Human capital in a startup is one of its most important assets. To build a successful company requires hiring people that you trust to make decisions for the company as it scales. Getting hiring right at a startup is imperative. However, it is challenging, can be expensive, and time-consuming.
Building a team during a pandemic presents a new challenge for startups. It’s no easy task to handle onboarding, and trusting new employees to help you to run your company without ever meeting them in person. With the pandemic still here and the return to “normal” working distance, you should be creating a recruitment strategy that accounts for working remotely.
Before strategizing recruitment for the new year, make sure to consider these 5 traits that are important to look for in recruiting new team members in 2021.
- Genuine interest and passion
When working at a startup, employees spend the majority of their waking hours working. At times, employees may also be required to work unsociable hours or on weekends. For this reason, it’s important to understand if your candidates are genuinely interested in the work and the mission of your company. Having employees that are excited about the work they will be doing, the sector and the company, in general, will help your employees stay committed, be more motivated, and reliable. This also results in reduced absenteeism, more innovation, and better productivity in your company. To assess and understand what a candidate’s true passions are, you can ask the typical “why X Company?” question to understand their motivations.
- Cultural fit in your company
Before you embark on recruiting, understand what the culture at your company is like and define key characteristics that you would like your employees to embody. During the pandemic (and also outside of the pandemic), employees can feel disengaged or disconnected from the comradery in a company if they do not belong. Defining a culture will also help to guide your recruitment strategy as you will understand the identity and tone you want to set among your team.
- Ability to communicate effectively
In 2021, your new hire will likely be working from home for the foreseeable future. Unable to casually walk over to someone’s desk or bump into someone in the kitchen, working remotely demands more clear and concise communication. As we are continuing to communicate digitally to carry out our day-to-day work, candidates should be effective communicators – both verbally and written. To assess this, you should understand how your candidates can communicate their ideas and their thought process when answering your questions in interviews. You could ask your candidates situational, problem-solving questions that they may encounter in the role. You could also understand how they have solved problems in the past by asking them to walk through their previous experiences.
- Willingness to take ownership
Startups operate nimbly with minimal micromanagement. As a founder or a manager in a startup, you should feel empowered to let your employees make decisions with minimal guidance to help you operate more efficiently. To assess their willingness to take ownership, learn more about your candidates’ previous experiences with making decisions or taking leadership.
There are a lot of ups and downs when working at a startup. People joining a startup are taking a risk. Most startup employees feel a looming sense of job insecurity and uncertainty as their role could be made redundant if business plans suddenly change or the company, unfortunately, does not succeed. To reduce employee churn, it’s important to know if your hires will weather the storm with you. You should understand the candidates’ previous experiences with risk-taking and working to meet deadlines under pressure or stressful conditions.