6 Mistakes in Recruiting Employees for a Startup

A comprehensive list of personal mistakes made in recruiting employees for a startup

6 Mistakes in Recruiting Employees in a Startup
6 Mistakes in Recruiting Employees in a Startup
Source: LinkedIn

1️⃣ The CEO is not involved in the selection

Why is recruiting first and foremost a CEO’s job? The question is wrong. Why is it profitable? The CEO is already better. Firstly, such a scheme works for the brand recognition of the company and the acquisition of new business contacts — clients and investors. Second, no one is more interested in market research than CEOs. Also, when you hire employees yourself, it helps build your personal brand. It is essential to attract and retain the team.

2️⃣ There is no understanding of the result of the future employee’s work

How is good recruitment different from the bad one? Understanding the product that we expect from the employee. You can’t look for “the seller who sells more than me.” It is important to clearly and vividly articulate the function in the team and the goal.

❌ Bad request:

Looking for the Head of Representative Office in Latin America

  • Marketing building experience
  • Management experience
  • Experience in the IT industry
  • Knowledge of local laws
  • Team recruitment
  • Sales plan execution

✅ Good request:

Friends, we are launching in Latin America. There are 2 anchor clients; we see the market capacity; we need to build up our forces in the region! Therefore, I am looking for someone who can help with this, the role will be called “Head of Representative Office”

  • Hire a support team — to ensure existing customers, as well as predict the growth of sales
  • Assess the market capacity for our services and protect the sales plan

3️⃣ No HR branding

Realizing how effective it is to make an entire team sourced, leaders love to create a bonus system for those who attract newcomers. But then an unpleasant surprise awaits them — monetary rewards work very, very poorly without other factors. HR branding solves the problem. It would help if you didn’t immediately say that it is impossible to implement this in a small company due to a limited budget — that is why large players take away your ideal candidates from you.

4️⃣ Template interview

There is a great temptation to take ready-made templates, especially when evaluating soft skills. It is important to remember two things here. First, templates are not universal and hardly relevant to your company. They may have benefited those who invented them, but usually, such formulas are tied to the functionality of the organization. Second — after such an interview, you can get into the search results for the query “sell me a pen idiot”. Providing an unpleasant aftertaste to candidates is harmful to the company’s brand.

❌ What you definitely don’t need to ask the candidate:

  • How many traffic lights are there in the city?
  • What will you do if you find out that your wife is cheating on you?
  • You are standing on a railroad switch and a child ran out on the way. By switching the arrow, you will derail the passenger train and save the child. Another option is to do nothing: the child will die, the passenger train will remain intact. What will you do?

✅ What to ask the candidate:

  • What motivates you?
  • What are you not ready to put up within your work?
  • What do you pay attention to when joining a new team, meeting new people?
  • What issues in your professional field always get your attention?
  • Why are you still in this area, and not change it to something else?
  • What attracts you to working in a startup?

5️⃣ Selection based only on a recommendation

Of course, recommendations are important and necessary. But can they be used as the main criterion for hiring?

6️⃣ Toxic candidates

It also happens that a candidate has excellent skills, but he is very toxic. How to make a decision? Mathematics will come to the rescue.

Read More

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Written by

Bioinformatician at Oncobox Inc. (@oncobox). Research Associate at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (@mipt_eng).

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