Do we recruit internally or externally?

If your startup needs to fill a specific position, first review your options for sourcing those skills. If you decide to recruit externally, then you have a number of recruitment methods to consider.

Place your job posting in different ways

To identify where and how best to post your job, think about how people in different professions look for jobs. It’s prudent to place your job posting a number of different ways to attract the best applicants, especially for highly specialized or scarce, leading-edge technical skills.

Use your website for recruitment

Always advertise any current openings on your startup’s website. However, because this is a somewhat passive approach, it should be used in conjunction with other tools.

Other sources for applicants

Applicants can be sourced using a variety of resources, including:

  • Employee referrals
  • Advertising
    • Online job boards
    • Social media
    • Print advertising (mainstream and niche channels)
  • Search firms
  • Job fairs
  • Industry trade shows
  • Internship or volunteer programs
  • Co-op programs through universities, colleges and vocational training schools
  • Active searching and networking
    • Resume databases
    • Soliciting referrals

How to identify which recruitment strategy is best for your startup

The most appropriate recruiting strategies will depend on a number of factors. Consider the following key points.

How specialized are the skills needed?

Generally, the more technical or specialized the job, the wider you must expand your search. Competition is fierce for these skills, with larger, more established companies able to provide lucrative compensation and benefits packages.

Startups, however, can offer candidates some advantages, including the excitement of being part of the early stages of an emerging enterprise. Incorporate your company’s vision and story into your job posting to attract interest from qualified risk-takers who fit your company culture.

During the recruiting process, determine how far and wide you’ll need to cast your net. If it seems unlikely you will find candidates locally, decide whether you need to recruit regionally, nationally or internationally.

What is your recruiting budget?

Sometimes advertising is free, and sometimes it can cost thousands of dollars. Search and recruiting fees can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Establish a budget based on how much can you afford and what you feel is needed to invest to attract the right candidates.

How soon do you need to hire?

Establish how urgent the recruitment is. If you needed someone yesterday, you may be forced to engage the most expensive, direct recruitment methods.

Where will your candidates be looking?

Understand where qualified candidates will be looking. Is it online, through niche or mainstream media, or through personal networks? Determine where you will find these candidates. Perhaps your ideal hires don’t yet know they want a new job. If this is the case, plan how you will seek these candidates out.