An Early Stage Startup’s Guide To Talent Acquisition

Every successful company today operates with the core belief that talent is the magical ingredient that fuels innovative ideas and builds successful startups.
A great idea can only go so far without the right mix of talented, driven people working toward the same goals. A founder’s role is not just to post an opening on various job-portals and then wait for the piles of the resumes; but it involves doing all the dirty work to find those rare gems, the people that have that unique blend of talent, drive and passion that will bring fresh energy, ability and ideas to your existing team. So while you’re busy changing the world, it is equally essential that position yourself as a core part of the talent acquisition process for your company.
Few basic rules to understand the game:
People Matter: When they talk about your startup, they usually talk about the people behind it. Your company can’t grow without talent and we all know that good talent is hard to find.
Remember: 90% of the times, investors invest in teams (people behind the startup) rather than the products.
Talent Precedes People: Simply having a great team won’t do any good when every individual is not able to bring in a unique value addition for your growth story. Instead, you need that precise team where everyone is a rock star, a ninja, or a hustler.
Talent Outcomes Education: It’s important to tackle the qualifications of a candidate by looking beyond his/her prestigious education and big name experience. Instead, you need to recruit them based on what makes sense for your company. By focusing on just two things: Value addition to the team and their cultural fit.
Pot Holes: This is the first step where you need to know what exactly is missing in your team in order to get results. One can easily get to know their pot holes by asking “How much revenue are we making?” or “How many users are using our product” and “Why only (xxxx)?”
Holistic Thinking: Now if your answer for not generating specific number or achieving a milestone is because you don’t have someone specialized to do that, then its the time you need to decide on increasing your team. Else, go back to previous step.
Documentation: Define the skills that you expect from a new hire on a document in a very clear and precise manner. Note down the pointers on why people will love to join your startup or company. What would excite them to be a part of your team? Are there any perks apart from the compensation that you are providing?
Talk To People: Have a story for your startup. People love hearing stories. Whenever you meet someone interesting, don‘t fire off routine questions. Instead, portray your startup using stories or anecdotes. People remember the people who are interesting.
Ninja Push: It’s the time to push (or publish) your opening(s) along with your startup story on the internet. Primary parameters should include the role, responsibilities, compensation, the culture you have and the team. This also includes boosting your content on all the possible channels over the web.
Being Human: People take immediate actions once they love your content over the web. Your role is to be easily accessible. Being human simply means that approachable state where candidates can easily get back to you with their questions and interest.
Remember: Relationships with people are fundamental to acquiring and retaining talent. Your startup has a long journey ahead, so value every relationship you establish and position yourself as a resource to others even if recruitment is not your motive.
[Guest article by Niranjan Yadav, founder of SwitchIdea, an internship platform.]

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