5 Best Practices for Hiring Superior Employees for Your Startup
A company is only as good as its employees. It doesn’t matter if the CEO has the most creative, innovative business plan of the century -- if they don't also have people working alongside them who are dedicated, determined and hardworking, then their dream can’t become a reality. When you’re just beginning your entrepreneurial adventure and are trying to establish your startup, the thought of hiring employees can seem quite daunting. A million questions will probably run through your head: How will I find the best employees? How will I know who the best candidate is? What if I hire the wrong candidate?
We won’t lie to you -- finding the most superior employees for your startup can be a stressful process. However, there are several practices that can make the process easier. These are all tried and true practices used by CEO’s of major companies when hiring employees. If you aren’t sure how to begin, pick one or many of these top five best practices for choosing the best employees for your startup.
1. Cultivate your workplace culture
A common mistake that startups make in the hiring process is focusing too strongly on their candidates and not strongly enough on themselves. At first, this may seem counterproductive, but think about it; how can you find the employees that suit your company best if you haven’t fully developed the workplace culture? While someone’s qualifications, talent and experience are all important factors in the hiring decision, one of the best hiring practices is to fully develop your startup’s workplace culture. Dan Denison defines workplace culture as “the underlying values, beliefs and principles that serve as a foundation for an organization’s management system as well as the practices and behaviors that both exemplify and reinforce those basic principles.” These values and principles must be fully developed prior to starting the hiring process in order to find the most superior employees who are not only qualified but also fit with your workplace culture.
2. Stick to pre-qualifications
When you begin hiring in this economy, it’s not uncommon to be flooded with applications. While there are many factors that influence a hiring decision, there are some basic pre-qualifications that you should have set and should not deviate from. These should be basic qualifications that you expect from any employee at your startup; by having these set in stone, you can easily filter out the applicants who don’t have them. This way, you won’t get distracted by fancy work experience or special skills before seeing if the applicant meets your basic requirements.
3. Employment background check
An employment background check is arguably one of the most critical steps when beginning your hiring process for your startup. It doesn’t matter how much talent or valuable work experience a candidate has if they aren’t being honest about it. Every employer should background check their potential employees before hiring any of them. Employment background checks include verifying a candidate’s employment history, criminal record and much more. These background checks ensure that you are not only hiring an employee who is the best fit for your company, but also one who is honest and trustworthy.
4. Use alternative interview methods
Interviews are a popular and commonplace hiring practice. They are a crucial aspect of any startup’s hiring strategy. However, the standard one-on-one interview where an employer sits across the desk from a nervous employee and asks the same boring questions doesn’t always yield the best results. Instead, we encourage you to think outside of the box for your interviews. By using alternative interview methods, you can get a better idea of which candidates would fit in with your existing employees and workplace culture. Try a group mixer with all of the candidates, as well as a few current employees to get the ball rolling. This hiring practice can make all the difference and truly help you to pick superior employees.
5. Talent over experience
Most employers hire employees by using a multifaceted approach. The first step is usually to filter through all of the applications and find which candidates have the most experience in the field. However, this strategy can backfire, especially when hiring for a startup. Of course, startups need employees with experience, but because they don’t yet have a solid reputation, startup employers should focus on having creative employees on their team. If there are candidates for the job who exhibit high levels of talent and creativity, those candidates can be infinitely more valuable than a candidate who lacks creativity but has experience in a similar field. A very useful practice for hiring startup employees is to focus on their talent rather than solely on their experience.
As a startup employer, it’s incredibly important that you have a solid hiring strategy. If you stick to the tips listed in this guide, you’ll be able to cultivate a strong and specific hiring strategy, which will undoubtedly lead to hiring employees that are a perfect fit for your startup. Use employment background checks, alternative interview methods and prioritize talent over experience. While the hiring process can be stressful, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming if you follow one or more of these proven hiring practices.