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Hiring Strategies for Startups: Tips to Hire Right People


With any startup, recruitment is not only about the process of hiring a workforce but a strategic step towards a strong and sustainable future for the company. After all, the team that you work with will eventually be the deciding factor if your startup is going to flourish or not.

There are experienced job seekers who will be willing to work for a startup, but they also demand salaries that a startup may not be able to afford. The market is also rife with job seekers with the required skill sets and abilities to get the job done.

However, either of these work groups may not fit easily into the values and vision that your organization is built on. And since this is an important step, evaluating each move as you set up your organization towards success is critical. Questions like which candidates will fit your organization’s vision and which ones will actually apply for the job, are the ones most likely to keep hiring panels up at night.

The different positions that needs filling in and the various vacancies that will ultimately be your organization’s vein and core competency. The points below will help the hiring process a glimpse of what to do and what the criteria are to get the target job applicants.

Hiring Strategies for Startups

Best Hiring Strategies for Startups:

The job market competition is obviously fierce as any job seeker would want to get hired by an established company that can provide them with the stability of a well-known brand. Graduates fresh out of college have very less experience and they have very limited understanding of customers and the market.

However, studies have shown that fresh graduates tend to go all out in their first jobs since this is their way of cementing a name for themselves in the professional world. The points discussed below will help any startup prepare and eventually recruit the perfect fresh graduates applying for their company.

1. Branding:

Startups lack the recognition and credibility that established companies have. So, branding a new enterprise will help put the organization’s name in the circle of job seekers. Creating and advertising the kind of skillsets, talents and commitment that you are looking for is also another step towards branding.

And this will help entry level graduates understand how they can align themselves with the vision of the company.

2. Connections:

Get connected with job portals and institutions that will make the hiring process easier. There are a lot of job portals that help companies, and yes startups too, in recruiting the right kind of talent. This is made easier since the first round of screening will have already been done by these sites and institutions.

Moreover, collaborating with job portals and recruitment agencies helps a startup company zero in and save a lot of time in recruiting the right kind of workforce.

3. Screening:

There is a high probability that entry level and fresh graduate applicants have little know how about adjusting in a professional work environment. On the other hand, there may also be those individuals who are only waiting to be found. So the initial screening must be conducted seriously and with great care.

So when reviewing the details of candidates, extracurricular activities, interests, internships, voluntary activities should be considered, as these play a big part in helping determine the right kind of applicants.

4. Research:

And finally, a crucial part in the hiring process is the research – This can definitely help in getting a feel of the kind of job that most prospective employees look for, the offers that can be advertised which can get your branding on top, the type of environment that will level the playing field, the hours, pay and most importantly a feel of what are the kind of questions that you should ask in order to land that perfect team mate.

Startups Hiring Interns:

One other smart option that a startup may consider is to assimilate interns. Aside from the fact that finances may be an issue initially, another situation a startup may face is that roles and responsibilities may not have been clearly defined yet. And this is where hiring interns, who themselves are looking for experience, makes a lot of sense.

Not to mention the fact that such a situation is win-win kind of deal which allows the startup to worry less about hiring and for the interns to gain valuable and much needed experience.

1. Commitment:

The ratio between the number of job vacancies and job seekers will always be in favor of job seekers. And there will never be any dearth of people who are willing to work. Having said that, it is critical that the startup company chooses well and wisely.

There may be interns who are only there for an experience letter and not for the sake of making a genuine contribution. Of course there will also be those who come with an open mind seeking to genuinely make a difference with their inputs.

2. Get them interested:

While a lot of interns will join the startup company for the experience or a way to spruce up their resumes, there is also a high probability that some will not be interested in the low paying job that might not be useful to them long term.

It is good strategy to have a list of “whys” an intern should choose to work in your startup, having a goal in mind is definitely helpful in getting employees engaged and get them to give better results.

3. Create a network of connections:

Having a list of possible students willing (and qualified) to work as interns in your startup will be advantageous for when there is a need – and there will always be a need. Again as on the point on fresh graduates at an entry level, connecting with reputable institutes and building your brand with them will be fruitful in the long run.

This ensures that there will always be a readily available list of students who are willing to sign up for an internship at your startup company.

4. Plan Projects:

As you work on building your brand and setting up your startup enterprise, you need to also pay attention on the interns you have just added to your workforce.

While you and your more experienced workforce will be focused on the larger tasks that involve planning, strategy, marketing, etc., there will also be those smaller and lesser important projects that may be assigned to the interns. But it is important to ensure that you plan their entire duration with your company in a well-structured and organized manner.

That way, you will be able set the right expectations vis-à-vis deadlines and quality, but they too will be able to map their work and see what they will be doing in that same time. At the end of the day, the arrangement with the interns must be a win-win situation for both parties.

Startups Hiring College Grads:

College grads are looking for jobs and getting them to notice your startup company is definitely the first step towards building a strong and healthy workforce. After all, there are a lot of advantages in hiring a college graduate to work in your company. They are more often than not, used to the rigors of hard work, collaboration and are still ‘fresh’.

More importantly, they are willing to do whatever it takes to not only earn but keep their place in your organization. Another aspect that you mustn’t ignore is that being fresh out of college, this work pool comes at a far cheaper cost than the experienced work pool.

But that is not all there is to hiring fresh college graduates, and below are some other pointers that you may consider as you add and build up your workforce.

1. Be sure:

After all the applications have been chosen and the screening done, the personal round interview is an essential part of the hiring process. You should be sure that the employee that you just hired has the same value system as the company does and that they will be willing to work long-term in your company and if they are, what are the results that can be expected from them.

Getting highly engaged employees requires a lot of work from your end but it is also important to know if these employees are willing to work with the team to provide the result that you are looking for.

2. Communicate:

The new employees will also obviously want to know what you can offer them, in cases like these, it is critical that you are clear with what working in your company would entail; because these graduates are still inexperienced they probably do not know what to expect from their employer.

So it is advisable to be straightforward with the kind of result that you are looking for, or the attitude you would expect from them. Tell them your vision and how you expect them to work towards seeing the vision through in their work.

Note that, the strategy of hiring college grads is mostly the same steps that you will follow while hiring interns. Branding, connections, screening and research are all important part of hiring.

Startups Hiring Product Managers:

A startup will always have a result oriented environment where each project and product success or failure is crucial for the next step towards a long and sustainable future for the company and why not?

Especially because this is an important role in any company and one which will determine the winning or losing the game in the world of business and hence a good strategy in place will help your company secure a bright and successful future. Here are a few pointers while hiring product managers.

1. Technical chops:

A product manager has to know his tools and the software that will make his job easier, faster or more effective; they have to know the background by which the product is being made and especially be at the top of conversations when they are talking with their technical subordinates.

They can also become the mediator in the communication between the engineers behind the product with the clients or the layman who wants to understand the complicated workings of the product.

2. Knowledgeable:

Your product manager should be able to make difficult decisions when it comes to his products, whether they are ideas on coming up with new models or just simply being able to tell if the market is right or not. This is a result of experience and thus it is good to choose applicants who already have working knowledge in the field.

3. A leader:

Obviously, this is a leadership role and hence, while hiring, it is good to thoroughly examine the candidate’s background on his leadership abilities in the previous companies. A product manager should be able to get results from his team and who better than a leader who will inspire the team to get him the outcome that is favorable to the company?

Tips for Startups Hiring Remote Employees:

There is a huge increase in remote workers and the mushrooming of home offices is staggering and why not, there is a huge pool of resources just waiting for you to hire them.

This is an advantage for startups since these employees do not need to relocate and are willing to work from home. More often than not, remote employees offer a wider range of talents, skill and ideas.

However, it is good to be careful with this approach and here are a few steps to note when hiring remote employees.

  1. Before taking the plunge, it will be good to know that most of these remote employees will not be willing to be full-fledged employees and hence, while hiring, keep in mind that they are here for a short term basis only.
  2. Make sure to find out if these employees are willing to give you the result that you are looking for.
  3. They must have the inclination, the commitment and the integrity towards work and in helping your startup becoming successful.
  4. Be sure that they are trustworthy and reliable. Make sure they know what is expected of them and have it cleared out what comes next when work is not up to the mark.


These are the points that will help your startup company work towards a sustainable and bright future. Most of the strategies involve good screening and being sure about what you want to achieve. No matter what, have an agenda and know exactly what you want from the hiring process and the rest is easy.