This is an extract from our full guide ‘Recruiting Staff For Start-ups’.
Creating a business from scratch isn’t an easy job. One decision to really consider is whether to go solo or to recruit staff. We want to help you make the right choices that will lead to a successful future for your company.
What type of founder are you?
Starting a new business can create a whole new pressure as you are in charge of everything. Therefore it is important to first establish what type of founder you are.
If you are trying to do everything yourself whilst trying to maintain control, then you may be a control-orientated founder. Other warning include recruiting staff who are inexperienced and don’t question your authority. However, if your concept is simple, easy to implement and not time sensitive then you can still run a successful business.
In contrast, you may find that you are a wealth-orientated founder. This is where you realise that you can get ‘rich’ more easily through other people’s efforts. You can create value by recruiting people that plug knowledge and skills gaps. However, you are aware that you can’t control everything. We recognise these to be the most successful business owners.
Are you recruiting for the right reasons?
Recruiting staff can be one of the best things you do, however it isn’t your only option. Remember the only reason you are employing staff is to generate more value that your customers will pay for. Therefore, ensure recruiting for your business is the best decision. Is it really the route you should be taking? Do you need permanent staff or could temporary staff/contractors be a better option?
How to recruit for the long-term
If you do decide that recruiting is the right decision, take a considered approach. Recruitment Genius has observed three distinct recruitment transitions in business.
First, when entrepreneurs decide to build a start-up team they often employ close friends and family. However recruiting outsiders with balanced expertise and abilities is a better idea. The trouble working with those you have personal relationships with, is that the stresses of launching a new business can put pressure on personal bonds. Therefore, tricky situations and decisions may be avoided if they could affect social relationships. This could be damaging to the success of your new business.
The second transition is that the founder may hire less-experienced employees who will work for lower salaries. If a company fails to grow beyond this stage, it’s often because the employees do not have the skills needed.
During the final transition, founders must re-evaluate initial hires to make sure they are adapting to the firm’s evolving needs. An organisational hierarchy is slowly being put in place, salaries become competitive and staff are recruited based on competency.
We have observed that the fastest growing organisations recruit the most competent staff. We strongly recommend that you take this course of action. By doing this you will save money whilst putting your business on the quickest path to success.
Things to consider
Start-ups are very different from well-established businesses, so it is important to have your own set of expectations.
- Portray your company accurately in the interview stages
Honesty is vital. One of your greatest strengths will be how passionate you are about your business. However you do not want to give the wrong impression and make your company sound more established than it really is. Be open about what stage the company is at and what they can expect. By doing this you are more likely to find someone who will thrive on real-life challenges and opportunities.
- Invest time in your decision
You need to invest in solid professional expertise to ensure your business thrives. Therefore it is imperative not to rush your decision. You could use a reliable competence-based psychometric selection tool such as a GIA test. This test will predict their capacity and ability to learn whilst ensuring you aren’t wasting any money. (Recruitment Genius can run a validated GIA test on your behalf or if you’d like to know more, we have a guide to psychometrics with a webinar available online)
- Effectively manage the financial aspect
Starting up your own business can put you in a vulnerable financial position. Therefore you should consider the reward package and nature of the contract. This will ensure you get the best fit whilst maximising your funds. For example, if the role is important and you find someone who could add a lot of value, consider offering equity as an incentive.
Ensure the basics are in place
Some basic considerations will ensure you’re compliant with legislation so you don’t face any future problems. These include health and safety, payroll, employment contract, insurance and pensions.
First day for first hire
Once you have found the right person, you need to get off to the best start possible. It’s a milestone for both of you, so prepare a good induction and make sure you have a clear diary for their first day. This is the perfect time to discuss priorities, expectations and agree on objectives and service levels. Ensure you are there for them if they have any questions as many procedures and policies may not be created at this stage.
Don’t be afraid to ask what could be improved. An outsider’s viewpoint is rare. Make the most of this opportunity and act on any valid points and suggestions.
Remember that as an entrepreneur, you have a huge personal stake in the business. No one will ever have as much commitment as you. This means that you can’t expect staff to devote as much of their time to the business as you do.
Recognise that everyone makes mistakes - even you. Don’t use this as an opportunity to dismiss them, instead review what you can both learn from it.
On a final note
Recruiting for your start-up isn’t easy, but it could be the best decision you make when it comes to building your business. Recruitment Genius has worked with multiple start-ups to help them make the right decisions and attract the talent they need. We have so much more advice to give. Please get in touch to find out how we can help you.