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11 Must Have Recruitment Practices for HR Managers & Startup Founders

In Hiring Strategy — by Trakstar


For every employee to make a big impact every startup needs to have a good plan for their recruitment, and in order to do so, the company must have a set of efficient HR team and managers to help smoothen the flow of the recruitment process.

A startup has all its hopes set on its initial set of employees. Those employees need to work with their sweat and blood to make the company a hit in the market and make it grow quickly. If the initial staff has any kind of flaw, it will directly impact the growth of the company. And the startup cannot afford to fire and re-hire the employees, as initially, they are short on cash.
There are some easy pointers, which the startup companies can follow and instill in their HR departments in order to make the recruitment process easy and efficient. Let us take a look at the 11 Must Have Recruitment Practices for HR Managers & Startup Founders.

1. Hiring the Right Person

Whatever the HR team do, they need to make the right hire. It is the most crucial practice to follow. If the wrong resources are hired, the companies can a face a lot of loss, especially, if it’s a startup organization, which still has to make a proper mark in the market. According to a report, 46% of new hires fail within 18 months . That is not a number to be ignored. Hiring the right people for the right job is very crucial for startup companies, as it defines the further hiring process of the company. The initial hire should be flawless, for the company to work at its best potential. Also strategic hiring is important. It is imperative to hire talent, ‘just’ before requirement, not ‘long-before’ and certainly not after. If a person is hired and kept waiting for projects for a long time, then they can lose interest and cease to be an asset for the company. Get to know each and every potential candidate properly before jumping to any decisions. Haste does actually makes a lot of waste. Spend time with each candidate in proper amounts to get to know their experience and agenda, before deciding if or not you want to hire them. Do not assign only a few days for hasty completion of the hiring process. Investing time in recruitment will later on prove to be beneficial for the company in a very significant manner. It is imperative not to rush into hiring decisions, just because you have a desperate need. Rushing and hiring the wrong person may not solve the issue, and you may find yourself back to start.

2. Look for the Multi-tasking Gene

Startups have a different culture and are a different ball-game altogether. Initially there might not be funds to hire people in all the departments. Hence in cases, the current employees have to multi-task and think of the company ‘first’ before thinking of themselves. So while hiring new employees, HR managers must be on the lookout for the multitasking gene in the candidates. The ideal candidate is one, who would not hesitate to take initiative in some task, in which s/he is not proficient but is willing to learn-on-the-job and take it to completion.You should make sure that the prospects understand the culture of your company. Explain to them in detail about the work environment of your company, or even better, take them on a detour and show them around. They will get a good understanding about how your company functions and it will help them greatly to decide if they can fit in there. It can help you decide too, if the candidate is good enough to adapt to the work style of your company.

3. Hire but Don’t Hesitate to Fire Also

Even though hiring is important, yet there is another critical aspect to it and that’s firing. Hiring and Firing go hand in hand to find the most suitable and ideal candidate. If the initial hires were not in sync with the vision of the company then it would be a prudent idea in the long run to let go off them, rather than have them on-board and wait for them to gel with the others. Passion is also a crucial attribute in any team-member. If it is missing after the initial euphoria of joining a startup, then it would be a good idea to bid adieu to them and instead focus on the core team. Employee attrition rate in startups can be as high as 21% and these figures come at an enormous cost to the company. Firing also has an overall impact on the ROI of the HR function, else think wisely before making the final call. But once you have made the right call, then don’t hesitate at all, because the long-term stability of the company ought to be the prime focus of the HR department and of all the employees as well.

4. Talent versus Experience

The HR team must pick talent over experience for startup company recruitment. Startup organizations need new and raw talent, something that no one has tapped yet. The fresh energy and aura that new and young talent can get in a startup should always be weighed over the number of years a candidate has against their work experience. The failure rate for startups is as high as 75% and what makes or breaks the company are the employees. New approach towards old practices is what makes or breaks a startup company. In case, there are some resumes that stand out and speak about the initiative-taking abilities of a person, then it might be a good idea to hire them instead of the one who exactly matches the skill-set. However, there ought to be a great balance between ‘hiring someone who can add value to the company’ and ‘people who match the requirement skill-sets’.

5. Attractive and Innovative Job Posting

In order to attract the best lot of candidates, the team must prepare job postings, which stand out in the crowd. There are so many job postings these days that you really want to stand out in the crowd. There are so many job portal sites, Internet job boards, which can be accessed from any device, mobile or laptop. Comprehensive and Detailed list of various job-boards can be found on SmartRecruiters , SplashFind and SimplyHired.
Use them and do the following:

  • Make catchy job descriptions
  • Post Hollywood themed videos to attract more attention towards the listing
  • Pull off humorous satire in the ad, if you can
  • Put in jokes to make people smile, while they apply for a job with your company
  • Make the job posting as unique as possible, marketing your company in the most unique way as possible

6.Brand Building

Indulge in brand building so that prospective applicants can have some idea about the company. Also it would be an excellent idea to encourage transparency and talk about the goal, vision and the long-term plans of the company to the prospective hires, so that they can see if they fit in the roller-coaster culture of a startup or not. However, at the same time don’t oversell the company but be open about answering any questions that the candidates might have about the angel funding, investors or the financial stability of the company.

7. Innovative Selection Process

There are many companies, which indulge in role-play activities or assign small projects to the candidates in order to test them before considering about hiring them. This is a great practice and must be adopted even by the startups. Just give a situation or two to the short listed candidates and make them do a small project say in a week or so. You can easily determine the candidate’s potential and intellect by pulling off such a thing.

8. Time to Recruitment

Even though it is imperative that we hire the right person at the right time, yet the process of recruitment should be structured in such a manner that the ‘time-to-recruit’ isn’t a very lengthy process. If the time-to-recruit is very long, then the candidate can also move on to other opportunities and also lose steam. Moreover, the lengthy time frame would also come at an enormous cost to the startup, which they can ill afford. On the other hand, if the recruitment process is short and sweet then in haste, the wrong person can be hired, which would also cost a lot to the company in terms of finances, time and effort. Hence the HR function needs to find the right balance and have an optimum ‘time-to-recruit’, which doesn’t impinge on the integrity of the company but also hires the right candidate, by weeding out the unnecessary ones.

9. Right Interview Process

Make do without the boring traditional and conventional interview process. The more strict and procedural approach you follow, the more nervous your candidates would feel. To make them at ease, try fun ideas for interviews. Like setting up interviews at fun places, get to know them in an informal way, rather than in the gloomy office environment scaring them all along. This is important because the strategic placement with creative compensation would certainly encourage the creativity and the passion of the candidate and help them to think out the box and come up with innovative solutions. Also multiple rounds of interviews are recommended so that the accurate measure of passion of the candidate can be ascertained. Apart from the HR department, the other company personnel should also be involved hand-in-hand with the interview process, as ultimately they would have to work with the prospective employee and they can provide a better feedback about the technical abilities of the candidate.

10. Leverage Technology

Technology can be your biggest asset while hiring. It can cut down manual intervention drastically and thus reduce manual errors as well. Internet job websites, Internet job boards and online personality quizzes can cut down the manual effort by a long shot. To weed out the candidates, who wouldn’t make a great fit in the company culture, you can easily give them an online personality quiz and see if they would be a good fit or not, rather than taking them for their word. Also social media , Skype and other collaborative online tools can be used to search for the correct person far and beyond the normal physical scope. ‘Geography is History’ in this age of Internet and with the correct online collaborative tools, you might also find the perfect candidate sitting halfway across the world. Working online or ‘Work From Home’ is also a good option for startups, as it helps down to cut down on the logistical costs for a company.

11. Affordability

Last but not the least, affordability. Startups are short on money so they are often not able to match the industry standards in the financial rewards domain. Hence it is important to hire good quality people at pay-package that a company can afford to sustain in the long run.

Startups have a rollercoaster journey with highs, lows and the sweet euphoria of success. Apart from the company vision, employees play a critical role in the success/failure of the company. Hence recruiting the right person for the right job with the right skill-set is imperative to the growth and the stability of a company.

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