When building a startup, one of the most important things you can do is to hire the right people. The right team can take your company to the next level, while the wrong hires can set you back significantly. To avoid costly hiring mistakes, it’s important to learn from those who have done it successfully. In this post, we’ll share 7 hiring strategies that Series A startups can learn from billion-dollar tech unicorns.
Hire for culture fit first.
When there is a strong alignment between the values of the employee and the organisation, it results in a productive and happy work environment. In fact, according to a study by Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. That’s why it’s important to ensure that new hires not only have the skills required for the job, but also align with the company culture.
Use employee referrals.
Employee referral programs are responsible for up to 40% of all hires, according to Jobvite. Your current employees are already familiar with your company culture and the type of candidates who would fit in well. Referral programs also offer incentives for employees to refer successful hires, which can increase retention rates and save time on recruitment.
Emphasise diversity and inclusion.
Startups can follow the example of companies like Google, which have made diversity and inclusion a core value and have seen positive results as a result. In fact, according to McKinsey, companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity in their executive teams are 33% more likely to have above-average profitability.
Hire for potential.
Sometimes the best candidates may not have all the skills listed in the job description. However, they may possess the potential to learn and grow within the company. Hiring for potential rather than just experience can lead to long-term benefits for both the employee and the company. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, high-potential employees are 91% more valuable to an organisation than non-high-potential employees.
Prioritise candidate experience.
The candidate experience can have a significant impact on the success of your recruitment efforts. By prioritising a positive experience for candidates, you can not only attract top talent, but also increase your employer brand. According to Talent Board’s 2021 Candidate Experience Report, 74% of candidates say that the application and hiring process is an indicator of how a company values its people.
Test for skills and aptitude.
CVs can only tell you so much about a candidate’s skills and aptitude. Many successful startups use skills tests and aptitude assessments to evaluate candidates. This can help ensure that you are hiring the best candidate for the job. According to a study by Aberdeen Group, companies that use pre-hire assessments see a 39% lower turnover rate than those that don’t.
Use data to inform hiring decisions.
Data-driven hiring is becoming increasingly popular among successful startups. By using data to analyse the effectiveness of recruitment strategies, you can make better decisions and hire the right people for your company. For example, by analysing the performance of employees hired through different channels, you can identify which channels are most effective in finding high-quality candidates.
These are just a few of the strategies that Series A Talent Leaders and Founders can use to help scale to Series B, and B-yond.