5 Ways To Ensure A Value-Match When Hiring For Your Startup

February 25, 2013

10:56 am

Every startup offers a one-of-a-kind environment composed of equally unique ideas and employees. While your company may be small in terms of size, it’s certainly big in terms of company culture.

With 87 percent of startups hiring nationwide, it’s surprising to hear many startup executives say filling jobs is still a challenge. When it comes to hiring for your startup, it’s not only essential to attract qualified individuals, but also to hire great candidates who share your startup’s values and passion. In the hunt for startup talent, you’re not only competing against larger companies with higher pay scales, you’re also going up against employer brands who’ve mastered the art of showcasing company culture to attract talent.

A strong startup culture can act as the unifying element that drives your company forward. Therefore, ensuring a successful hire for your startup means finding a value-match to your culture. Attracting and hiring great talent shouldn’t be a struggle.

Here are five ways your startup can ensure it’s matched its company culture when hiring top talent:

1. Identify your needs. Before beginning the search for the perfect hire, you must lay down your terms for hiring. Simply identifying the position you’re interested in filling isn’t enough when you’re looking to hire for your startup as a whole, and not just a job. Hit the drawing board and come up with the exact skills and traits necessary for the candidates you’re seeking.

Delve into your startup’s culture by asking these questions: What three words describe your startup? What three values does your startup holds above the rest? The answers to those questions will allow you to identify the key ingredients you need your potential hires to possess. If your startup’s culture holds innovative thinking above all else, this is one trait your candidates must showcase to even be considered.

2. Write better job descriptions. Drawing in the perfect candidates often comes down to how much effort you put into creating job descriptions for your openings. Many companies struggle to hire top talent, but fail to realize their job and company descriptions lack the necessary elements for success.

Create job descriptions easily conveying your startup’s culture, key value statements, and an enticing description of both the position and the company. A strong job description will act as a beneficial marketing tool for drawing in candidates who are not only qualified, but also interested in your one-of-a-kind work environment.

3. Showcase your company culture. Is your startup making a point to show off what you’ve got? Businesses everywhere are coming to understand the value of showcasing their unique company culture. From your website to your social networking platforms — your startup’s culture should be easy to identify and experience. Think of it as your startup’s personality. Whoever comes in contact with it shouldn’t be able to forget it.

If you’re singing the song of your startup, you will inspire the interest of others. Candidates shouldn’t just want a position, they should want to take part in the company culture you have to offer them.

4. Make your hiring process as unique as your startup. The traditional resume-to-interview hiring process doesn’t cut it for every company. If you’re really looking to hire for your startup and not just for a position, it’s important to switch-up the way you hire to ensure effectiveness for the future of your company.

Drop the bulleted list of standard questions and head straight to questions indicating a candidate’s values. Consider asking your candidates to solve a challenge in the early stages of the application process. Testing your candidates not only ensures their proficiency, but also gives you a chance to see how they work under pressure. You can also create a more efficient hiring process through the use of video interviews — you’ll actually be able to see how your candidates carry themselves before setting foot in your office.

5. Learn and grow. Perfecting your hiring process doesn’t happen overnight. You’re bound to hire a few employees who don’t work out. Use these experiences as a way to transform your hiring process and to improve the way you define your needs. Your startup is likely to evolve, and so should your methods for acquiring top talent.

Attracting and acquiring talent that portrays a value-match should be a concern for your startup. Continually seek out new ways to showcase what you have to offer.

How are you showcasing your startup’s culture?

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Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Find Heather on Google+.

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