Hiring (And Keeping) The Best Team May Not Be As Herculean As You Think

By  |  December 14, 2018

Every CEO has been at that crossroad; they have all had their own stories concerning hiring the killer team that will see to the startup’s eventual traction. Sadly, the trust level between employers and employees has drastically deteriorated in recent years. As 51 percent of employees have their eyes set on greener pastures, organizations are likely to lose USD 1 Bn on a yearly basis due to this drastic turnover.

For a company to mushroom in different aspects, it needs to be able to magnet, hire and retain the best talent in the industry. Employees are the makers or breakers of a company’s success, and should people such as Scott Johnson not be in the Google picture, probably the Hangouts’ rumored shutdown in 2020 would have been more cataclysmic if he hadn’t swooped in with that timely tweet to save the day. That goes to say that employees – with no exception- when hired and treated well, can very well be the architects of a startup’s unprecedented boom.

Now, contrary to what we may think – that it needs a Herculean kind of willpower and strength to rally up a millennial team that would help your startup make waves in its industry – hiring and keeping the best team is a relatively easy process if you know the right cards to play. In this sit-from-across kind of situation, most CEOs and HR teams get it wrong by playing guilt cards and trying to be the supreme overlord throughout the recruitment process.

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But, looking on the bright side, there are right ways to flood your roster with the smartest minds you can find, and being that ‘somebody’s gotta do it,’ we are here to make sure you don’t high-five a flying falcon in the process.

Intellectually Curious Individuals Make The Difference

Why look for a 37-year-old industry expert with “10 years of experience” when there’s a sea of mentally-voracious young people out there? One thing Google, IBM, and even Apple has taught me about hiring is that words such as “college degree” and “GPA” are most times nothing but decorations to a curriculum vitae, and usually not a guarantee that the bearer has the mind of an erudite.

If you don’t want to bite your finger at the latter stage of staff employment, perhaps you could rip off a page from these tech giants’ playbook and go for people with an innate drive to take ownership of their roles, notwithstanding the level – as such gumption is the harbinger of success.

Your startup needs people who are more than ready to break through boundaries and soar above heights to solve immediate issues by seeking out the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the problem to discover its long-term solutions. Rather than letting fancy academic backgrounds and industry-stay determine the people you welcome on board, you can search for collaborators in supporting roles and not the ones who’d pee in their pants once they step into the driver’s seat of a project.

Intellectually-curious people need no introduction – their reputation often precedes them. From the initial encounter right down to the first day of work, you’d find them wandering up and about to get the tiniest jots of information.

Offer Career Opportunities, Not Job Roles

It hardly needs mention that there is a massive difference between a job and a career, and despite the kind of company you run, this distinction lies in your modus operandi and long-term goals. Attracting top talent entails communication of the company’s wants and visions as it relates to the new role.

The clarity of the startup’s mission coupled with the conviction to its relevance in the industry serves up an attractive career opportunity. To attract serious-minded people who will devote their minds and strengths to the development of your company, you need to find the best ways to authentically express these variables using video content, well-organized and robust career pages and personal communications from top executives.

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The truth is – there are sets of people who wear different hats for different employment situations. If you want them to be a ghost worker, they will sure work from the shadows and even keep you in the dark. If you need them to go all in alongside other team members, they’d be ready at the ding and dong and even show up frequently at the office. All of this is entirely contingent on how you present your company, the vacant roles needed to be filled and the organization’s future. Do you want to hire day workers or brand ambassadors? It’s a matter of choice.

Don’t Be Opaque During Negotiations

There’s nothing as alarming as a company that doesn’t tell you the truth during the recruitment process – and nothing as hurtful too. A person sits across from your smiling face, and you tell him the working hours are 9 am to 4 pm daily, only for you to throw a huge rim of A4 on their office desk by 4:30 pm to complete before the next day when they fully begin work.  

While that may be a dent on company integrity, every CEO and HR team also need to be as transparent as possible during salary negotiations. We get it: when it comes to money, eyebrows get raised, words get minced, gesticulations are the order of the minute and figures of speech become the recruitment catchphrase.

In as much as you don’t want to appear low on a budget or spendthrift, you don’t need to be the chicken-hearted CEO who can’t discuss this seemingly dicey topic. As the admirable hirer, you need to be quite clear and polite during these conversations as regards their monthly commercials. Don’t let this item come up halfway through the interview session.

Your company should already have a benchmark and a payroll – one that perfectly aligns with your startup’s culture of building trust and open communication. Give the candidates room for salary discussion: let them express their takes and use your powerful business skills to make sure you both come to an amicable compromise.

Leverage The Internet

I mean, what are the odds of bumping into your long-sought Head of Operations in a waterpark or a ride across the Jungle Safari? Because these chances are slimmer than a thread, the internet becomes the one place where anything can happen.

With social media, companies have now availed a means to be visible to all and sundry. Because of how digital the world has now become, potential candidates usually know much more about hirers than vice versa. People research before going on to accept interviews – even in underdeveloped countries. Once they notice something badly off which may get in the way of their happiness and commitment in the company, they’ve severed ties before it’s even established.

While that shouldn’t be gore, candidates want to know your current employees’ views about you. So you need to furnish your page with more employee-focused events. The best employ is taking control of your company’s image online and becoming a people-focused employer. When that’s taken care of, there’d be hardly any stopper to your automatically attracting competent people.

Top talent can also be found through referral networks. Once you can get referrals and attract candidates, it becomes essential to give them the avenue to connect with your company on an internal level. If you can strike the perfect chord online, potential candidates will blend with the melody, and before you know it, your lobbies are awash with the finest minds there are.

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Conduct Non-Robotic Interviews

It has come to several notices that many companies out there are sometimes hell-bent on seeing candidates flop. While they may not lay banana peels by their office’s entrance for them to slip or plant water-filled balloons on the arm-chair for them to sit on, these organizations are doing other things to make interviewees feel uneasy.

Just because it is an employer-employee arrangement doesn’t imply that it is not as well a usual human-to-human situation. In as much as you mean business and are looking for serious-minded people, you should sound and look like Fugitoid or some extraterrestrial being just because you want to find out how the person sitting across from you deals with pressure.

Seen the movie Hunger Games? The youngsters trying to survive at any costs – even to the detriment of their co-competitors – is pretty much what today’s interview practice looks like. Come on, no one is looking for a dreaded Plutonium Core or trying to uncover the identity of storied Apostles, so there’s no necessity to ‘fallout’ just yet with your potential employee.

Foster the calm and be-yourself kinds of environment, except you are looking to hire an Android to handle your marketing. Who says you can’t make small talk and get to know the candidate’s POV on certain industry-specific issues? Being that it is an interview and not a lab test, there’s every need to favor humanities over science.

Granted – interviews can be tricky – but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to make the best out of them. The entire hiring process wouldn’t need much work and many regrets if you follow the right steps. Whether your business was just founded, just getting off the ground or securing its first round of financing, you need top talent to become that full-fledged company that offers its employees tea/coffee for breakfast and any meal choice for lunch. And with these tips, you will certainly hit the bullseye.

More: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From The Failures Of These Five Startups

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