Steve Jobs said, ‘hiring the best is your most important job’ and ask any founder who has been hired badly, how true this is. Just ask Red Adair with his famous words ‘If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur. ‘
As startups, with limited funds, resources, and time is a critical commodity, hiring is often done by hiring those that you know (better the devil you know) and those that will work for minimal and just ‘get the job done’. But knowing how to hire and how to recruit could be the difference between success and becoming another statistic.
FYI the difference between hiring and recruiting ‘hiring is seeking and evaluating candidates when you need to fill a specific role at your company. On the other hand, recruiting involves continuous research to find the best employees for your company’.
Having started several businesses on different shoe-string budgets, I share what I learned along the way:
Tip Number 1 – Hire specialized
In the beginning, when you hire DO NOT think you will hire 1 person who will take it all over. For some strange reason, founders can do 100 things and still be standing afterward – employees don’t work as you do. Hire 1 person for a specific area of responsibility, don’t think 1 person will do half of your job (they won’t be able to or have the passion as you do).
Tip Number 2 – Assess
If you are hiring someone you do not know (i.e., you have not worked with them before) ensure you assess their skills. Research done by Inavero shows that skills are the top hiring challenge. Do not believe you have a unicorn? Then give them an assessment in the one most important job area you need them to do and see how they do it with a test/assessment. You can create your own to save money.
Tip Number 3 – Use a specialist
Would you build a house yourself? Would you service your own car? Nope, we use specialists when we need specific things are done, same in your business and same for recruiting. Use a specialist to assist in finding your talent, not only will they save you time but money. Yes, money. Imagine hiring an absolute star who will take an area of the business and just run with it? Your best chance to find a star quickly, effectively, and efficiently is to use someone who does this day in and out. Some agencies even give you payment terms like Job Crystal so check it out www.jobcrystal.co.za.
Tip Number 4 – Reference check (ALWAYS)
Even if you are hiring someone you used to work with, do a double check on the last place they worked. Do not just do 1 reference do a bit of digging and ask a colleague or a supplier of theirs. A 15-minute chat will go a long way in saving you months of pulling your hair out.
Tip Number 5 – Stalk
Yes, this is a strange one, but nowadays we have so many ways to look at our possible employees and what they like, don’t like and almost a pre-screen. Have a look at their Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. If you are an organization that loves animals, you don’t want to hire someone who is not an animal fan as they said in their interview?
Tip Number 6 – Hiring those you know
We have all worked with a few colleagues with who we would love to work again. Just ensure that you know what they are looking for long term. Also working in a startup versus a corporate is very different so be sure to share the difference in benefits, hours, and pay while giving them the advantages in growth.
Tip Number 7 – List the rewards
As a startup, we cannot always offer a large salary, with a big office and great IT equipment but we can offer so much more. List these when you are advertising a role or in your Job Specification such as:
- No red tape
- One on one time with the CEO (often)
- Remote working
- Ability to decide on the strategy and plans
- Getting your voice heard
- Possibly profit sharing?
For more great ways look here – https://snacknation.com/blog/ways-to-reward-employees/
Hiring is your most important job and spending the time upfront to get it right is critical (and will save you lots of hassles later). If you do it yourself ensure your Job Specification is right, you do assessments and references, and if you find you do not hire well then use a specialist. A business with a solid talent base is more likely to succeed.
Have a read through a recent study that showed that Startups fail due to hiring the wrong people – https://www.benefitspro.com/2016/08/19/why-do-start-ups-fail-they-hire-the-wrong-people/
*Sasha Knott, MD of Job Crystal is a serial entrepreneur with 7 start-ups behind her. With several businesses that were closed while several others were sold successfully. With her latest startup Job Crystal in ensuring they help Startups grow with the right talent, while #helping to make a dent in unemployment.