Four things every startup should be doing when looking for staff.

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If you’re a startup it won’t be long before your mind turns to growing your business and recruitment.
As a recruiter who works with startups and SMEs on a daily basis, I keep seeing people make mistakes that are easily avoided. Have a look at these 4 tips on what you can do to save yourself time and money.

1.     Network! Network! Network!

These days pretty much everyone has a LinkedIn account, but don’t forget your co-workers and industry contacts, they may not only know people with the right experience, but could also give a personal recommendation. And what about your website? Does it talk about your culture? Put yourself in a prospective employee’s shoes – does your website give a sense of what it’s like to work with you and is it enticing? You could also have “open days” or “pizza nights” where you invite people in to meet with you and discuss what you do, allowing for informal introductions in a social atmosphere without the pressure of an interview.

2.     In it to win it

Know your industry and know what you’re competing with. When putting together salaries and benefits packages find out what the market rate is for the talent you hope to attract and which extras people truly value rather than the same old industry standards. What do people actually want? A day off on their birthday, regular social events or team building days? Are you able to offer remote working or flexible hours? And if you’re offering things like equity or other highly sought incentives to attract the best talent, make sure it’s clear and in writing from offer stage to avoid misunderstandings or gaining a reputation as an employer who fails to deliver or, watch out, the perpetrator of “fake news”.

3.     Go! Go! Go!

The number of times I’ve seen clients lose out on top talent because they weren’t in a position to seal the deal is depressing. When you reach the point where you’re ready to grow the team and hire someone, make sure you have everything lined up, the budget accounted for and signed off, a draft contract ready to be sent as soon as you’ve made your decision and any internal HR requirements satisfied. Whilst you might think that offering someone you’ve “clicked” with a position is enough to secure them, remember that until a candidate has an offer in writing in their hands they are still on the market and you don’t want to lose them to a competitor who swoops in at the last minute.

4.     Who you gonna call?

It is an extra cost, no recruitment agency or head-hunter comes for free, but if you’re dealing with a hard to fill role, niche skillset or something senior, it can save you time and money in the long run. A decent recruiter should be able to come to you with people from your competitors whose CVs aren’t doing the rounds but who have expressed an interest in hearing about opportunities like yours. Also, if you have a plan to increase your headcount significantly, an agency can manage the whole process from shortlisting and testing to helping you budget your costs and give invaluable industry insight.

Good luck with finding those future employees who not only work for you but also invest in making it a success and a great place for others to work!

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