Building the perfect team is a tough ask for any startup or SME. Hiring the right person is expensive, time-consuming and difficult. Having said this, your team can be the difference between success and failure. Here are Innovate UK’s essential tips for recruiting the perfect team.
“Make key hires that can fill skill gaps and complement existing staff to help you reach the next level” – Zac Williams, Founder and Director of GradTouch.
Be Honest About What You Can Afford
Hiring someone fulltime is expensive – it’s a huge commitment. Don’t naturally assume this is your best option. We’re seeing more and more small businesses turn to freelancers to fulfil certain requirements.
There are a few key benefits of using freelancers:
- You can use someone with both experience and talent
- You can tap into talent without adding a person to the payroll
- You can scale up or down to complement demand
“Growth is not just about profit; bigger budgets allow us to use skilled freelancers, increasing the quality of their output” – Graeme McGowan, Creative Partner at Jamhot.
Hire the Skills You Really Need
If your business is growing, it can be tempting to hire people quickly. We’d recommend against this. It’s crucial that you find people who fit in with your culture. It’s also just as important to find people who will find your work both challenging and satisfying.
Look towards your current business and team. Where do your strengths and weaknesses lie? What could take you to the next level? It may be worth considering expanding your business in a new direction. For example, many tech startups have a great product or concept but lack natural business development – a salesperson might be the perfect hire.
Explore All Channels
“Utilising specialist websites for your industry can give quicker access to appropriate skills” – Gary Cassey, MD of Cass Productions.
How are you going to find the perfect hire? It’s not as simple as you may think. Recruitment agencies are always an option, though prepare to pay a steep fee. Online job boards can also help, though the large ones tend to be better suited to major organisations.
There are plenty of smaller, niche job boards designed for your specific industry. These are often cheaper (and sometimes free). They will offer less traffic to your ad though applicants are more likely to be relevant for the job.
Consider your professional network, LinkedIn is a great tool for hiring. You can also advertise your job on other social media platforms too. This could be a highly effective and relatively painless recruiting tool for your business.
Scrutinise Your Applicants
There are plenty of guides out there that can help you with shortlisting candidates and interpreting a CV. Before you start interviewing, consider who you want in your company. It’s important to have a strong idea of the type of traits you’re seeking. If you’re stuck for this, look toward other successful entrepreneurs. For example, Sir Richard Branson explains that he looks for three vital qualities:
- People skills and the ability to relate to others
- Risk taking and grit – someone who’s not afraid to fail but determined to succeed
- Optimism – someone who sees the best in others and the situation they’re in
Look further than just who you want to bring in, think about what you’re communicating to applicants about your company. Employer branding is a hugely important issue in the industry. How do you come across? What message does your recruitment process give? Be sure to put your company culture at the forefront of any recruitment drive.
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