Startups face many challenges, especially in the beginning phases. One of the most significant of those is the matter of where to locate the right talent that will carry the business forward. One factor working against startups is their typically lean nature. Most startups simply don’t have the cash reserves nor the reputations that could attract the attention of the type of talent that they need to survive.
What the founders of startups do have at their disposal, however, is the power of networking. Particularly in the beginning, you should be spending no less than thirty percent of your time (possibly up to 40 percent) on locating and recruiting your team.
The events are prime for finding good people with the skills you need. Even if you can’t directly connect with the right people, you may be able to gain introductions through others in your network who are familiar with your needs.
You should also be concentrating on expanding your networks as much as possible. Try to identify those in your industry who would make valuable connections and see what you can do to reach out to them.
Colleges and universities that offer degree programmes in your industry are ripe with networking opportunities. Find out what kind of associations and working groups the students are involved in and pay a visit.
You always have the option of creating your own event, as well and inviting whomever you choose. It can be as large as you like, but just make sure that it portrays a fun and positive atmosphere so candidates can get an idea what the work culture will be like.
Have your pitch ready
It will help you to be prepared with your pitch in case you happen to run into your perfect candidate along the way. You can begin by developing an in depth profile of your ideal person and then crafting a pitch that will appeal directly to them and get them excited about your startup’s vision.
Your competition for talent is fierce — you’re probably going after many of the same people that are being recruited by the bigger tech companies. Since there is little chance that you’ll be able to offer candidates the same big salaries and benefit-laden packages as the big boys, your job is to sell them on the dream — why what you are building matters and how it is to their benefit to get in at the beginning while they can share in the ownership.
Post on job boards that cater to startups
Sometimes, no matter how much time you devote to networking, you just can’t find the people you need. When that happens, it may be time to turn to the job boards. Major job boards can charge high fees to post a job opening, though. That’s why it makes so much sense to use those job boards that understand the plight of startups and are interested in helping them connect with the right talent.
One example of a startup job board is StartupHire. Some of these boards will also allow you to create a profile for your business so you can share your mission and tell prospective candidates about your ideas and products. Other niche sites like Mashable and VentureBeat also have areas where you can post a job.
Clare Hawkins is part of the team at Local.com.au.