On the unique hiring challenges, start-ups face – part 1

At the end of the day, people need to be motivated in ways that are not financial, and you cannot leave that to chance.

Every company relies heavily on finding the right talent when it comes to hiring. That’s the whole point of meticulous hiring processes and interviews, isn’t it? You want the best-suited person for the job, just like everybody else out there. But while the additional costs in hiring are very much undesirable for larger companies, hiring the wrong person can be a devastating financial blow for start-ups.

Start-ups are in the early stage of their development and therefore rely on finding the exact right talent more than anyone else out there. When you’re a CEO to a team of ten people, there’s absolutely no room for being unsure about your employee’s talent and skills. Every minute spent on work needs to be spent wisely and with complete ownership on your employee’s part. 

So how do you make sure you get the right talent?

Contrary to many people’s first instinct, “sniping” for a detailed skill set will not solve this problem. In fact, it might only make things worse. “Sniping” for talent often delivers unexpected and undesirable results even if you get applicants who fulfil the requirements. See, the people you hire that way will want to be compensated in accordance with their expertise and skill set, and rightfully so. But if you’re a company at the very beginning of your journey, chances are you cannot compete with the salary a big corporation would be able to offer them. Of course, you know and communicate the potential – the more and faster the company grows the better the salary will get. But you as a CEO might have a better idea about how long that might take than the person who might’ve never worked at a start-up before. At the end of the day, people need to be motivated in ways that are not financial, and you cannot leave that to chance.


Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Do you have to sacrifice talent for passion? 

Of course not. You need people with the right skills and enthusiasm about your mission.

You can attract talent that is experienced, skilled while also motivated to propel your company towards a shared vision. In order to find those people, you need to communicate your vision, your mission and your values as clearly as possible. If you engage in “talent sniping” you will drown out the message with an endless list of requirements and tasks the candidate has to read through to check if they should bother applying at all. Minimise the list of required skills to the ones essential for getting the job done and straight up forget about nice-to-haves. Instead, make sure you communicate the values of your company comprehensively, along with your vision and your mission.

I invite you to take a few minutes here and think about these two types of potential candidates: the ones who are motivated solely by salary and the ones who are (also) motivated by the vision and the mission. Which one of those two people will stay in your company long enough to see the growth that brings about more financial stability for both you and your employees? Which one of those two groups will be more motivated to deliver quality work?

In other words, which one of the two will you most likely not have to lose money on replacing in four months?

Discover your stereotypes and use the right words