Working in recruitment for over 10 years, I'd link to think I have seen alot (though not everything). I understand pretty well that hiring - in general and for any size business - is indeed a challenge, one that comes with multiple risks. With so many variables that go into it, it is hardly a straightforward process.
However, while a multinational company, or even a medium sized one can, to a degree, swallow the implications of a bad hire, such consequences become way more acute for a startup business and can threaten the overall success and growth.
Even in a market that advantages employers (due to the current economic climate) certain niche candidate profiles and skills are still difficult to find.
From experience, these are the top challenges faced by a startup (or even scale up) business on a recruitment drive.
1. LACK OF HIRING EXPERIENCE (or LACK OF HIRING EXPERIENCE IN THE LOCAL MARKET)
Below are just a few challenges that come to mind as a result of being inexperienced in recruiting:
How to write an outstanding job ad and a clear job description
Knowledge of salary trends
How to conduct an interview, what questions to ask, what to look for in the interviewee
Knowledge of the local market
How to spot the right candidate from a pile of CVs
How to ‘sell’ the company and the role
Ability to deliver an exceptional candidate experience
2. COSTS, COSTS, COSTS
Even if backed by funding, startups operate on tight budgets and recruitment comes at a cost. What are the options available if your startup or scale up is embarking on a recruitment drive?
3. LIMITED INFRASTRUCTURE AND/OR SYSTEMS IN PLACE
As a startup or scaleup, going through a growth phase is an exciting time. Expanding the business, means expanding the team. There are a series of operational considerations to be made when in building a hiring capability:
Talent database software
Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
An established hiring process (ie. best practice job descriptions, documented interview process, etc)
Licenses (LinkedIn, Seek, Indeed, Glassdoor etc)
When it comes to time, there are multiple aspects to it:
- Where to find time to focus on recruitment? Without the support of a recruitment consultant this falls on the shoulders of the GM, the Head of or the Hiring Manager who are already fully occupied with their actual jobs. How can they make time for reviewing CVs and conducting screenings?
- The cost of lost opportunity that comes with having a position unfilled for too long, or with a bad hiring decision. This will cause project delays, stress on existing staff and a financial loss if we are talking of sales talent.
- Hiring in haste. Filling a position quickly is important, but on the other hand a rushed hire increases the chances of making the wrong hiring decision.
5. EMPLOYER BRAND & CREDIBILITY
Do you know how to sell your brand and values to attract talent?
When people look for a job, they also assess to which extent they can identify themselves with the brand of a company. This puts startups at a disadvantage because they often haven’t had the opportunity to build their employer branding and visibility before beginning the hiring process.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES
Recruitment in startup land may seem an overwhelming undertaking, one where compromises have to be made: flexibility, expertise and resources in exchange for a premium price or long term, risky commitments.
Working with startups and hearing their concerns made me wonder: is there a way for them to get the best of both worlds, without compromises?
‘Yes, there is!’ was the answer. In fact, we (myself and team) came up with an innovative solution aimed at startups, scale ups and really any size business looking to scale quickly whilst keepong costs down. Get in touch with me at email@example.com to discuss how we are able to support growth whilst remaining extremely cost effective.