Finding the right people is one of the biggest challenges for start-ups. First, there was only us three founders, we were small and not (yet) well-known. You cannot attract people with a big name at that stage. So, how can you find, not only good talent, but the right people for your company? There are a few things I’ve learned from past years of recruiting:
– Experience, skills and the mind-set are important: When I interview new people, of course I want to find out if the person can do the job. But it is not only these skills that are important for us at Testbirds. It is also important to see if the person fits well in our team. We call it the “Testbirds fit”. Though we already have 100 people in our team, we still value a start-up way of working with a hands-on mentality, working frequently between departments and having flat hierarchies. A candidate has to like this style of working and our underlying values (read more about our values here) to really fit in. Clarifying this upfront helps both sides, as neither the employee or the employer will be happy if the company’s culture simply does not appeal to the person.
– Job ads are necessary, but sometimes not enough: Especially when we search for more experienced people, job ads are often not sufficient to find the right person. Therefore, I approach people directly on channels like LinkedIn. This shows them that we are really interested in them and often motivates them to consider working with us. Furthermore, career events (e.g. at universities) are a good way to spread the word that there are lots of jobs at our growing company.
– Passion is very important: When I interview people, I have to see the fire in their eyes for what they do. In my opinion, you can only be good at things if you are passionate about them. Someone who only searches for a job to pay their bills will never be as good as someone who burns for what he or she is doing; though the job still has to pay the bills of course.
I’m curious how other start-ups have tackled the challenges in recruiting. What do you think are the most important factors when searching for new people?