[Column] Paul Quick: How startups can find the best talent

[Column] Paul Quick: How startups can find the best talent

Published: 31-01-2024 09:14:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 2440 | Tags:

The shortage of skilled workers is omnipresent. For startups, it poses an even greater challenge because, unlike established companies, resources are often even more limited here. These five tips will help young organizations to set up their recruiting successfully despite this.

Use the employee network

Good team chemistry is a decisive productivity factor. It can also be promoted when employees work together with friends. This can be an important bonus, especially for smaller teams. Startups should therefore not neglect this potential and tap into their employees' networks. Highly qualified team members often know like-minded people who have important skills and characteristics that are a good fit for the company. In this way, your own employees become advocates for your own organization - corporate influencers. However, startups should continue to pay attention to putting together a diverse team and bringing new perspectives on board.

Prioritize the candidate experience

The recruiting process is a decisive factor in the search for new employees. Especially for start-ups that do not yet have a long standing reputation as an employer, the first contact is crucial. And the same applies here as with the customer experience: the needs of applicants and onboarding candidates must take center stage. To achieve this, managers should put themselves in the candidates' shoes. Quick feedback and a smooth process are of enormous importance here. Unnecessarily long waiting times, on the other hand, create uncertainty and disrupt the candidate experience. This can lead to applicants leaving the recruitment process early, in some cases even after signing the contract. The process should therefore be designed as efficiently as possible - also to convey to applicants that you are seriously interested in them.

Promote transparency and flexibility

Regardless of the phase: the organization should always clearly communicate expectations to applicants and onboarding candidates. This is especially true if these expectations have not yet been met. Even the best recruiting process cannot always prevent mismatches. Companies need to clearly communicate how far apart expectations and reality are. It makes sense to measure feedback using concrete KPIs. If expectations cannot be met - on both sides - the company must also have the flexibility to terminate the employment relationship in order to prevent frustration on both sides.

Make the candidate journey measurable

Too often, the recruiting process still relies on the gut feeling of those responsible. Even if this can play an important role in team fit, for example, it should not stop there. Instead, recruiting and onboarding must be turned into measurable processes. To do this, it makes sense to map the candidate journey, similar to a customer journey, across recruiting and onboarding. What skills and characteristics do candidates bring with them when they contact the company and through which channels does this happen? How far do most of them progress in the recruiting process or is it terminated prematurely? And if so, at what points is this the case? On the one hand, these questions allow the company to gather valuable insights into how its own approach is perceived externally. In addition, obstacles and optimization potential in the candidate journey can be uncovered and the right adjustments can be made.

Scale the recruiting and onboarding process

In times of strong growth, young companies not only need to make their products scalable, but also their recruiting and onboarding processes. This can be achieved, for example, through the right technological support and standardization. Startups that take this into account early on have a good argument for investors on their side. This is because they signal that they are already ready for the next step and future growth and already have well-established processes.

If startups want to have a chance in the competition for the best talent, they need to play to their strengths and act creatively at the same time. Creative freedom and small team structures are key, as they make it easier to create transparency. It is also important to understand the recruitment of new talent more as a candidate experience, similar to the customer experience: Transparency and speed are key. Only if startups take the tips outlined above into account will it be possible to attract new employees and pave the way for future growth.

Paul Quick is an Investment Manager at Fortino Capital Partners


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