How to Hire Great Employees For Your Startup

How to Hire ‘Great’ Employees For Your Startup

What makes a great company? Is it their products or services, how they impact the economy, their contribution to the environment, or the sociological advancements they provide? What is it that really makes people say: that is a great company?

In short: People

People are the business. They are the people answering the phone, creating the products, and building the software. The ones representing the tangible form of the business, the consumers, and the competitors. They are what makeup everything.

How To Hire The Best Talent For Your Startup

So, when we ask what makes a great company, we can logically say; great people.

But what makes a great candidate, and how do we find one? How do we know if someone is great for a company? Do we look at their character traits, culture, where they went to school, how well they test on paper, or their skills and abilities? How do we find these people? Do we ask our colleagues for references, do we tap into our own network, or bring in an external staffing agency? Do we source through all the countless job boards, try social media, or do we pitch at employment booths on college campuses?

First, how do we spot a great candidate? I am not talking about what specifically qualifies them for the job (i.e. years of experience, education, and skillset), but what makes them individually great.

  • Ambition – Ambition is a strong determination to accomplish something. When you look at the vision of a business you will find it is the company’s goal to do the same. Ambition is what creates and drives the industry forward, so it is safe to assume ambitious people create ambitious companies and vice-versa. Ambition within a candidate can be found by understanding how they have improved their skills. Are they up to date with current, technologies, trends, and/or news? And most importantly, find results on their resume, proof of their successes and accomplishments. Follow up with them, asking about the impact of what their success was (i.e. promotions).
  • Resourcefulness – This can also be categorized as ‘curiosity or inquisitiveness. A great candidate will have researched the position and company in great detail and prepared questions in advance. A great candidate is someone who is enthusiastic about learning and shows a genuine interest in the company. Pay attention to what questions candidates ask, as this can demonstrate what desires they wish to progress.
  • Presence – I am not talking about aesthetics or attractiveness. You should be looking for how the candidate potentially fits in with the current company culture. Does he/she/they fit the cultural work environment? Do they exude the amount of confidence necessary for the role? How are they composing themselves, and how do they talk to others? Observe the candidate’s presence, how do you feel about them?

How to Hire ‘Great’ Employees For Your Startup

Next, let’s talk about how to hire great people and what resources to use.

  • Process – A great company creates seamless recruiting and hiring processes that ensure that no candidate is overlooked. A common issue with the recruiting process is individuals ‘scanning resumes’ without following up with candidates for further explanation. Many people fail to realize the main purpose of the process of hiring is to extend opportunities to candidates who have experienced individual transformations that have strengthened their professional growth. Meaning you can’t possibly know if someone is a great candidate just by what is written on a piece of paper. Another common issue is having a long-winded interview process. Too much time between phone calls and interviews can lead to lost momentum (have you heard the saying; time kills deals?). It is important to act quickly, especially when you have confidence in a specific candidate. Even if a decision has not been made, continue the conversation. Follow up with applicants often to discuss further details on the role, and to ensure that you’re on their radar (keeping their interests on your company).
  • Local staffing agencies – There is a reason why there are so many staffing agencies within the realms of business, and that’s mainly because staffing agencies are without a doubt your largest pipeline to prospective candidates. Staffing agencies are made up of large teams of recruiting specialists who spend 40+ hours a week actively sourcing through a live talent for specifically defined roles. Local staffing agencies are usually made up of specially trained recruiters focusing on a specific industry (medical, tech, admin), within a specific location. These professionals have the skills and knowledge that are necessary to understand what each candidate is capable of. Therefore, understanding if a candidate has not only the skills and background for a specific position but also ensuring that they conform within a specific company’s environment.

So, there you have it. A great company is made of great people. The way to make sure you are hiring great people and building a great team is to find and recognize an individual’s ambition, resourcefulness, and presence during your hiring processes. The best way to build a great team is by applying seamless application processes within the company and utilizing the best tools and local resources offered.

This post is contributed by Sebastian Rinde at is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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