07/11/2014

By Adam Gordon, Managing Director, Social Media Search

One of the most important tasks for startups is to develop a great team early on – one that rounds out the company’s skill-set and shares its enthusiasm. Recruiting talent is no easy task and for startups, it can be especially daunting as they have a unique set of challenges.

However, finding the right talent is business critical. It’s a key part of a solid business plan and can have a huge impact on funding. So what can you do to make sure every recruitment campaign is a success?

1. Time is money – stay focused

Hiring too slowly can damage a business. From initial sourcing to on-boarding, startups need to keep their recruitment processes timely and focused. The best candidates are always in demand, so the pipeline can change very quickly. If you start a conversation with a potential candidate on multiple platforms, you can create a much wider social media footprint and therefore increase the number of communication channels available.

Recruiters must also be clear about the essential skills they require from the outset – and must not deviate. Channels such as Lippl, Connectifier or 360Social can be used to support this process by creating a detailed picture of the candidates you are talking to.

2. Understand your target candidate

Startups should map out an “expected needs” analysis for each requisition, as this will help them to predict any questions that might come up. Startups should also try to be as flexible as possible (within reason) and be clear on package and benefits. For example, if you are recruiting technical staff, having a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy is essential. Or if you are looking for an experienced hire, they could have a family, so accommodating flexible working hours may be appealing.

3. Network, network, network

Startups need to get out there and reach out to potential hires. They could consider virtual communities, attend events, speaking to industry peers and also engage with local universities. As part of this, individuals must keep a record of every person they meet and capture as much information as possible about them. For example, which social networks do they use, what is their telephone number, email address, and so on. If you see some potential, you’ll then be able to begin a dialogue with them more easily.

Above all else, it’s important to remember that recruitment is a two-way process. Companies of all shapes and sizes need to understand the role and candidate very well, and must also portray a professional image of the company. This is particularly key for startup businesses, which may not have much experience of recruitment processes or be as commercially aware as larger, more established companies.