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6 Tips for Hiring at Your Startup

Finding and hiring the right people is one of the most challenging parts of starting a business. It is not easy to know how and where to get great talents and even know what a good candidate looks like. Recruiting trends and tactics are also always changing, and companies are getting smarter with their sourcing strategies.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find great talent for your team. Hiring the right candidates to build your dream team can be easier if you get smart and more innovative in your recruitment strategy. Here are a few tips for hiring the right people for your startup.

1. Write a job description that emulates your hiring needs

One of the first interactions a job seeker has with your company is a job description. Ensure you write a job description that accurately emulates your brand and the role you are hiring for. Be clear about the specific requirements and duties, and use business-specific language that gives the potential candidate a feel for your company culture.

Explain what you need from your potential employees and what you can offer in return. A well-written job description can help eliminate candidates who aren’t the right fit and leave you with a more focused group to evaluate.

2. Create a stellar employer brand

Startups are smaller in size, so unlike well-known brands, it’s challenging to get candidates’ attention. Therefore, you must create a compelling employer brand to gain the trust of job seekers and encourage them to apply.

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Create your mission statement by summarizing your goals, purpose, and core values. This will help you define your employer brand and the reputation you want to have with employees and key stakeholders.

Ask your employees to complete an employer branding survey to know where your team stands. You can also partner with a data analytics company such as Yellowbrick to help you answer the most critical questions about your brand.

3. Leverage employee referral programs

Personal references are a great way to find quality candidates when hiring new employees for a startup. This involves asking current staff members and contacts in your network whether they know someone suitable for the role you want to fill.

After all, your existing employees are the best representative for your business, and they know exactly how things work within the company. Referral programs can be cost-effective and usually lead to higher quality candidates than other hiring methods such as agencies or job boards.

4. Know your legal requirements for hiring employees

Hiring employees for your starting can make you vulnerable to legal risks. For instance, if your job post has discriminatory wording, someone can file a claim against your business. That’s why it’s good to ensure you are familiar with local and federal laws regarding employment.

You should also ensure you have the right insurance for startups to help protect you and your business. If someone sues your startup for employment reasons, your business insurance can help cover your defense expenses.

5. Build and showcase a positive company culture

Negative company culture can affect employees’ productivity or even cause them to leave your business. An invaluable company culture will attract and retain employees who are your business’s lifeline.

In order to create the business environment you want, determine your startup purpose and encourage a culture of the team. Investing in company culture makes employees feel more valued and have a sense of growth opportunity, leading to better team collaboration and productivity.

It’s also important to share all that you have to offer with potential candidates. Use business events or team-building sessions to tell your brand story and showcase everything that makes up life at your company. You can also showcase a positive company culture through social media by sharing workplace photos and videos, highlighting your employees, and showing photos and videos of special events.

6. Conduct a background check and contact references

Conducting pre-employment background checks and contacting references is essential to the hiring process. A background check will help ensure a candidate is legally fit for the position, reducing the risk of criminal activities like violence, theft, or abuse. It can also verify information on an applicant’s job application or resume and help your company decide whether an individual is the right person for the job.


Adding new employees to the team is an exciting part of growing your startup, but a rigorous hiring process helps ensure your company’s foundation is solid. Following these tips can help you find the right hires for your startup while avoiding wasting time and keeping your hiring costs low.

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