The moment you make a decision to start a business, deciding the employee composition is imperative. No element of your start-up becomes more recognizable than the people on your team. That is why it is not only crucial to hire skilled employees, but also those eager to support your brand and the vision of your business. When it comes to selecting employees, many start-ups often focus less on the importance of the brand and vision and focus more on the work needing to be done. Let me be clear, I am not indicating that skilled employees cannot strengthen the brand or vision through the duties or projects assigned to them. What I am saying is to be astute when it comes to your brand and your vision when choosing employees. After all, the goal of hiring employees is to have long-term, committed employees that can grow as your start-up grows. Here are six helpful tips to ensure you hire the right individuals for your start-up:
Understand Your Business Needs
Before you create employee positions, identifying your business needs should be your first step to successful hiring and this process should be done with as much clarity and conciseness as possible. Why?
1) How can you hire someone if you are unsure of what you want or what your business requires?
2) People cost money. It is an expense you cannot afford to neglect and not afford to plan properly for. Yes, even I have read over and over that employees are assets, but the real reality is employees (no matter what type) are an accounting expense. And it is an expense that adds up (especially if you are including incentives and benefits).
3) You have to focus not only on business growth; but also the safety and security of your business.
4) Last, understanding your business needs gives clarity to be more strategic when it comes to determining employee composition.
Be Strategic In Your Composition
With the onset of the constant evolution of technology, hiring is no longer a conventional process. Can you believe there is now a strategy to hiring? Gone are the regular eight hours, 9-5 work days and punching a clock. Now there are alternate work schedules, telework capabilities, and flexible work schedules. There are also more freelancers, entrepreneurs, and independent (sole-proprietor) self-employed individuals that offer services as well. It basically comes down to this: Technology has made it much easier to get work done with minimal resources. Having an effective (long-term) strategy in the decision-making for the number of people working, how many hours they work, and when they work will become an important factor in the growth of your start-up. What is more important is that you are mindful of all of the options available to you as you choose the types of employees that will make up your team.
Consider Your Business Culture
The best start-ups have a team of like minds when it comes to business. They value the mission, they value the work to be done, and they value respect. It is also how you set the tone for the needs of your business and the people in it. In my experience, people not only choose jobs that pay well; they also choose jobs that are appealing and ones that evolve. Think about it, what makes Google one of the top places to work? If you visit any of their office locations, you will find a culture that supports creativity, openness to express ideas and diversity. While Google is not a start-up now, it once was. As was Uber, Dropbox, Airbnb, and many more and these companies are now million and billion dollar companies. There are many benefits to having a strong culture and it having influential effects on employee decisions and values when it comes to the mission and vision of your brand.
Education Versus Experience
The value of education has often been a debatable topic when it comes to many small start-ups. And while I advocate for education for applicability purposes, statistics do not lie in the number of college graduates that have a difficult time finding adequate work either in their academic degree filed or possibly at all. But how does this affect you as a start-up and what can you learn from knowing this? Just as quantity versus quality matters, so does education versus experience and your decision on either can work in your favor or be a detriment to your business. Highly skilled employees do not always have degrees; as where they lack in the degree they have years of experience. Newly minted graduates may lack the experience of the skills you need, but have the knowledge of how to do the work. Selecting one over the other should depend knowing your need as a business (which will give you the level of experience or skill needed), expected or negotiated salary/wage, and long-term employment possibilities with whom you select.
Be Honest & Realistic
As a start-up, the most important tip is, to be honest, and realistic…not just with yourself, but with potential employees. Unless you have an immediate capital investment, a business loan, a business grant, or a contract and can provide immediate salaries and benefits, never embellish what you are able to afford or provide in the present or in the future. Be forward about your needs as a start-up and the level of experience you are looking for and do not settle (even if it becomes difficult to find the calibre of individuals required for business success). In business, especially in a start-up, the future strength and success of your business will be based on the realistic needs of your business and the decision you make when it comes to hiring.
Family and Friends
While you cannot and should not always rely on family and/or friends when it comes to business, there is no harm in expressing interest in hiring them if they have the immediate experience you are seeking (even if temporary until you are able to hire someone to fulfil the position on a more long-term basis). For example, if you have a relative that is an accountant, you can ask them to provide tax services for you until you have a more permanent solution. If you are able to afford that relative on a wage or salary bases, you can offer them a position in your start-up. Never launch your start-up believing that family or friends should be the first to help you (especially if it free labor).
Basically, hiring employees boils down to strategically considering all of your business needs. There is no way around it for the future of your business. Do your due diligence with researching all of the hiring types available to you. It will be worth your while.
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