How to build a quality startup team in a competitive market

It can be a challenge for startup to attract and retain quality employees. It can be even more of a challenge for startups in areas such as Silicon Valley, New York and other tech hubs, where the competition is fierce and the candidate pool is limited. As the founder of a company that’s working to more than double its workforce in the next year, I’ve come up with a few tips to help put together a high-caliber team, regardless of location.

A good place to start is to offer the kinds of benefits that will attract and retain valuable employees. Some perks that are likely to motivate employees include catered lunches, areas in which to lounge or relax around the office, and the ability to work where and when it is convenient for each individual. Another way to build a great team is to leverage the employees that you already have. By offering employees generous referral bonuses, you can encourage employees to tout your company among their qualified connections.

Working hard is important, but taking time to relax and recharge your batteries is just as critical for staying sharp and creative. Instead of driving staff to work crazy hours every week, respect your staff and make it known that you are looking after their well-being with balanced work-life schedules. Allow yourself and your team to take breaks and de-stress. In addition to advocating for a more balanced daily routine, you can maintain motivation levels by celebrating the team’s successes. Bring the team together for an all-office cheers to acknowledge company milestones and wins, or take a break from the day and go out to lunch together.

When it comes to attracting new team members, get creative in your hiring techniques. If your business is competing against giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter, consider looking to other regions for employees where the competition is less cut-throat. Many companies are hiring employees from across the country, and remote work is becoming more popular. Digitally managing employees can seem like a challenge, but by implementing tools such as chat rooms and video conferencing, workers outside of the office can bond with the rest of the team and work collaboratively. If you have challenging positions to fill and the local candidate pool is shallow, this can be the perfect solution.

The success of your business depends heavily on the team you build, making it especially important to find candidates who share your vision and passion. By hiring, training and mentoring a team of qualified and motivated employees, you’ll greatly increase the chances of building a successful business. Try implementing a few, or all of these tips, and your startup will be on its way to meeting its hiring goals.

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Written by:
Anthony Smith is the CEO of Insightly, a San Francisco-based SaaS CRM application. He built the first version of Insightly in six months from his home in Perth, Australia, after identifying a market need for a CRM solution focused on small business. He has previous experience designing and building CRM software for enterprise use. Prior to Insightly, Anthony worked as a consultant for IBM and as a software engineer for global mining consultancy Snowden.
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