Startup Hiring Guide: Answering the Who and How of Startup Recruitment

90% of all the startups fail, and 10% fail in the first year of business. Therefore, they don’t find a long line of potential, qualified candidates waiting to get hired due to a substantially risky future and growth trajectory. Thus, finding the right employees and hiring is exceptionally challenging for a startup.

They have to actively engage in recruitment and hiring practices to attract the right talent who understands the idea behind the startup and reinforces the vision and mission of the founding members. Therefore, the hiring process for a startup can be quite different from that of other companies. If you are in the same dilemma, below is an easy guide to help you with the who and how of startup recruitment. 

1. Recruit through various ways 

A startup may not have as much visibility among prospective candidates amidst the noise of top companies. The name of big brands is enough to tell everything about them. But the same is not true for startups. Therefore, they need to make themselves noticeable to prospective candidates. There can be various ways to become visible and get the word out that you have open positions in your company. Some of those ways are:

  • Hiring events and job fairs

One of the ways to recruit and hire is by attending university-organized hiring events and job fairs. Various companies participate in these events. You can set up an attractive stall and place all your company material, including brochures and your mission and vision for candidates. These events are an excellent prospect to get your prospective employees excited about working with you. Interact with the graduates, know their ideas, and tell them what you can offer. Paint the picture of your company and business in such a way that candidates find it overlapping with their future goals. Finally, collect resumes from these graduates. 

  • Social media

Social media is another way to introduce your company to prospective candidates. According to the Glassdoor 2020 estimates, 79% of job applicants said that they search for jobs on social media. Moreover, 85% of the employers also said that social media helps them with the hiring process. 

Before posting a job on social media, develop your presence and regularly post about your company’s services and how you are helping your clients solve their problems. Once you set in the excitement, only then must you post jobs. 

  • Ask for referrals from friends and peers

A referral is still one of the widely used ways to hire staff for your startup. In this process, you only approach candidates your friends and peers refer to you. The benefit of referrals is that you already know the working potential of the candidate. So, you are not shooting in the dark. You can discuss with your friends and peers why their preferred candidate is a good fit for your startup and why you should hire them. But of course, you should reach the final decision after meeting the candidate. 

  • Add a ‘Careers’ Page on your website

One of the ways to attract prospective candidates is by creating a careers page. Your careers page should have all the information about your hiring process, including job descriptions, perks and incentives, recruitment process, promotion criteria, FAQs, etc. You can also add recruitment videos, including videos of what current employees think about the company. 

2. Highlight information about company culture

Developing a company culture with a small team is quite challenging. Every new employee adds something new to the culture of the organization. Therefore, each employee has a more meaningful role in developing the organization’s image.

Your employer branding strategy should include information about the company’s culture. Highlight how you take care of your employees and provide work-life balance. Information worth sharing with prospective employees includes company outings, recreational trips, celebrations, etc. 

You can also show how you ensure the health and wellbeing of your employees. Share the information about cancer screening and vaccination drives organized in your company. Sharing information about community service such as fundraisers for orphanages and blood banks for Thalassemia patients also conveys a softer picture of your organization. And don’t forget medical insurance that you provide permanent employees.

If engaging in community services is a strong suit of your company culture, you may even develop a separate ‘Community Service’ section on your website to show off your social responsibility activities since candidates today consider the company’s social and environmental responsibility services before making a job decision. In a survey, 58% of the participants shared that they consider the CSR efforts of their company before applying for a job. And 51% said they would not work for a company that does not have strong social and environmental commitment. 

3. Understand the legal requirements of hiring

When you are new to the process of hiring, you might not be aware of the local and federal recruitment laws. Familiarize yourself with these laws to avoid embroiling yourself into issues related to job discrimination laws and equal employment opportunities. For instance, make sure your job posting, recruiting, or hiring process is not discriminatory towards people from any caste, religion, social status, creed, etc. Often using a few wrong words makes your job post biased or insensitive towards the feelings of others, so be careful of that.

4. Share your business plan with prospective candidates

Painting a positive picture of your business is not enough; you must convey to potential employees that your company stands a chance amongst competitors. Your employees should not be worried about their future by connecting with your company. 

The best way to take the new hires on the same page is by telling them what your future plans are and where the company stands currently. Also, discuss your plan of action to take the company to where you want it to be. Ask them how they can contribute to the business plan and what changes, if any, they can suggest in the current business plan. Their suggestions and discussion will help you gauge their interest in your company. 

You might even share your market research, growth plan, and growth projections over a short and long time. Your open and sincere communication can attract growth-oriented candidates to your company, convincing them of the potential of your startup. 


Employees are the human capital of any organization. They play an important role in the growth and development of an organization. But when it comes to startups, the importance of having the right employees multiplies exponentially. New startups don’t have an extensive budget to indulge in frequent hiring processes. Any employee leaving the organization after completing the hiring process is a financial burden on a resource-constrained startup. Therefore, hiring for a new startup must be conducted carefully to eliminate all chances of error. 

Sanjit Dhabekar

Sanjit Dhabekar is a passionate Digital Marketer and Blogger. He loves to explore new opportunities to rank websites and earn money online.

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