Essential Tips for Start-Up Recruitment

Make no mistake about it – the team you recruit to make your business work will make or break your start-up. You need the most outstanding contributors for the benefit of your business, but finding and hiring them can be time-consuming and costly. What’s more, all of this comes at a time when your business probably isn’t swimming in disposable income or manpower.

The importance of a proactive, strategic approach to recruitment, therefore, cannot be overstated. Whatever the needs of your business may be, following Innovate UK's tips and guidelines for start-up recruitment will definitely be beneficial!

1. Be Honest About What You Can Afford

Your current financial situation could prove to be the biggest challenge of all. In turn, you need to be completely realistic about what you can and cannot afford.

At this stage, hiring full-time workers on lengthy contracts isn’t always advisable. Ask yourself, is there enough work to warrant full-time staff? What if your needs or goals suddenly change? Can you be sure demand for manpower will be consistent?

Whilst you need to fill all necessary skill gaps, it’s worth considering outsourcing to freelancers for the time-being. Whatever you do, don’t overestimate your recruitment budget and take on HR expenses you cannot afford. 

Consider pitching at TechPitch4.5 to influencers and potential investors.

2. Hire the Skills You Really Need

Consider the current strengths and weaknesses of your business start-up. What areas need to be improved for you to reach your goals? This should help you come up with a recruitment roadmap – a blueprint for success!

As your recruitment budget increases with time, you can now think about bringing more experienced freelancers and contracted employees along for the ride.

You might want to consider start-funding to help you with expanding your team. For now though, you should be concentrating on what you need to make things happen today – not what you may or may not need going forwards. Hence the value of non-permanent employees.

3. Explore Recruitment Channels

Recruitment agencies can be great, but they can also be cripplingly expensive. Much of the best talent out there can be located and contacted directly these days.

Along with specialist recruitment websites, forums, message boards and so on; social media has become one of the most powerful and valuable recruitment tools of all time.

It’s also worth exploring your own immediate and extended networks, spreading the word about who you need and why you need them as far and wide as possible.

4. Scrutinise Applicants

Lastly, don’t be afraid to scrutinise every applicant to whatever extent you feel appropriate. One thing to remember during those crucial pre-hiring stages is that while skills can be taught, attitude and passion cannot.

Ask the right questions and use tasks, tests or challenges to find out how each applicant reacts to a situation they may not have prepared for.

Skills and knowledge are all well and good, but aren’t nearly as important as ensuring they share your vision, values and passion for whatever it is you do. Remember, these are the kinds of traits you cannot teach or buy at any price.


If you’re interested in finding more essential business tips like this, subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel here.

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