However, when your initial team is small, it’s hard to find the time to hire the perfect candidates as well as focusing on the growth and development of your product, brand awareness, and finding funding.

When demand is so high that your business has no choice but to grow, it often means more work is required for hiring success. It’s likely that your team is already wearing many different hats, so adding the challenge of recruiting the right talent creates more pressure and may mean other growth areas have to be put on hold to the detriment of your end product or service.

Finding the right people for your business who understand your mission and culture is something that takes time and effort to get right. But when it comes to hiring in 2021, everyone from large enterprises trying to digitize to exciting tech startups are now competing for the same knowledge base and talent pool. This means recruiting has gotten significantly harder, and the race is on.

In a competitive talent market like this, there are many things startups should be doing to position themselves as an attractive prospect to candidates and their existing teams to ensure they stay. Differentiating your employer brand from competitors, gathering the right business intelligence surrounding the roles you need, and focusing on your attrition efforts are even more time-consuming tasks for already stretched senior leaders.

This presents a problem.

You need the talent to scale and an innovative strategy to attract suitable candidates in a competitive market. But without your time on your side, how can you juggle this focus whilst continuing to grow your business?

When this occurs, it’s important to ask yourself, what is special about working for your company?

This isn’t explaining “what you do” or “what you make”, but clearly outlining why someone should work for you. WIFM as a candidate needs to be as obvious as what your company is looking for in your next hire.

A good Employer Value Proposition (EVP) helps the right candidates move forward and the wrong candidates for your business self select out. What I mean by wrong candidate isn’t someone who isn’t skilled or talented or meets the job requirements, but the candidate who doesn’t align with your philosophy or culture as a business.

The fit may not be there and that doesn’t mean we just want a homogenous talent pool. It is not just recommended to be honest about the values and your personality as a company in your recruitment messaging – it is required. If you are not sure what I mean, check out Glassdoor and other candidates sites who specialize in calling out the “misconceptions or surprises” experienced by candidates.

Read the full article here.

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