The size of a company doesn’t matter: sourcing, recruiting, and hiring is hard. However, it’s definitely harder for startup companies to recruit and hire top talent—not to mention get that talent to stick around.

This brings me to an important point: startup turnover could easily be because CEOs and founders aren’t bringing in startup-ready talent. This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault; it’s just that these individuals likely don’t have experience recruiting and hiring. Just because someone has experience working with others and functioning within a team doesn’t mean he or she knows how to build one—and that’s OK.

If you’re a budding startup and not aggressively searching for the best talent, you’re going to keep turning up just okaytalent. But fear not. We’ve put together a list of ways to tackle startup recruitment head-on.



3. Hire deliberately

If you’re an early stage startup, the most attractive candidates are the ones who are available right now and have at least some skills you’re looking for.

As tempting as that may be, this isn’t the time to just fill a role because you need more manpower. This is a time where the first fifteen to twenty people you hire are, ideally, going to be the ones that help build the future of your company.


4. Prioritize behavioral interviews over competency interviews

Obviously, skills are important. But, you’re not only looking for candidates who are going to help grow your startup/generate revenue. The people you bring on board are going to build the culture and feel of your company. To be frank, this means you have to actually like being around them. I know that’s subjective, but it’s the truth.

Startups come with trying times; it’s just the name of the game. If you can’t work with someone who shares the same drive and willingness to overcome hurdles, you risk losing up to $50K in low-quality hires. So instead, focus on:

• Personality
 Emotional intelligence
• Creativity
• Ability to work well in a team
• Willingness to learn new things and adopt new ways of thinking



7. Explore staffing and recruiting firms

You can always try a recruitment agency to help with your search. Contingent and retained firms can get pretty pricey, but flat fee and hourly recruiting agencies do exist. Those will be your more affordable options, especially if you’re only trying to fill one or two positions.

If you have experience recruiting for a startup, offer up some tips! What has worked best for you in the past, and how have you retained talent?