How To Hire For A Startup: 10 Sure Shot Ways To Get It Right

The biggest plight faced by a hiring manager is picking an employee who’s the perfect fit for their organization. Now, this isn’t simply a question of hiring the person with the highest qualification and most experience for your startup. There are a lot of different ways to approach startup hiring.
how to hire for startup sutrahr
Being the loud-mouthed, opinionated human that I am, I’m going to list out the things you should look out for during an interview while recruiting for startups. So grab a book, read on, and take some notes!

 

1. Practical knowledge over grades

 

practical knowledge over grades
While it’s important for a potential employee to have the basic knowledge needed to get the job done, it’s not necessary he might have the perfect grades to show for it. Some people are better at doing things practically. But they might not be great at writing down a few sentences on how it should be done. You could have an MBA and still know zilch about what you’re supposed to be doing. Depending completely on these numbers is a huge risk for startup recruiters that probably (most definitely) won’t work out in your favour.

 

2. Look for passion

look for passion - how to hire for a startup
Keep an eye out for someone who is passionate about their work and the responsibilities that come along with it. They’re more likely to do a much better job than someone who’s working for the sake of it. When you, startup Hiring experts, talk about the job role, hear how passionate they are about actually doing it every single day and are already driven to give their best. Job recruiters hiring for a tech position, get someone who lives and breathes gadgets, technology, the geekier the better! A candidate’s excitement for the job says a lot more than you think it does.

 

3. Avoid pretentious people

avoid pretentious people - how to hire
Yes, they’re super super qualified. Yes, they’re so well dressed for the interview. But are they really the kind of person you would want to interact with every day? Being well-educated does not necessarily make you stuck-up, it’s just the way some people are. Watch out for them, someone who feeds on mocking other people, or someone who’s backbiting about their previous bosses is a big no! They’re not to be trusted. If they can’t even come up with two nice things to say about a place that made them who they are, you can be assured they’re not going to sing any praises about the startup opportunities you’re offering.

 

4. Jack of all trades - not necessarily a bad thing

jack of all trades - hire for a startup
Even if you’re looking for a person to take care of one particular role, don’t hesitate to hire someone who’s ready to dip their toes in a bunch of different fields. Sure, an all-rounder would be up for handling your PR as their job role, but they’d also be more than excited to handle social media as well. These people aren’t looking to be restrained by their designation, they’re looking to explore and learn on-the-go. And anyway, the basic motto of every startup is “Jugaad”. So, hiring someone who can juggle with ease can be a gift from the Gods themselves to startup recruiters.

 

5. Internship days are over - clarity of purpose is required

clarity of purpose - how to hire for a startup
Having a positive attitude towards trying new things is good for a potential employee. What’s not okay is being completely clueless about what they’re looking for when they decide to join a startup. If he/she is unaware of what they’re interested in, there’s absolutely no point in wasting time recruiting them for a startup company. The last thing a startup needs is someone who has no idea about what they want to do.

 

6. Body language & communication style

body language and communication
A candidate sitting with his arms folded across his chest and a pouty face does not scream, “I want this job so bad!” for sure. Fidgeting with the folds of their sleeve, eyeing the room around to avoid making eye-contact with the interviewer are signs that they could be nervous or uninterested. If they reach out for their phone in the middle of the interview, that’s an immediate bye-bye! Don’t kick ‘em to the curb, but don’t waste time with the rest of the interview either. You’ve got time constraints and much better candidates waiting to join a startup. Body language and communication go hand-in-hand. When you’re observing their body language you also need to notice the way they talk. Their tone, pitch, whether they’re speaking coherently or not. This can also give away what might be going on in their mind but not coming out of their mouth.

 

7. Punctuality & flexibility

punctuality and flexibility
Arriving late to the interview is a big no! Not only is it completely unacceptable to show up 30 minutes late, it also shows just how much they care about the job. While startups are usually chilled out, a level of professionalism is expected from every employee. A rising startup company cannot afford to have someone with a carefree attitude about showing up to work. Along with this, another thing to look out for would be the readiness of the candidate about being flexible with work timings. Working on a clock is for robots, and that’s not what you want. Walking away when your time is up whether your work is finished or not is exactly the kind of attitude a potential employee shouldn’t have. And it’s up to you as startup recruiters to filter them out during the interview.

 

8. Understanding of the job title

understanding of the job title
During the interview, asking the right questions is a must. This will assist you in figuring out whether the candidate really knows what they’re applying for. No job is easy and they might just be taking it too lightly. A candidate who is inquisitive about his role and is eager to know more is easily remembered by job recruiters compared to those who seem to be baffled listening to questions about what they plan on bringing to the table.

 

9. Preparedness & work culture

preparedness and work culture
Apart from what they understand about their job role, as job recruiters, you also need to inquire about their knowledge of your startup company. Do they know who the Founder is? Do they know what your company does? Do they know the basic details about your startup company? Are they perplexed when probed about the simplest thing to know about your startup? It might feel like you’re grilling them, but the perception behind this is to see if they’re honest. Truthfulness is an important quality to possess. Lying about knowing something or talking nonsense to pretend like they do can be caught when asked about these things.

Candidates are more likely to be unaware of the work culture inside the office. Which is why it’s in your hands to recognize if they would easily fit into the work culture or if they would have a hard time adjusting to it. Your insights as startup recruiters play a huge role in this.

 

10. Personality & resourcefulness

personality and resourcefulness
Being a startup, you would have problems arising now and then. For situations like these, new startup companies anticipate hiring employees with proficiency. Having problem-solving abilities in a startup is always a benefit. A person who is ready to switch things up, take a risk, rock the boat and try something totally new is a person worth working with. A great personality would work wonders down the road when it’s time for him/her to step up and be a team leader. This is also something to keep in mind when hiring for startups. A person with the ability to carefully assess the risks in his job and jot down how he could contribute to the progress of the startup company is like a bucket of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Startup recruitment isn’t easy anymore. Times have changed and more and more people are looking out to join a startup that they’re passionate about. People are exploring, experimenting, handling more than one thing at a time. No one is looking to work because they have to, they’re working because they want to. That’s the big difference these days and keeping this in mind is imperative if you’re a startup company. Filtering out people that aim for excellence from the uninterested, mediocre ones can be a tough task for a recruiter. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, hire only the practical and passionate ones who can get things done.

Hope these tips on how to hire employees work out well for you. These startup hiring best practices could help you in the long run as you’re certainly looking to hire someone full-time.

Now that you’ve got these incredible startup hiring tips down, let us help you in finding the right candidates for you to interview! Give us a call at +91 87 67 427 427 or drop a mail to buzz {at] sutrahr.com and we’ll help you out! 🙂