Start ups have specific hiring challenges - how do you overcome to get the best team?

Guest blog: 5 Startup Hiring Challenges

It is essential for any startup to identify and appoint the right talent because only the right people have the potential to keep a startup running smoothly and successfully in a highly competitive business environment. When recruiters and HR professionals fail to identify the right fit, it results in cash burn, and if the employee has a client-facing profile or represents the business in any way, it can also adversely impact brand identity.

The 5 Biggest Hiring Challenges Facing Startups

Hire the best candidate for your startup

It’s crucial for a startup to have self-driven people who can keep the place charged with energy while motivating others to work toward business success.   

1. Lack of Hiring Experience

When a business doesn’t invest enough in the HR department, it becomes all the more challenging to grow as young entrepreneurs with no hiring experience take up the task of recruitment. They end up wasting a lot of time sorting through a huge number of applications from unqualified candidates — and when they do find the right one, they usually lack the skills to identify the potential of prospective employees. Additionally, they can fail to transfer essential business knowledge which is required for the brand to succeed right from the start.     

2. Shortage of Self-Driven Candidates 

Nine out of ten startups fail either because there is lack of demand in the market for their products/services or because they fail to meet the ever-changing market demands. This is why a startup needs a highly motivated, hardworking, and dedicated team that can take your business to the next level. Also, the most essential factor that you need to consider for any role in a startup is the ambition of the candidate and their willingness to stay for the long term.

Using a full-featured
applicant tracking system that is integrated with prominent recruitment portals and popular social media platforms can help startups find the right candidates for open positions faster.

3. Lack of Flexibility

Because of the size and lean structure of small and mid-sized businesses (SMB), their employees need greater capacity to evolve in order to satisfy specific consumer needs, the flexibility to keep up with variations in the market, and problem-solving skills to improve teamwork and performance. An employee who is accustomed to a traditional industry where he or she plays a standardized role may find it difficult to immediately adapt to the fast-paced work environment of a startup.     

4. Poor Cultural Fit 

It can be extremely difficult to manage a candidate who has the required skill set and experience but doesn’t fit culturally in the company. It will take extra time and extra effort to bring the individual in sync with the organization’s environment, core values, cultural beliefs, work pattern, and behavior. Interviews give you the opportunity to assess your potential employee and identify if they are a good culture fit who will flourish in the new position and drive sustainable success for your organization. Staffing agencies can be a good choice if you need help with finding the right culture fit — they know their talents’ likes and dislikes when it comes to company culture, and oftentimes, candidates will be more forthcoming with external recruiters than those in-house.

5. Attracting and Retaining Millennials  

According to a recent blog post published on, millennials are expected to take over 50% of the workforce by 2020. Far more fluent with the latest technology, millennials tend to communicate openly and are more comfortable with a flexible job than their Baby Boomer predecessors.

Millennials are a powerhouse. They’ve grown up using technology, expect flexibility at work, value transparency, look for security, desire career growth, and love challenges that bring out their creativity and add variety to their work. In order to retain them, you need to make genuine efforts to offer them a job where their thoughts and opinions count, their contributions matter, and they are able to strike a perfect balance between their personal and professional lives. An organization that understands what millennials can contribute to the company, and manages to find lucrative ways to attract and retain them, can be a huge success.

Tips to Attract and Retain Ambitious Employees in a Candidate-Driven Market

Attracting Start Up Candidates

The competition is extreme for startups because the market belongs to the candidate. A candidate-driven market means every time a new firm finds the right person, there are ten more firms vying to bring him/her on-board as soon as possible by offering higher packages and attractive perks. SMBs can attract talent by revamping their recruitment approach in a manner that appeals to them.

Here are 3 simple strategies to tap this elusive talent pool: 

1. Hire on Their Terms 

Social media matters the most to modern jobseekers, so why not make the most of these platforms? Reach out to them in a place where they are actively looking for a job change by sharing open roles on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. This tech-savvy generation can work wonders for your small business by getting your word out in the digital landscape.   

2. Use Technology to Your Advantage 

According to a Glassdoor survey, more than 40% of millennials search for jobs and read employee reviews on their smartphones before applying for a job. Make sure your careers site is responsive and allows millennials to apply for a job on the go. Embracing mobile and making the application process candidate-friendly will work to show millennials that you identify with their needs. You can also leverage video interviewing technology to save their time and suit their schedules.

3. Showcase a Culture that Matches Their Values 

In order to attract millennials, you need to communicate your core values. Showcase employee testimonials and reviews on your company’s career site and social profiles to share a glimpse into office environment, different management styles, and team spirit.

Need More Help Hiring?

Hiring Help for Small Businesses

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from a reliable hiring partner. Consider contacting an award-winning staffing agency for help with your next hire. Someone like Artisan has talent that comes in all ranges to fit your startup budget. 

Learn More

About The Author

Kelly Barcelos Artisan AvatarKelly Barcelos is a Content Marketing Manager for Jobsoid and specializes in HR. When Kelly is not building marketing campaigns, she is busy creating content to help people hire better. As a working mom of three, she knows the importance of time management and counts on her multitasking ability to get her through her to-do lists.

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