By Liam Mooney
Liam Mooney, founder of legal recruitment consultancy Blue Pencil and private members business club Fit For Business, gives some important rules to follow when it comes to hiring
For any start-up business to really grow, you need to hire staff and the right ones too. This will seem a daunting proposition. You will not have the resources of bigger companies and as a start-up, your business will be perceived as riskier by potential employees. So how can you go about attracting the best people to join your start-up?
Don’t feel obliged to expand your team
Don’t feel obligated to expand your team just because you like the esteem of being surrounded by employees. There is no room for egos in start-ups. Hiring is a huge commitment in terms of money and time. You need to be 100 percent sure that it’s the right time to recruit someone new. Rushing to hire someone, can be expensive and damaging to your brand if it doesn’t work out.
Considering outsourcing and innovative ways to get support
If business is busy consider outsourcing or hiring consultants, rather than an employee. Global trends indicate there is a huge talent pool of people who want to work from home and have flexible working hours, many of whom could work as consultants. There are also some fantastic companies where you can outsource work, to get the support you need.
Sort your internal infrastructure
Yes make sure your internal company’s infrastructure is in place before you hire. Here is a brief overview of some of things you need to consider:-
Company set up and bonus structure. This is very important as you might want to consider giving equity to key people that you hire initially. Seek the advice of a lawyer, particularly in terms of holding companies, trading companies, shareholding and bonus schemes.
Seek employment law advice. Make sure your offer letter, employment contracts are in line with local law. Research local employment law so you know your responsibilities.
Insurance. Are you covered for employers liability and professional negligence for example?
Vision. Have a clear vision of what your team will be and how each employee fits into that structure.
Funds. Ensure that you have the funds set aside to hire.
Staff training. Have a staff training and induction programme organised.
If you don’t have foundations you will lose staff quicker than you hire them.
Identify exactly what you need
Before you start hiring, identify the qualities and experience that you want and need in a candidate. Once you have come up with a list of requirements, it will be easier for you to assess a candidate’s suitability and to avoid getting side-tracked by other characteristics. An individual may win you over with their personality, but if they do not have the required skills, then they may not be the right option for your business.
The same goes for being completely clear with the candidates about what is expected of them in the role and how the role may change over time, so that they know exactly what they are applying for. This way you can ensure that you can identify an individual who is genuinely interested and is prepared for the responsibilities of the job.
Focus on creating a company culture
Set out your stall. Have a clear company culture complete with a mission statement and company rules. Be clear what your working atmosphere will be. Some of the benefits of working for a start-up are having influence within the company, working as part of a collaborative team and the opportunity for professional development, so these are factors that you can use as selling points for your business.
Once you have created an attractive company culture, it will not only help with talent attraction, it will also improve employee retention.
Reward and Bond
Reward employees with higher than market rate bonuses and look at the potential for employees to have equity in your business. Employees will want to share in the success story. Build up spirit with your team. It’s amazing how something as simple as a few drinks after the working week can bond staff. Always reward success.
Continue your hunt for talent even when you’re not hiring
By growing and maintaining a network of professionals within your industry, you will have an existing network of contacts who could potentially be interested in a role at your business, when it comes to hiring. Even if they are not suitable or interested themselves, they may know somebody who is and be able to offer a referral. You can meet these individuals by attending events and meet-ups regularly and being vocal within online communities.