Category Archives: Recruiting for Startups

5 Proven Methods to Improve Talent Sourcing

Talent SourcingIt can be quite a nightmare trying to find the perfect candidate for that new job opening at your company, and sometimes the person you want simply doesn’t exist.

There are a number of strategic checkpoints that you can constantly work on, and they can help ensure that you have a quality talent pool at your fingertips as soon as you’re ready to hire.

1. Start Talent Sourcing Before You’re Ready

Hiring takes a long time, and that’s unlikely to change. In fact, it’s a safe bet to assume that the waiting period is going to increase as technology enables hiring managers to become pickier. In June of 2015, DHI Hiring Indicators found that the average time to hire a new employee takes more than 27 days. However, this is across many industries, and more specific roles often take significantly longer.

One of the best ways to avoid this delay is to anticipate growth. That way, you’ll you have some candidates ready when you get the investment or make the change. You may not be able to have them start working the specific day you want, but the gap will be much shorter.

But, don’t take our word for it. Listen to this advice from the team at Impraise:

“Start recruiting even if you don’t have open spots! It can take a great deal of time to find the right candidates once you need them, so make sure you start looking for new talent way ahead.”

2. Keep a Watch List

Even if you don’t need to hire someone, start keeping a list of potential employees. This is especially useful for very specific roles. For example, if you come into contact with a talented mobile developer but don’t yet need an app, save their contact information for when you do.

Keeping this list will save time when you actually do need to hire. Instead of starting from scratch, you already have a short-list of candidates, and you can start moving forward with them.

You don’t have to contact these people when you find them, but sometimes that can save time. If you have an informational interview, you will now be on the candidate’s radar, and they might already have an internal desire to work for your company by the time there’s an opening.

Glassdoor did some research, and they found that phone interviews lengthen the hiring process by about 8 days, one-on-one interviews by about 5 days, and presentations by about 3 days. So, pre-screening a watch list can really, really work to speed things up.

3. Every Employee is a Recruiter

Studies routinely find that referrals have the highest interview to hire ratio of any hiring strategy.

Knowing this, don’t forget to empower your most valuable recruiters: your employees.

After all, with the exception of your HR department, it’s unlikely that the new hire will be working closely with the recruiter. So, isn’t it logical that the people who will actually be interacting everyday have a say? Friends of current employees are often a natural fit for the company culture, and they might even already have good relationships with their future co-workers.

Also, if you make an effort to work on your employer branding, potential hires get the impression that you care. Glassdoor found that 94% of people are likely to apply to a job if the company regularly updates their online image, such as responding to reviews or creating videos about employee life.

But, before you let your employees loose, set some ground rules. Tell them what they are (and aren’t) allow to say to potential hires. Plus, be very clear about any incentives they’re going to receive for recommending friends.

4. Maintain a Career Site on Your Website

Having a career site on your company website is an extremely valuable hiring tool. Many people looking at it are already interested in your company, so it takes less convincing work on your part. Plus, you have complete control over your image.

If you do this correctly, it will save your time. All you have to do is to let people know about your company culture, and they won’t apply if they don’t fit it.

5. Source Outside the Box

Like all other areas of running your business, don’t be afraid to do some innovative thinking about candidate sourcing.

Willem Wijnans (Sourcing Monk / Improbable) has highlighted some really clever methods that companies have used to attract talent. One company advertised inside online video games, another put a hiring notice on a billboard (in ASCII code) next to a competitor’s office, and it’s not unheard of to advertise hiring on the name of a WiFi network.

While most of these ideas are pretty specific (and tech related), using creativity can really put you ahead of your competitors.

As you can tell from all of the ideas listed above, candidate sourcing isn’t something you do when you have an open position and then stop. It’s an ongoing and constantly evolving practice, but it can save your company significant time and money if done right.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

A Recruitment Conundrum for Small Businesses

Big Data Small Business

What does big data mean to start ups and small businesses? We read a lot these days about how big data will create new growth opportunities and how it will create sustainable competitive advantage, providing the means for companies to outperform their peers.

But we also read that big data requires vast investments in big data frameworks, analytical software, data warehouses and data scientists who can build complicated models to guide companies through the maze. The size of these investments often exceeds the financial abilities of many small companies.

So, does that mean big data lies outside the realm of small business? Not at all.

The December 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review contained a very interesting paper titled ‘You May Not Need Big Data After All’. One of the arguments put forward by authors, Jeanne Ross, Cynthia Beath and Anne Quaadgras, was that many companies don’t know how to make the most of the data they already have embedded in their core operating systems. They invest heavily in big data but fail to get a satisfactory return on that investment. Until executives learn how to use data and analysis to support their operating decisions, they will not be in a position to benefit from big data.

For all companies, the starting point is to develop a culture of evidence-based decision-making. For years, we have used market research to compete more effectively in our marketplace. What has changed significantly is the substantial increase in the source of our data. We are now creating new information 50 times faster than we did ten years ago, generating a staggering 2.5 exabytes of data every day and the volume is growing. Still, the need for evidence-based decision-making has not changed.

Keeping abreast of technology

There is no doubt that with the volume of data being generated, as well as the different formats of the data (structured and unstructured), companies will need to make changes to the way they operate if they are to take advantage of this new-found wealth of intelligence. With the rapid advances in technology, business leaders must ensure that management practices keep abreast of their technology platforms. This will certainly require the hiring of appropriately qualified and experienced staff, plus an investment in training and development programs.

But small business doesn’t need to compete head-on financially with big business for people like data scientists, data architects or PhD data analysts. Compensation is important, but for those with moderate human capital budgets, there are a number of areas where small business leaders can succeed.

First, data gurus are motivated to work in an environment where they are constantly challenged, in companies that are innovative, have highly interesting data sets and are willing to invest in the new technologies. Large companies can pay top market rates for a data scientist, but if the job is boring or they feel their skills are not being fully utilized, they will move on quickly, seeking more nimble and agile workplaces where they can be closer to the decisions.

What also sets top data specialists apart is their curiosity. They are always looking for patterns in data that seem invisible to others. It may take them some time to develop appropriate algorithms to enable them to detect these patterns, but eventually they will find them and the rewards will be substantial. Appealing to this inquisitiveness increases the recruitment and retention success rate. Most importantly, they need (like anyone) to feel valued, allowing them to participate in the decision-making process rather than being hidden away in a dark corner, allows them to feel valued (and also gives the company even better insight).

The surge in demand for data scientists has been well documented and the number of people with deep analytical experience is shrinking. One effective option for small businesses is to recruit at the level of experienced data or software engineer. What these people may lack in mathematical theory and data modeling techniques is often more than made up for by being grounded in the real world.

The big data highway

Good data engineers will have the experience to understand big data analytics applications, take the data insights generated and turn them into operational reality. Many will also be experts with big data frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark, along with scale-out NoSQL databases such as MongoDG, Counchbase and OrientDB. These skills will be sufficient to get small businesses effectively started down the big data highway.

Developing an effective data platform is not simply a matter of obtaining the intelligence from a variety of different sources and undertaking the appropriate analysis, but ensuring data quality standards are maintained, getting the material into the right formats that will enable evidence-based decisions and getting the information to all relevant personnel in the organization quickly.

There are skilled people other than just data scientists who can provide the right big data support for small businesses, even though in the longer term, business leaders may need to provide the necessary training and development to take these people to the next level.

The key, however, is to act sooner rather than later. With the numbers of available top-end data scientists across the globe diminishing, skilled data engineers will be next on the list. And when you are successful in your recruitment, ensure that you do everything to hang on to your talent.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

What to Look for When Hiring Your First Employees

Hiring Your First EmployeesThe first few employees at your startup are crucial. They set the tone for your company and determine whether you fade out or make it to the next level.

“Hiring the right people is absolutely critical in the beginning, because each person you add will have a significant impact on shaping what will—and won’t—be valued, and how people will behave,” says Chris Cancialosi, founder and managing partner of gothamCulture, a New York-based organizational consultancy.

Cancialosi answers questions about attracting and selecting employees to create the right corporate culture from the start.

How can founders hire for a corporate culture that doesn’t yet exist?

You have to be very clear about your values. You need to sit down and say, “This is how I think business should be done, this is what’s really important to me, and this is what my company is going to stand for.” These are critical points that people need to identify but rarely do. As a founder, you have to determine what “right” looks like before you can build a team around it.

What makes those qualities evident in early hires?

I believe in attitude over experience. You can train people to do tasks, but you can’t train them to have the right attitude and values. We have a rigorous, five-stage recruiting and selection process that every employee goes though. There are specific things we look for, and we make it very laborious for them, so the people who aren’t truly interested just kind of self-select out. We’re assessing for those values and intangible qualities that are not found on a résumé.

What about diversity?

One mistake founders often make is to look for people who are clones of themselves. While that helps in aligning behaviors, the downside is that you look at every problem through the same set of glasses and leave yourself open to a lot of risk. Hiring people with diverse viewpoints will help mitigate that risk.

How do you attract those first employees before the cash gets flowing? 

There’s no blanket incentive that works for everyone. Equity stakes—giving them a piece of the company—always gets people’s attention. Some people value a flexible work schedule; some are totally incentivized by cash. You have to consider what motivates different people.

At gothamCulture, everyone is on a partner track, so they all see that long-term goal. We provide short- and long-term incentives in terms of bonuses for the people who are cash-incentivized. We basically have unlimited vacation: Our people work hard and have clear goals, and they’re compensated on hitting those goals. So if they need vacation, they take vacation, and nobody asks questions. We also have an open compensation model so everyone knows what everyone else makes; there’s no jockeying or negotiating for salary. We try to do things that appeal to a broad range of individuals.

Can just one or two founders create an effective hiring process?

It’s hard because there are only so many gates you can put people through. But you can still create a process to screen every potential hire. As candidates progress through our cycle, each event is designed for a specific reason. There might be tests to see if they can do the basics of the job, and there are behavior-based interviews to assess for values and culture fit. It’s important to identify the skill sets and values that will make people successful in your business, and then be very intentional about assessing those assets throughout your recruiting process.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

6 Tips to Succeed at Startup Recruiting

Startup RecruitingIf you’re recruiting a team for your startup venture, you probably have an ideal type of employee in mind. It’s possible that the type of employee who’s a great catch for a large corporation isn’t the one you want on your team – and it’s possible that the people you want on your startup team won’t be attracted by the same things as people who want to work at established companies.

The biggest challenge for startups is finding the right people. It’s crucial to find people that have the skills, motivation, flexibility, and attitude to succeed in a variable, fast paced, and frenetic work environment.

Startups are not usually in a position to offer the high salaries, predictable hours, job security, benefit packages and perks that established companies can. You’ll have to work to find people who embrace challenges, and are willing to make big sacrifices for greater success down the road.

Below, we’ve put together a list of tips for succeeding at startup recruiting:

1. Write a hyper-focused job description

Your startup probably doesn’t have the resources to pay an executive recruiting agency to find the right people, so you’re going to have to take a grassroots approach. Therefore, the more detailed and articulate your job description, the more likely you’ll be to attract the people you want. Targeting passive candidates could be the way to go in this situation. They tend to have the qualifications, experience and characteristics that startups require to build a strong team.

2. Look for entrepreneurs

Unless an applicant has a compelling reason for wanting to work in a startup, they might lack the creativity, drive, vision and resourcefulness you’re looking for. An easy starting point is to look for people who already have entrepreneurial experience – and don’t forget to ask about their own startup projects.

3. Hire versatile people

Rather than hiring someone with a fixed skill set, look for a jack-of-all-trades. You want intellectually curious fast learners who aren’t afraid of leaving their comfort zones. Populate your startup team with flexible, multifaceted people who are willing to take on a variety of tasks, and watch your talented staff grow off of itself.

4. Interview recent college grads

Recent college grads are often willing to take on the extra responsibilities and long hours that a startup business demands for the prospect of a meaningful work experience. They’re also often willing to work for lower salaries, and they’re excited by the prospect of growing with a new company. If you’re not willing to take a chance on someone with little employment history, look for people with around two years of experience who are looking for a new challenge.

5. Find people who want you have

Someone who eventually wants their own startup – or someone who has had a startup that failed – may see your job as a way to learn more about the ins-and-outs of creating a successful venture. These candidates can bring lots of enthusiasm to your startup, because they see it as a learning opportunity. They’re interested in all aspects of the startup process, and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to help the venture succeed. The only downside? Down the road, they’ll probably leave the fold and go out on their own. In the meantime, having them on your team can be incredibly beneficial.

6. Hire independent workers

It takes a special kind of employee to jump right into a business venture and learn as they go. You probably won’t be able to provide extensive training, supervision and support, so look for resourceful people who can figure out what needs to be done and then do it, without a lot of hand-holding.

The right people for your startup will come in all shapes and sizes. Look for talent rather than a specific role. You’ll be better off with people who believe in themselves, think outside the box, enjoy being challenged, and aren’t afraid to take risks.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

ZeroFeeRecruiter.com

5 of the Most Common Hiring Mistakes Startups Make and How to Avoid Them

How to Avoid Common Hiring MistakesOne of the key qualities expected of the leadership in any organization is the ability to make the right hires. A giant company like Yahoo may be able to afford to switch CEOs every other month, but it is a critical exercise for a startup or small business with 10 or so employees. Even a single hire gone wrong can badly screw the pooch, so to speak. Below are some of the hiring mistakes employers often make, along with suggestions for avoiding such pitfalls.

1. The most common mistake is an inaccurate or incomplete job description

If you don’t properly explain what the new employee is supposed to do, it reduces the chances of getting applications from candidates that are ideally suited for the job. The solution is simple – Take the trouble to provide a detailed job description. Employers may also solve this problem by offering higher wages and better benefits to lure employees already doing the exact same job for a competitor.

2. Focus more on branding to get more eyeballs rolling on your offer

On a related note, the hiring process is not just about employees angling for a job, but also about the employer hoping to snag a valuable employee. In order to attract the best talent, a company must sell itself as a brand that offers good career prospects and the chance to contribute and learn while being a part of an exciting growth phase.

3. Balanced exchange interviews with one core team member engaged therein

This calls for a balanced exchange during interviews, which must be structured as a conversation rather than a pop quiz. Many companies leave most of the spadework to the HR people, with departmental heads coming into the picture only for a single final interview. It would be much more beneficial to include at least one key person from the department in question right from the start, so that high-potential candidates can be identified by those who recognize the significance of what they see on a resume or CV. By the same token, phone interviews or web chats conducted by an industry professional in the same department can easily cull out the inflated resumes.

4. Work on the timing of the interview

Another thing that often trips up the hiring process is the timing. Initiating the process without being in a position to invite the chosen candidate to start work immediately is a big mistake. Candidates left hanging will start looking elsewhere and the entire effort could be wasted. The solution – Do not start look for candidates until you are ready to put the new hire to work.

5. Job adverts might just not be right for your startup

When looking for potential candidates, it’s not always helpful to cast a wide net every time. In fact, it’s much more beneficial for team morale and employee retention levels to promote internally. Startups that don’t have this luxury should ask existing employees for referrals, which would ensure that the new hires would have at least some past association with team members.

Following some of these suggestions may seem like a waste of valuable resources at first, but it will pay off quickly if the new hire fits in like a duck takes to water.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

5 Ways to Attract Top Engineers to Your Startup

Hiring EngineersThese days, if you are a small technology startup, hiring great engineers can be cutthroat and close to impossible. Here’s how to hire top engineering talent:

1. Present a tough engineering challenge that has not been solved before.

Money can motivate engineers, but the opportunity to work on a specific technical challenge is something money can’t buy. Explain the difficult problem that will keep your potential employee engaged for years to come. Highlight the challenge, and the engineer you want may choose your company over a job working on the Facebook newsfeed or Google’s search results.

2. Do not recruit from big-name companies like Facebook or Google.

It’s just too difficult. These engineers are already making serious money, and they likely have offers from other startups. Instead look for raw talent you can mold into something great.

3. Work with new programming languages that have a loyal following.

Since they are tinkerers and hackers at heart, engineers want to work with new languages. When an application like Node.JS or Ruby on Rails gains steam, engineers often start learning them in their spare time. The chance to use them at work is enticing. Older companies likely don’t use these hot new languages.

4. Look in online communities for people with similar interests.

We often look at communities where engineers are showing off side projects or concepts that they are passionate about. For designers it might be somewhere like Forrst or Dribbble. For engineers, look at places like Github to see who has created something cool. The best engineers aren’t floating their résumés around. They’re creating great projects to show off to the world.

5. Attract entrepreneurs by making your company their next thing.

Another challenge: Great engineers often want to start their own startup, especially nowadays, when launching a product and raising capital is easier than ever before. Tell potential hires to make your company “their next thing,” as if it were their own startup.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, that are available in your location and that have agreed to your salary range. 

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Yes, Our team is USA based!