10 Ways to Recruit and Find the Best Talent for your Startup

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Hiring is your biggest priority as a founder or manager in a startup. It’s also one of the most important factors in determining your success. But you can't just hire any talent—you need the right kind. That's why it's important to know how to recruit and find them, so you don't waste time on the wrong candidates who aren't going to help your company succeed (and instead will drag it down). Here are some tips for finding great people:

1. Be clear about your company culture.

To attract the best talent for your startup, you need to be clear about what you want. A strong company culture is one of your greatest assets. Be clear about who you are and what you stand for—and don’t compromise on that vision, even as the company grows.

It’s important for everyone in the organization to know who they are at work, how they should interact with each other and with customers/partners/suppliers/etc., and why their work matters. This can be achieved through regular conversations between managers and employees (one-on-ones), or through a weekly meeting where everyone gets together to talk about what went well over the past week while also discussing any challenges or frustrations they might have with coworkers or tasks as part of an open dialogue. This can also be communicated in written form by way of a mission statement posted on the wall next door so new hires will know exactly what it means when one says “this isn't our best work yet! We'll do better next time around..."

2. Have a great recruiting partner or find a technology that meets your needs!

If you’re not a recruiter, it can be overwhelming to find the right person for your startup. A great partner will not only help you find the right candidates but also assist with any aspect of the recruitment process, including:

  • Building an ideal candidate profile
  • Identifying and reaching out to potential hires through traditional and social media channels
  • Assisting with interviewing candidates over phone or video calls

Sometimes, in the startup culture, bringing on manpower to fasten the hiring process may not be your #1 option for the time being, as you may choose to rely on technology driven solutions.  This is where ATS comes in.  As an option, there are many ATS tools to get you started on your hiring processes, and Flatwork has written many blog posts on this topic.  Here are a few, if you are interested:

3. Agree on the most important criteria for top talent.

  • Once you've decided on a set of positions to fill, you need to decide what it is that defines exceptional talent in your organization. What are the core skills and traits that will make someone successful?
  • Your list should include both soft factors (such as attitude) and hard factors (such as gpa). If any of your top positions require special technical or professional skills, this might be a good place to go into more detail about those requirements.

4. Define the best channels to reach them.

Before you start recruiting, it's important to define what your hiring needs are and which channels will be the most effective in reaching them.

  • Social media: If one of your company's values is transparency and openness, then using social media as a recruitment channel may make sense for you. This can include job boards like LinkedIn and Indeed, as well as employee referrals through Facebook groups or Twitter chats.
  • Job boards: There are many more traditional job boards out there that attract talent from all over the world—and sometimes even from other countries! Consider using these platforms if there are specific skillsets you need in order to grow or advance your startup's mission. One example is AngelList, where startups post openings they're looking to fill; others include StartupHire and WeWorkRemotely (which also has curated lists).

5. Focus on quality, not quantity.

When it comes to hiring, focus on quality, not quantity. While you might want to fill every position as soon as possible in order to stay afloat, the truth is that you’re much better off with a few great people than a lot of average ones. After all, it’s better to have one stellar employee than 10 average ones!

Your goal should be finding someone who will be a fit for your company culture and can provide value from day one—and then do everything in your power to make sure they stay with you for years to come.

6. Offer competitive pay and creative perks.

Money is not the only motivator for new hires. While it's important to offer competitive pay in your industry, you can also offer creative perks that will attract the best talent. Take a look at what some of your competitors are doing and see if there are areas where you can give employees something more than cash to get them excited about working for you.

Equally important, once they're onboarded, keep an eye out for ways to reward them as well. The more they feel appreciated by their employer, the more likely they'll be loyal employees who stick around longer than other job-hoppers do.

7. Have a well-thought out recruitment process.

Your recruitment process should be a continuous one. It's important to have a documented and communicated process that is flexible, can handle changes as they occur and takes into account the needs of your business.

  • The first step in building your company's recruitment strategy is to determine what you need from employees at all levels of the organization. What do they have to know? What skills do they need to have? How many employees will you need in each position? You should also consider how much turnover this role might experience over time when creating job descriptions for these positions -- if turnover will increase with more responsibilities or other factors related directly back onto hiring decisions made by management at large levels above those being hired/promoted within their departments' boundaries due up next year.

8. Use technology to help make the process smooth and seamless.

This can be a cumbersome process, but technology can make it significantly easier.

  • Use a recruitment software that is easy to use. You want your employees to be able to use the system on their own and not have to go through you or another member of the team every time they need something.
  • Use a software with a good candidate experience. Your candidates are busy people and you don't want them wasting their time on your platform by having an unintuitive interface or waiting forever for their profiles to load up before submitting applications for jobs posted there.
  • Use secure technology so your applicants' information won't fall into the wrong hands during the application process, since this could result in identity theft or fraud issues later down line once someone starts working at one company after another without any documentation being collected about previous employment history due out there online!

9. Communicate often with candidates.

  • Communication is important. If you don’t communicate often with candidates, you can hurt your chances of getting them to accept an offer.
  • Email is best for communicating with candidates. It’s cheaper than phone calls and more personal than messaging apps like WhatsApp or Slack that are used in many offices today. Make sure to use a professional email address when sending emails to your applicants so they know who it is coming from and what company they are applying for without having to click on the sender’s name first!
  • Phone calls are second best if email isn't available (for example if someone has no internet access at home). You can also use video chat services like Skype or Zoom if there's no reliable connection between both parties, but be aware that these won't always work as well as expected since everyone has different internet speeds depending on where they live!

10. Take your time; it will pay off in the end.

The right person will be worth the wait. If you take your time and find the right person, it will pay off in the end. You’ll know that they are truly going to add value to your team and help you achieve your goals. The last thing you want is to rush into hiring someone who isn’t a great fit for your company or doesn’t have what it takes to succeed in this role.

If you have patience and commitment, you can find any role filled with good talent. I know it may sound like a tall order to fill, but if you are patient and committed enough to look hard enough, then you will find the right fit for your company.


We hope these tips will help you in your next recruitment process and ensure that you find the best talent for your startup. Remember, it’s not easy but with patience and commitment, we can do anything!

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