The engine behind a business makes a huge difference. And the engine, that’s your team.That’s why you have to make sure that the separate parts work well together.Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find suitable talent, and ‘the war for talent’ certainly doesn’t make it any easier. What exactly do you need to consider when hiring staff? Birdhouse has 7 handy tips!

#1. Build a good relationship with your network

No, you can’t hire everyone who is looking for a job and thinks your start-up is cool. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to radiate goodwill to your network. As the founder or CEO of a start-up, you’re obviously looking for top talent, and to attract that you need a good reputation. In short: make sure that almost everyone wants to work for you or with you!

How do you make your startup seem like an enticing place to work?

  • Build a good relationship with your network. Be a nice person and make sure you give enough, not just take.
  • Put your mission and vision clearly in the spotlight, both online and at events.
  • Employer branding is done continuously , not just when you are looking for someone urgently.
  • Make a statement about your company culture. You can do that by sharing pictures of your team(buildings) online, but also by writing a blog about it for example. Afraid they’ll think your theme parties are a little too crazy? Then they probably don’t quite fit into your business in other areas either.

#2. Prefer attitude over skills

You will probably be looking for someone with a skillset that complements the skills of your team. Understandable. But keep in mind that specific skills and knowledge about a certain subject can always be honed. A match with the company culture of your start-up and a “hands-on attitude” or self-reliance of the applicant are essential to stay afloat in a start-up. And that combination is unfortunately a lot harder to find than ‘a certain skillset’. Therefore, it is important that you pay enough attention to the attitude of your applicant.

#3. Also look for that personal touch

This tip follows on seamlessly from the previous one, but we cannot emphasise its importance enough: a personal click with a potential candidate is essential. Certainly in a start-up, where you often work longer hours than in many other environments and where you have to consult with each other more often.

How do you know during a job interview if the personal click is there? Simple: ask yourself if you can sit in one room with that person for 8 hours without getting annoyed. Also note the enthusiasm your applicant exudes during your interviews. Would he or she work well with the team? Your start-up probably consists of a select group of employees, so you obviously want everyone to be a good match. You can test this by sketching a clear picture of your company culture, but also by having your employees meet the candidate. Don’t forget to ask for their opinion afterwards.

#4. Speak clear language about compensation

You don’t have to make false promises about your new employee’s salary. On the contrary, it can backfire harder in your face than you think and it forms a poor foundation for your continued relationship of trust. Be honest at all times about remuneration, fringe benefits, career opportunities and the general future prospects of your company, even if this is often not yet certain for your start-up.

Present new employees with an attractive but realistic package of opportunities. That usually compensates for a slightly lower salary. The more responsibilities, trust and autonomy you offer, the more motivation you are likely to obtain. Personal development and a concrete contribution to the team are also included in ‘extra-legal benefits’!

#5. Distribute your vacancies through the right channels

Make use of your network

As we already mentioned in tip 1, your own network is very important to find the right person. So ask your friends, acquaintances and ex-colleagues if they know anyone who would fit in with your start-up. Because they are already in your (professional) network, chances are they already know your start-up and already have expertise or interest in the sector.

Think of social media

In addition, do not forget to spread your vacancy on social networking sites, where your future employee undoubtedly hangs out. Although LinkedIn is the most suitable platform for this, you can also quickly get in touch with applicants on Twitter. If necessary, use the hashtags ‘#bejobs‘ and ‘#RT’, so that your vacancy makes the rounds quickly.

Try the known job channels

Finally, there are also quality job channels. Vdab.be is probably the biggest you’ll find, although Bloovi and Creative Skills are often better for sector-specific vacancies. Ideal for when you are looking for marketers and developers!

#6. What if it didn’t work out?

Have you interviewed someone who didn’t qualify for the job? Then know that this is not wasted time and that you can still encourage the person in question to become a brand ambassador. If you do it right, the ‘unsuccessful’ candidate will be happy to talk about your company to other potentials. In return, you can recommend him or her to other companies. And who knows, that person might even come back into your sights later on with a bunch of extra experience.

#7. If you can, outsource it.

Rather ironic advice to end on, if we do say so ourselves. But let’s face it: a recruitment procedure takes up a lot of time and effort. Describing what you need, searching, conducting interviews, weighing up choices, … It’s a whole sandwich that you can’t always take in between.

Even the most successful entrepreneurs and CEOs turn to external help with their recruitment efforts. Working with an HR party with expertise is not only easy, it also increases your chances of finding a good match. An example of such an HR partner is Securex, which regularly assists Birdhouse start-ups with their recruitment needs.

But we also know that #startuplife is already expensive enough, and that in the beginning you often don’t have the financial means to outsource such things. If you don’t have an HR budget, you’re better off looking for your advice elsewhere. Dare to ask for information and tips from fellow start-ups and colleagues in the industry. Find out how they went about it and ask what you should definitely look out for. A forewarned entrepreneur is worth two.