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5 Tips for Finding the Best Employees for Your Startup

When it comes to new companies, finding the right people to work for you can make or break your venture. But unlike established companies, your startup won’t have a slew of potential employees sending résumés their way. Here are some tips on how to overcome that obstacle and hire the best employees you can for your startup.



The company is your vision, and it’s something you’re passionate about. Allow your excitement to rub off on the people in your network. Maybe people you already know have a similar vision. The point is, before you look far and wide for the best employees, make sure you look at those close to you. When you do hire someone, use their network as well. They will know people who have similar skill sets and who are just as passionate.


Traditional Methods

What works for established companies can still work for your startup. Get your name out there with job fairs, and you’ll have a wide array of applicants. Make sure you conduct background checks, as well, and make it known that you require the check. This will filter out lower quality applicants, ensure that you’ve met all your legal obligations and lend a sense of professionalism and legitimacy to your startup.


Test Their Skills

If your interviewees’ biggest weaknesses are their perfectionism and their inability to delegate, it means they know the answers they think you want to hear. Put a new spin on the interview by having them demonstrate whatever skills they claim to have. The adage “fake it ‘til you make it” won’t help your startup, and if you’re hiring people for their skills, you need to be sure they actually have them. You can come up with simple things for them to do during the interview or you can have a slightly more complicated task for them to perform after the job interview. When employing tests, remember that your potential employees might not be perfect at everything. Use these tests to see their ingenuity, work ethic, and ability to work under pressure.


Look for Intangibles

You’ll be logging a lot of hours with your employees, so make sure you mesh well with the people you’re hiring. Take the time to learn who they are and what intangibles they have that may be useful. Be mindful that their soft skills, such as patience or an eagerness to learn, can be particularly beneficial to your startup. The interview is a prime time to get to know them better. You can also contact their references and ask them about their impression of your candidates.


Collective Interview

Startups feature a handful of people working closely together, so to hire the best employees possible, make your current employees part of the process. This helps you make sure that everyone gets along and works well together. If you have an employee who is doing well in the position that you are hiring for, consider having them administer the test or ask a few questions during the interview. Because they are doing the same work, they can give you a good feel for the suitability of the candidate.

Your startup may be missing some of the advantages of a traditional company, but this means you stand a good chance of drawing creative, dedicated and passionate people. The hiring process will be more drawn out, but if you follow these tips, your startup will be sure to reap the benefits.


Jenn Montgomery

Jenn Montgomery is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger based in San Diego. She writes on a variety of topics and enjoys learning new things.