Top Talent

Six Strategies for Attracting Top Talent to Your Startup

Every startup entrepreneur wants to have the top talent working for them from day one because let’s face it, that’s how the company is going to succeed. Unfortunately these shining stars typically want to be employed at established companies where they feel the opportunities and financial rewards will be more available and viable. It tends to be a Catch-22 scenario – you want the talent to help you become successful but the talent doesn’t want to come until you already are successful.  So, how do you attract accomplished and effectual individuals to your humble establishment when there are so many other goliath companies waiting to pluck them up as soon as they enter the job market?

Even though you feel like you can’t compete with the benefits and pay that a large corporation can offer, there are ways to market yourself to this elusive group and convince them to come to you instead. Here are six strategies to consider when looking to hire the best for your startup:

  1. Don’t be stingy on the benefits. People want to feel like their experience and education are valued. The pay and benefits they receive at a company are a reflection of that value and while you may feel that you can’t afford to give as much as they may want, you need to weigh out if you can afford not to. In other words, do you want to hand a highly talented person over to the competition, or do you want to keep them for yourself?  Letting them go to the competition may give the competition the boost it needs to edge you right out of the market. But, shelling out some extra cash or a couple extra weeks of vacation can help you secure the talent for yourself and give you the edge instead. And even if you somehow get them to accept a position for less than desirable pay and benefits, there’s a pretty high probability they’re just using your company as a placeholder until they’re able to find another position that offers them what they want.
  2. Be flexible. Maybe there is just no way you can offer the kind of pay and benefits required to get the talent you’re looking for, but money isn’t everything. These days employees are looking for more than just a bigger paycheck, they are looking for flexible working options to accommodate their family situation. Allowing a busy parent the opportunity to work from home in the morning so they can drive their kids to school or giving them the ability to leave early one night a week to get their kids soccer game are great ways to attract them to your company in lieu of a higher paying one. Or maybe the employee wants to take classes and needs to come in late two days a week. There are a wide variety of scenarios available in which you can provide a flexible work arrangement to make up for the pay that you aren’t yet able to give.
  3. Have goals and spread the excitement. Maybe you’re new to the scene, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have your goals mapped out. If you’re able to present clear and concise goals that motivate and drive your employees to succeed you can get them excited about what the future holds if they come to and stay with your company. People spend the majority of their time each week at work, they want to be excited when they walk in to that office each day. Give them sound goals to be excited about and they will be more willing to give you a chance and come work for you.
  4. Offer variety. The drudge of doing the exact same thing every day can wear a person down and individuals who are especially bright tend to get bored more easily. Offering a position that allows room for variety can entice people your way when they’re job shopping. For instance, instead of having your sales manager stowed away in an office on the phone every day, give them the opportunity to join networking groups or attend seminars.
  5. Offer advancement. One great thing about a startup company is that you have nowhere to go but up. Employees that come in on the ground floor of a startup do so in hopes of being there when the successes begin and being jettisoned into the top positions. Typically it takes much less time for someone to work their way up the ladder in a startup company then it does for someone who starts at the bottom of a large corporation. Be sure to point this out when trying to recruit talent and let them know they will be offered advanced positions first.
  6. Hire remotely. Sometimes it’s just not possible to find the right fit for the right pay locally. That’s when it’s time to consider hiring a remote worker. In today’s technology-driven world, there’s rarely a need to have employees in the same physical location. Hiring a remote worker exponentially widens the net you cast to find the right talent. It’s also a two-for in the sense that it allows a work-at-home option on top of the remote option -giving the person two huge benefits that cost your company nothing.

These are just six of the many ways you can not only attract the top talent but keep them at your company. It’s important to always revisit your benefit structure and workplace rules to keep your employees happy and excited about their continued employment with your company.

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