Hiring Talent for a Business 

 November 24, 2020

By  Matthew King

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The business landscape is changing. COVID-19 has, for many people, completely redefined the concept of work. In 2020, people are starting more businesses, taking more risks, and taking their destinies into their own hands.

It takes a lot to learn how to start an online business step by step. There are a million different considerations that must be taken into account. From securing funding to developing a marketing strategy and everything in between, it can seem like the work is never done.

This is likely in part because you feel compelled, as many startup owners do, to take on every responsibility yourself. But as most startup owners will also admit, building a stellar team is one of the most important things you’ll do as a new business owner.

Hiring the best talent for your online business won’t be easy, but at the end of the day, it will be worth it. To make sure your business hits the ground running, you should surround yourself with a team of competent, creative, and like-minded people, who will care as much about the success of the business as you do.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to hire talent for your online business.

Learn How to Start an Online Business Step by Step: Attract Top Talent

As any HR or recruitment professional will tell you, a lot goes into making a hire. In between creating a job posting and making a job offer, there are many steps, considerations, and proper procedures to go through. There can also be certain challenges. Particularly when a startup is concerned.

remote work

Barriers to Finding the Best Employees for Startups

For a startup, all of the usual challenges of talent acquisition apply. These include things such as determining culture fit, hiring negotiations, and trying to complete the whole process in a timely manner.

But for startups, talent acquisition comes with its own set of unique challenges too. Startups, by their very nature, are brand new. This can have its advantages, but it also has undeniable drawbacks, as well.

You’re starting off on a clean slate, which is good. You can curate your image exactly as you wish it to be, you don’t have a bad reputation. In fact, you don’t have any reputation at all, and this can potentially be a problem.

Employees understandably want to know what they’re getting into when they sign a contract of employment. The average jobseeker reads six employee reviews before even applying to a role. With so little information to go on, many people could be wary of applying to such roles.

Remedy this by making a name for yourself. Try to network as much as possible, create a digital presence that gets across what you’re all about, and clearly communicate your company’s mission and vision in any job postings and interviews.

Another potential issue? You may, in some senses, have less to offer than larger more established companies. The starting salary may be on the lower end of the scale, you might be offering equity, instead. Maybe your office doesn’t have its own rock climbing wall like Google does.

There’s no real easy fix here, your only option is honesty. Tell potential new hires about all the great things, like rapid growth, more one-to-one time, and the chance to get in on the ground floor on something big, you have to offer. For the team members you really want, this will be enough.

How You Can Attract Top Talent: What Jobseekers Want

You might not have millions of dollars to spend or an unlimited supply of snacks, but for some potential hires, that might be ok. Let's take a look at what today's employees really look for in a role.

1. Company Culture and Values

This is a trend that has been ongoing for some time, and recent surveys confirm it's not showing any signs of slowing down. Employees place a high significance on company culture, and it's something that has been growing on their list of priorities. So much so, in fact, that now, many employees say that a company's culture plays a bigger part in their workplace happiness than their salary.

Make sure you've clearly defined and cultivated the culture you want for your company, and make sure prospective hires can clearly see this, too.

2. Flexibility

Employees value flexibility in their jobs. Even before COVID-19, hybrid offices were becoming more popular, and remote work was on the rise. But flexibility doesn't only refer to where an employee works, but how and when. Being able to set their own hours and achieve a healthy work-life balance is also a priority for many jobseekers.

Luckily, since your business is only beginning, you have the opportunity to set the terms for exactly how your team will work. Of course, it's your prerogative to not offer flexible work options, but if you do, be sure to highlight this to candidates.

3. To Have Their Voices Heard

A recent survey found that while over 80% of employees felt they had a good idea for improving their company, almost half said their ideas are being ignored by their employers. If a candidate feels as though they're going to be just another cog in the machine, they may hesitate to accept an offer.

One of the wonderful things about startups is that they're dynamic and in a constant state of growth. Make sure to communicate to candidates how important their input and presence will be to the success of the company.

The Recruitment Process

If you have no experience in the area of recruitment, it can be tough to know exactly how to hire people. There are procedures to follow and technologies to utilize. To get you started, let's look at some basic hiring guidelines.

1. Clearly Define Each Role

When you're creating a job description, you should be as open and honest as possible. This is no time to be coy. Try to think of anything and everything that might fall under this person's duties and paint as accurate a picture as possible of the job. If you're expecting long hours from your employees, say so. You don't want to hire anyone under false pretenses.

2. Consider Utilizing the Latest Technologies

This might be an expense upfront, but in the long term, it could end up saving you many precious hours, and could potentially even result in better hires, too. There are so many different types of software available. Whether you want to automate your job posting, gamify your employee assessments, or even use AI to select the best candidates, the choice is yours.

3. Be Prepared for the Interview

Interviews are nerve-wracking situations, but not normally for the person conducting the meeting. If you've never interviewed candidates before, there are some things you can do to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Prepare all questions in advance, and have them in front of you. This will make sure you hit all of the points you intend to. Be sure to keep engaged throughout the interview, nothing is worse than an interviewer that seems disinterested. In the same vein, research interviewees before their interview and familiarize yourself with their background so you can ask relevant questions.

4. Pick The Candidate That's the Best Fit for You

When it comes to making your final decision, choosing between two, or even more, great candidates can be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you if you're struggling to make a decision.

Create a hiring rubric, so you can see where employees excel and fall short, and easily compare them against one another.

While assessments can be helpful in the hiring process, you shouldn't just screen for technical ability. You should also ask questions relating to soft-skills, culture fit, and their personality so you'll get a full picture of each candidate.

One way of assessing if a candidate will be a good fit in a role is to have them perform some workplace tasks for a short period, to let them see what the job is actually like. You can also introduce them to any other team members you might already have, to see if they'll fit in well.

On the subject of culture fit, try to identify any subconscious bias you may be exhibiting towards candidates. Nobody's perfect, and your reasons for rejecting a candidate may not always be the most logical. Getting a second opinion from a trusted source or using a likeminded community as a sounding board can be a help in combatting this.

The Final Word on Talent Acquisition

Finding top talent for your business can be a long process fraught with challenges and difficulties, but believe it or not, it can be enjoyable, as well.

Starting a new company is all about entering into the unknown, being brave, and taking on new challenges. Every day is different, and it's a never-ending cycle of lessons learned.

Talent acquisition is only one of the many things you'll need to master as you learn how to start an online business step by step. For more information, inspiration, and support, sign up for your free Startup Forums account today.

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