What are the best ways a company can attract talent when just starting out? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
I faced similar issues [with attracting talent to my company] not very long ago, and this is an important issue that most startups face. Here's how I overcame this, and I hope you will too:
- Build a business with a purpose
The best people to work for your startup are ones who are passionate. At such an early stage, you can find passionate people if they buy into your mission, your purpose. When you tell potential employees/interns about your startup, center it around the story - what problem it was born to solve and what its mission is. If that's something the candidate is proud of, they'll be passionate about it.
- Offer Equity
Not something I've done with interns, but is a great way to attract senior-level team members. Interns, who eventually become employees, can also benefit from a vested share structure. Owning part of a company is certainly a motivating factor in wanting the business to work, and so the expectation is that more work will be put into the business!
- Set up in a cool co-working space
Seems a little shallow, but smart people enjoy working around other smart people. You don't even need a private office, but, if you can afford it, investing in some hot desks in a cool co-working space can make a major difference on who joins your team. The ability to work alongside other startups can be hugely motivating not only for them, but for you, too.
- Cultivate great culture
With interns likely to be in their 20s, they form part of the millennial generation. Millennials put a lot of emphasis on achieving happiness (and you should too). Cultivating a culture of support and teamwork and union can increase your team's overall happiness levels and that, in turn, will increase your team retention rate. It's not only important to recruit them, it's also important to keep them!
- Provide a valuable learning experience
Interns choose to be interns because they want to learn and eventually secure a real job. Anything that you can do to increase their likelihood of getting there is something they will appreciate. Providing a great learning experience means coaching them when needed, training them to use certain software (if needed), creating a reading list and providing a book library - it's non-exhaustive, and sky's the limit. The advantage is mutual, the more they learn, the better they are at their job also.
- Be a leader
A leader has been described as someone who creates other leaders. Value your team for the full potential that they are. Be respectful and respected, firm when needed and a friend when you can be. The interns who are worth your time will appreciate this so much, and you will again feel that the interest is mutual. Provide lots of feedback to enable your team to constantly better themselves.
Hope this helps and best of luck!
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