5 Hiring Tips for Startups and Small Businesses

1. Transparency is key

Major search engines are not the only ones looking at keywords. Job sites from Craigslist to Monster and everything in between shows jobs based on keywords and industries. When posting a job, think of the words your ideal candidate would use to search for this position. Hiring managers recommend writing out daily tasks, the role’s relationship to the company and its overall goals, and necessary skills. It is also advisable to mention salary (even if it’s DOE) and benefits. The point is to illustrate that this position is important to your company and you are looking for someone to make a valuable contribution.

The description should be detailed but broad. Startups are constantly evolving and jobs within the organization changing. Your ideal employee is flexible and is able to wear many hats in the organization. Be clear about what challenges the company is facing and that the employee will experience so that he or she can come prepared to work toward solutions instead of being overwhelmed.

2. Go to the mountain

Go wherever the best candidates are, either physically or virtually. Scour trade shows or tech demo days, try social media and niche get togethers (like those hosted by Meetup) – the pond is large. Start attending more conferences, as well. It is awkward when a friend tries to set you up on a blind date, but you suddenly become more open to the idea if you are introduced at a house party. A conference is a great way to broadcast your company’s identity and attract interested applicants via a casual, non-interview setting.

3. Flexibility: The hidden perk

You started your company because you didn’t want to sit at a desk from 9am to 5pm. No one wants to sit a desk for eight hours in the middle of the day. If your business model can allow it, offer flexibility as a perk. People like to work from coffee shops, at home, in the park, and they do it in the wee hours of the morning and the late hours of the night. Your focus should be on results and that goals are met.

4. Always be on the lookout

Great talent doesn’t always show up at your door with a CV so it’s best to start considering everyone as a potential hire. Keep a running list of interesting candidates that you can tap into later. This will save you a lot of time and money since you won’t have to advertise new positions each time. Instead, you can dip into a qualified applicant pool and work with a great with whom you have built a relationship.

5. Only the best will do

Your mom probably gave you this advice when you first start dating, and it’s as true here as ever. Don’t settle. Finding the perfect candidate can be as difficult, if not more so, than finding the perfect job – but either way it’s out there. It may take patience and require innovative tools and creative thinking, but the right one for you is out there somewhere.