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Article Contributed by Finn Pierson

As a startup, you’re competing with established companies that are offering the best and brightest candidates incentives. You’re not going to have the money or resources to offer them huge benefits. You’ll have to get creative and offer incentives that are more appealing.

Starts with a Job Description

You’ll want to be transparent in your job description. The beginning stages of your startup will vary from how it’ll look a few years down the road. It means that prospective employees should know that before they join the company. When a new candidate is looking for a steady job that never changes, they aren’t going to like the new responsibilities or changing job description as your company grows. You need to prepare them in advance, so they know what to expect.

Amazing Benefits

There are amazing benefits to starting with a company that will be going places in a few short years. Candidates are willing to take a cut in pay for the chance to work in a company that they believe will hit the map in a major way in a few years. They want to be in on the ground floor of a company that will take off like Snapchat, Facebook or Google. When you’re hiring, it’s important that the benefits outshine the competitors, who will be offering cash incentives and swag gifts. You might offer them freedom in some way, or give them appealing benefits like learning. They want to be in on the ground floor of a major force. In fact, many employees said that there are many things they want more than money at their job.

Positive Relationships

It doesn’t matter if you don’t plan on hiring all the candidates that you hire, you should be building a rapport with each. The employee you do hire should not wish within the first few weeks that she’d never been hired. An employee might not be a good fit, but there are ways to make the rejection sting less. Ask the employee to refer qualified candidates to your startup and provide a finder’s fee. You might also offer to help with referrals and tips on interviewing. You don’t want your business to start out with a reputation for treating employees or candidates badly.

Bring in Hiring Help

When you’re a smart business owner, you understand that you don’t have the skills to do everything. Whether you’ve tried to do a few interviews that failed or hired the wrong people for your company, you should consider bringing in someone else to do your interviewing. Once the candidates are weeded out, you can meet with them. Check with friends and family who have done interviewing for tips or learn where to find the best candidates for your startup. It might make sense to hire a recruiter to do many of your interviews since they’re experienced.

Know Your Needs

As a startup, you’re in budget mode. There’s no way you can hire a full staff of people that you need like social media managers, web designer, copywriter or sales staff. You’ll need to really analyze your needs as the business is gaining momentum. While you might desperately need strategic IT staffing at your startup, a copywriter might be something you can outsource to a freelancer who understands your business.

It’s important that you understand the needs of your startup and what you’ll require in an employee. You might have to hire one person who wears a few different hats. Be transparent in the interview process and don’t promise things to the candidates that you can’t deliver. They’ll be resentful and could leave you when they’re needed most.



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