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Recruitment 101 – Attracting The Best Talent

– Contributed content –

Career start sign

(Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

8 Apr. 2019. It doesn’t matter whether you are a recently formed startup or whether you are a veteran entrepreneur, the chances are that you will need to hire staff at some point. This might be because individuals leave and need replacing or because you are expanding and need more people to carry out new and exciting duties.

Recruitment tends to be most difficult for those smaller firms who struggle to compete with the high salaries and kudos of larger, more household name sort of companies. Even if you are expanding fast, the chances are that your funds are tied up in growing your capability. Providing wages for your staff is a paramount issue, but you have so much more to offer, that maybe larger blue chip conglomerates cannot.

Attracting the brightest minds to the jobs you have on offer needn’t be as tricky as you first thought. Take a look at this guide to ensure that you are empowered to create a cohesive and productive staff team for your startup.

Show progression

A larger company, while commanding great status, often won’t be able to give individual workers the attention and care that they deserve. A smaller firm can foster a more family like atmosphere that can appear attractive to younger, less experienced candidates. Knowing employees on first name terms, taking an interest in their lives and valuing their contributions can enhance morale and productivity. For the employee, having a boss who is visible is a key asset when first starting out as they can receive guidance and reassurance.

While larger companies tend to envelop their new starters with generic training and introductions, you can ensure that your new employees are prepared to hit the ground running with specific in house training. When you interview candidates make it clear that you have plenty to offer them if they choose to come and work for you. Make it a point of business to highlight the quick career progression on offer. As a smaller firm, you will be expanding quickly, and any candidate will be part of this growth. Having a real impact from the get go can be hugely appealing to those individuals who want a challenge, need to feel valued and want to make a difference.

By showing clear progression for staff members, you stand more of a chance of keeping the brightest minds at your firm. Show them the sort of professional development that you have on offer from CPR online certification all the way through to undertaking a postgraduate qualification. Showing that you invest in your team is an asset when trying to attract the best candidates. As you grow, you can reward your staff with higher salaries, promotions, and perks. Having your staff team actually be a part in driving this can boost morale and prevent the high turnover of staff that many other larger firms face.

Use a recruitment agency

The recruitment process itself can be a challenge if you are eager to attract the brightest minds. You need to take time out from implementing your business vision to write a job ad, upload it onto relevant sites, promote your recruitment drive through social media and then sift through a legion of applications before you even get to interviewing potential candidates.

The best talent out there might not even be accessible by your lowly social media means of communication. Instead, consider seeking out a recruitment agent that is a specialist headhunter in your sector. For a finders fee, they will listen to your requirements, formulate a job profile and person specification, and the carry out the long listing process. Being an agency with a top reputation, they may even have the best candidates on their books already waiting to be interviewed. Having a recruitment agent on side can take out much of the hard work, stress and time pressure needed to carry out a suitable and worthwhile recruitment drive.

After the long-listing process, the recruitment firm will provide you with up to half a dozen high quality candidates. It is then up to you to whittle them down through interview and ensure that you find the perfect fit for your established team.

Be flexible

If you are a rigid employer with set working hours, desktop booths and little or no positive buzz in the office, you will struggle to attract the most forward thinking minds. You need to swap the booths for collaborative group working pods, and you need to show off a productive working environment. When candidates come for interview, you don’t want them witnessing a sea of morose faces, yawning at their laptops, and twiddling their thumbs waiting for the day to end. Instead, you want to foster a hive of activity, smiling faces, a positive atmosphere, and some office banter.

Your current employees are the face of your company to other potential candidates. You need to demonstrate to them that they are valued through your communication, words and actions. As an employer you need to show a level of flexibility that the larger firms cannot. Flexible working hours are now becoming fashionable for all the right reasons. If you know that a couple of your social media managers have a long commute into work, allow them to work from home three days a week.

Facilitating the ability to work off site shows a lot of trust on your part. However, this in itself can make employees feel empowered to work from a table in their favorite coffee shop, or at home in their bed in their pajamas. So long as the work is high quality and on time, then it shouldn’t matter where it is completed. Any potential candidate will appreciate this flexibility.

Do you want the brightest minds?

It might sound like a silly question but do you really want the most intelligent individual with a glowing resume, excellent qualifications and secondments to the top names in your industry? Your immediate reaction might be yes. However, what if this individual lacks a sense of humor, doesn’t work well in a team, has a lack of vigor and will do the bare minimum in order to collect his paycheck. The chances are that he will not fit into your well oiled team of people, and that you will soon be looking for a replacement. You should be doing everything within your power to avoid a high turnover of staff.

The best talent doesn’t mean the most intelligent or cleverest individual. The best talent for your firm means the most suitable person to fit into your team and add something to the productivity level, buzz and vibe of the office. Anyone can complete duties and tasks, but very few can mesh so well that they feel part of the family. This cozy and happy ethos is something only smaller startups can offer.

Attracting the best talent as a smaller startup is always going to seem like a bit of an uphill struggle. However, if you can put the emphasis on what you do have to offer rather than the things you cannot, individuals will see the bigger picture. Job seekers now place greater importance on work life balance and overall satisfaction than they do on how much they earn. People no longer want to work all hours under the sun to get a decent pension. They want to live in the moment and enjoy going to work every morning.

Follow this guide and ensure that you are doing everything in your power to attract the best candidates to your startup.

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