How to Hire Exceptional Candidates for Your Startup in Just 5 Steps
Most established companies have elaborate recruitment strategies with tried and tested methods. Recruitment is a well-oiled machine that can often work on its own for these mature organizations. But what about startups and companies that are fairly new to hiring? How do they approach hiring? Where can they post their job openings? What questions should they ask candidates?
Luckily for you, we have some expertise on this front. In this article, we discuss a quick five-step approach that can help you find great candidates without compromising on candidate experience or your brand reputation.
Ready? Let’s do this!
1. A Top-Notch Job Description: Make a Great First Impression
Great candidate experiences begin the minute a candidate finds you. That magic happens through the job description. A good job description goes a long way in building your employer brand with a candidate. When a job description is succinct, persuasive, and free of errors, it tells the candidate that the company understands the role and will do everything to help a new hire succeed in said role.
Here’s a checklist for a great job description:
• Is your job description comprehensive? Have you properly explained the role?
• Have you properly formatted your job description? Dividing your job description into “requirements,” “responsibilities,” and “expectations” sections will help candidates understand the role fully.
• Have you included information about the company, mission, values, and the team’s culture for full context? When candidates come across the job in a job aggregator, they won’t be able to use the rest of your website as a reference.
• Is your job description neutral and grammatically correct? Textio can help with the former, and Grammarly can help with the latter.
Here are some sample job descriptions to help you get started.
2. Sourcing the Perfect Candidate: Job Boards, Communities, and Influencers
While you’re on the hunt for talent, take a momentary pause and think: What are some commonly used platforms for sourcing candidates? Should you try something different this time? Most professionals live on the internet, so when you’re looking for talent, the only question you need to ask yourself is: Are you looking for someone who is looking for a job?
If yes, you can post your job opening to three kinds of places:
• A general job board like Indeed, Monster, etc. Some other options include Adzuna, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, AngelList, Craigslist, Monster, Seek, and Dice.
• Niche job boards, Slack channels, and communities where your talent is likely to hang out and talk shop.
• If you’re looking for people who might not be actively looking for a job, you should use LinkedIn search or support communities to find suitable people for the position, and then approach these passive candidates with a proposition.
Tip: You might even consider reaching out to influencers in your particular field and asking them to give your job listing a shout-out on their social media channels. This way, interested folks can reach out to you.
3. Spread the Word: Get the Whole Team Involved in the Candidate Search
Hiring shouldn’t be a department — it should be part of everyone’s job. When the whole team gets involved in the search, you’ll be able to attract a wider range of diverse candidates who can help you improve the team’s empathy factor.
Getting everyone involved in hiring extends beyond simply sending out a note asking everyone to share the job ad on their social channels. Involve the team in the screening and interviewing process to make sure that all your blind spots are covered. This will increase your chance of finding someone who will be a valuable addition to the whole team.
4. Screening and Interviews: A Peek Into the Candidate’s Mind
Once you have a list of candidates handy, it’s time to figure out who’s the best fit for your company. Pre-assessment tools are a blessing for technical roles. They let you screen prospective employees and test their skill sets without any human intervention. ATS software like Freshteam can automatically send an assessment test to candidates as soon as they apply for the job. It takes the stress away from recruiters and hiring managers.
Unfortunately, functions like customer service, marketing, and sales are fields where you can’t always have candidates send in samples of their work. (“Here’s an issue a customer raised, and here’s a transcript of our phone conversation!”) You’ll have to get a little creative with your interviews for these fields. First up, identify what good looks like (WGLL) for the particular role. This will help you identify the questions you should ask during interviews. Give the candidate a scenario and see how well they respond to it and provide solutions.
Most importantly, see if the candidate is a great culture fit for the company. Learn what they can bring to your company culture. Most managers favor open-ended questions to determine culture fit. Such questions not only work as icebreakers, but they also help the manager figure out how well the candidate will fit in with the existing team.
5. Hiring the Candidate: Making the Decision
It can be difficult to make a decision about which candidate you should hire. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
• How passionate is the candidate about their work?
• Are they serious about joining your team?
• Will they fill any skills gaps in your team?
• How quickly will they get started on the job?
• Will you be able to help them in their career path?
• Will they be a good cultural fit?
Just remember that if you have to convince yourself to hire the candidate, then you probably shouldn’t hire them. You should only hire people you’re excited about and who are excited about your company.
It is important to revisit and refine your hiring process frequently, and it is equally crucial to provide a great candidate experience. That’s where an ATS like Freshteam can help you. Freshteam will take care of the entire process, from posting jobs to making an offer to the candidate. You can send assessment tests, schedule interviews, send reminders and notifications, auto-reject candidates, and keep your candidates updated through all the stages of your hiring process.
Freshteam by Freshworks is all-in-one smart HR software that can help you with recruitment, onboarding, employee management, and time-off approvals. It reduces recruiter workload drastically and makes hiring for your startup much easier. You can source, screen, interview, hire, and provide the best candidate experience using Freshteam. If you are interested in trying Freshteam, sign up for a free trial here.
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