When you are in a position to start a business, you will know that there are many things to consider. In the early stages (when it may still seem that side hustle), you spin a lot of plates to get things off the ground successfully. At this early stage, your recruitment is the most important component you should focus on. By investing in good HR from the start, you’ll lay a concrete foundation to build on and set yourself up for future success. Investing in early hiring will pay dividends later.
Create a hiring process
A good tip when starting a business is to create a good hiring process from the beginning. Building this into your company structure will help you build and grow your new business well. Knowing what you’re looking for and how best to attract those applicants will help create fruitful, long-lasting relationships. Hiring is one of the most important decisions you make, as it will ultimately affect your business culture and how your workforce represents you and your company. Careful and smart hiring choices ensure you have the right people to lead the future of your business. Having a solid recruitment process and having all the DBS checks done before the person starts working for you will save you time and energy later.
Aspects of a good hiring process include defining business needs before hiring and clearly communicating what you’re looking for. Writing a specific job role profile that clearly outlines what the role will entail and what skills, education, experience and desired characteristics the candidate needs for the job is essential. Advertising your job in the right places affects who you reach and the quality of applications you receive. Working with a recruiter can be a good option to ensure your role gets the right attention and you get the right talent pool. Recruiters can also help with the initial screening of candidates to save you time. They can remove applicants who don’t meet the basic requirements, leaving you with the most suitable candidates to meet in person.
Be careful with bias
Be aware of the possibility of unconscious bias as you begin the hiring process. This is widespread in recruitment and the best way to combat it is to implement systems that proactively eliminate the possibility of bias. These systems help you make objective decisions that are not influenced by your unconscious judgments. This includes blind recruitment, where applicants’ names and personal details, such as gender or religion, are removed from resumes. This means that when reviewing their CV, personal information that is not relevant to the role cannot factor into the decision as to whether they should progress to the next stage. Eliminating unconscious bias will result in a much more diverse pool of applicants making it to the interview stage.
Investing time in creating a structured hiring process will attract the best talent; talent will know how much effort you are putting into hiring. If you come to an interview ill-prepared and ask basic interview questions that don’t touch, it can be a red flag to top talent who expect more from the company they’ll be working for. Equally, if your job description is unclear and vague, top talent will be put off by the lack of clarity around the role and may not even bother to apply. The hiring process works both ways; making an effort to create a robust process that treats applicants with care and understanding will result in the best talent coming forward and taking on the right role.
What are the best ways to attract talent for your first hires?
To attract the best talent, you need to be clear about what you expect and offer competitive remuneration for the role. Sell the benefits of your company. What are your values and ambitions? The right candidate for you will care about the ethos and plans of your company and will be invested in the company. Articulating your company’s vision from the start will attract people who agree with it and want to put in the effort to achieve it.
Top talent will know their worth and want to be paid accordingly. Although budgets are tight for any start-up business, understanding the importance and benefits of early hiring will show you that investing in attractive salaries for potential employees will attract the best talent. This demonstrates to them that their expertise is valued. Therefore, they will do their best and want to prove their worth by making a positive impact on your business.
Making the right hiring decisions by selecting people to help grow your business will ensure you get a return on your investment.
Make recruiting a priority
Starting a business takes a lot of time. Understanding the importance of getting your shots right and taking the time to do so will make the process much easier and save you time in the end. By setting aside an hour a day to review potential resumes, you can screen candidates without distraction. Whether it’s your first or last assignment of the day, this set time will allow you a continuous window to carefully assess whether candidates have the skills you’re looking for and whether they align with your business vision. No special tools make it easier to view your resume on the go, so if you want to carve out time for your commute or when you’re on the road to client meetings, it’s easier than ever.
Carving out an hour a day of uninterrupted time will allow you to review more resumes and think through your decision. It’s a more productive way to work rather than wasting time during the day when you won’t be as focused on the task at hand. When you understand the benefits of making smart hiring decisions, it won’t feel like a task you need to check off your to-do list; it will feel like time you are using to invest in the success of your new business.
Identify the positions you need to fill
As an entrepreneur, you do almost everything yourself. However, as your business grows, you will begin to reach a point where you will need to hire help to maintain a good level of service and expand. As you begin recruiting your first employees, assess which roles will be most beneficial and have the most impact on your business. Maybe you need someone to start taking over the business admin and invoicing duties to give you more time to focus on other aspects of the business. Removing mundane tasks that are vital to the smooth running of the business but that take up a lot of time will free up your mind so you can focus on the areas of the business that will bring financial benefits.
Alternatively, you may need someone to start helping you with business strategy and development skills to help you get more clients and grow your business. Investing in hiring that is dedicated to focusing on new business opportunities and growing your client base can quickly grow your revenue stream. Or, if you’re at a stage in your business where you’re generating interest and leads but can’t take them on or fulfill orders, you may need a larger team to help with operations to ensure you don’t have to turn away new leads making a profit.
Identify the gaps
By this point, there’s a good chance you’ve handled social media and marketing for your company, and maybe even built your website. These first hires allow you to identify areas where you may be weak and recruit people to fill those gaps. Perhaps you want to hire a marketer who knows where to place your business and how to communicate with your current and potential customers. Or a website developer can make your site more attractive and user-friendly by enhancing it user path and more sales. When recruiting for these roles, be clear about what technical skills you need. For example, you might say that the job requires technical knowledge of SEO and how to successfully implement it.
It’s important to know what you need in order to clearly state in your job profile what you’re asking for and to identify a candidate with the level of experience and specific skill set required for the role. By starting with an assessment of what the business currently lacks and what outside skills would be useful, you can hire wisely. These employees can enhance your business direction, offerings and customer service.
Advantageous characteristics for early hiring
Once you’ve identified the roles you need to fill and the skills you need, you can better evaluate and filter applications. Once you have a group of people who all have potential, the next step in the hiring process is to assess whether they are a good fit for your company.
Meeting them at the interview stage gives you a better understanding of who they are, how they come across and whether their values align with your company’s ethos. Your first hires can largely determine the direction of your business. With such a small staff, each person makes a dramatic impact on the team.
For your first hires, certain qualities indicate that they will be an asset to your growing business. An independent person who can complete tasks without micromanaging ensures that you don’t have to spend a lot of time holding their hand. You’re hiring someone to relieve stress and make it easier for you to focus on other areas of the business, you don’t want someone you have to spend a lot of time managing.
Someone who understands the nature of startups and wants to work in that environment could be an asset to you. There will be challenges and curve balls, just like any new business. You want someone who can help you overcome these unforeseen challenges and adjust your plans or ways of working to accommodate these challenges.
Asking the right questions during the interview stage can often help determine whether a candidate will have the positive problem-solving approach a startup needs. Having someone ready to step in and help when needed is very helpful, whether it’s preparing a proposal at the last minute or drafting a response to a disgruntled customer. Hiring a candidate who can make a positive impact on your business.
Starting a business without a solid foundation will only get you so far. You will reach a stage where the wheels start coming off or growth stops and stagnates. Understanding the importance and benefits of investing in early hiring will allow your business to thrive. Having a thorough and thoughtful hiring process will give you the best chance of attracting the best talent. With this great talent, you’ll be able to dedicate your time to growing your business, knowing you’ve got support behind you.
Hiring people with skills that the business may currently lack and people who share the same ethos as your business will ensure that the team works together to strengthen and grow the business. Smart early hiring makes your business more successful by ensuring that the additional revenue will more than cover the initial investment in new employee salaries.