Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

3 Requirements for Startup Hiring

Small business and startup hiring isn’t like hiring at a big corporation. You don’t need pegs to fit into vacant holes. What you need are employees who not only meet a need but function outside of that need as well. That’s why the hiring process isn’t simply about posting an ad and waiting for resumes to come in. It’s really a pursuit on your part for the best possible addition to the team.

Slava Rubin, the CEO of Indiegogo, put it best when he wrote for The Globe and Mail, “This process isn’t about talent consultants or posting “help wanted” ads or pulling resumes from envelopes full of glitter. It’s a part of every employee’s job to actively and aggressively pursue – and not just wait for their next phone screen to get scheduled.”

With that, Rubin cites the three requirements for small business and startup hiring:

1. Hiring entrepreneurs vs employees. As Rubin pointed out, this is an active pursuit of quality people to add to the team, not an open invitation. With that in mind, startups and small businesses need to look for more than a skill set. They need to find candidates who have a drive to think and create with innovation — employees who don’t just sit at the table; they bring something to the table.

You can find these candidates by networking. Attend industry conferences and conventions, meet with other heads of startups and small businesses in your industry and strike up conversations on social media with entrepreneurs that interest you. This will give you a pulse as to who you should be watching and actively recruiting.

2. Don’t focus on experience. These days, small business and startup hiring isn’t about how many years a candidate spent at companies X, Y and Z. And sometimes, it’s not even about whether or not a candidate has a college degree. It’s about innate talent and well-rounded, outside-of-the-box mentalities, implies Rubin.

Think about brands like Google and Microsoft. They’re known for asking the zaniest, riddle-like questions in interviews. That’s because they’re more interested in how a person thinks rather than what they’ve been taught to think. It’s these creative minds that push small businesses and startups to success.

3. Keep what works, improve what doesn’t. If you’ve built a good brand, you don’t need to bring in employees who will attempt to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Rubin states that you need employees who fit in with your company culture; candidates who will uphold your product and your brand.

However, he warns against creating a company of the same type of person and employee. If everyone is the same, where will innovation come from? Essentially, manage your small business and startup hiring in a way that seeks candidates who can be loyal to your company’s roots and build upon them as well.

How do you make sure your employees uphold your company’s product and brand? Spark a conversation below.

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Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.

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