When you hire for your startup you need to understand one thing: this might be one of the worst times to look for talent.
While inflation continues to rise and the Fed raises interest rates, consumer confidence remains unchanged and unemployment is at an all-time low. The financial prospects for business and the market are bleak, but companies are still at the mercy of their employees, who seem to have endless jobs. Big Tech may have brought about 10% of the talent back to the market, but generally those weren’t core employees.
So how can early-stage founders compete with larger, better-funded companies in this battle for talent?
See talent through a lens that fits the product market
Whenever possible, it’s much better to slowly integrate a great candidate as a consultant or part-time contractor and let things play out.
Most startups simply don’t have the resources to compete on capital, especially when it comes to talent.
Your early employees (your first 20-25 people) are joining you because they are looking for something that bigger companies with money can’t offer them. Your job is to find out what that something is and make it available.
Approaching early stage recruitment through a lens that fits the product market is a great way to do this. Think of your candidates as your clients and get to know them personally, understand their career path and learn what their gaps are. Their gaps are your problems and the role you have to offer is your product. The two have to match – otherwise it’s not a good hire. Knowing this, explain how they can get what they want working with you and why they can’t get it from other companies.