Startup Hiring Tips: Use Creativity and Technology to Find the Right People

Hiring new employees for any startup can be a real challenge. Dipping into the gene pool and trying to pluck out the best and brightest to bring on board can present a problem depending on the size of your company. Smaller companies need people who can fill many roles. Many startups are lean and mean with little or no extra time to spend reviewing resumes, interview countless applicants and come to a consensus as to who is right for the job. Time may be scare but in a world of technology and innovation here are some creative ways to streamline the hiring phase.

Corporate Culture Conveyed Through Craigslist

Craigslist can be a powerful tool to bring potential team members into the company. Unemployment is around 10% making the sheer volume of potential employees hunting Craigslist for a new job very large. The key to getting the right people for your company and not simply getting overly qualified individuals can be done with a creative advertisement. Take a look at what category the listing may appear and pick the best one. One look at the front page of Craigslist and you will see one of the largest categories is for jobs. This may seem simple but it should not be overlooked.

Next create a listing that sells your startup’s culture. One easy way to convey cultural identity is through a few pictures of the office and maybe even the team. You will notice on the job listings pages that almost none of the advertisements have an attached picture. Pictures can set you apart from the rest and may weed out people who might not fit in well with your company.

Use Registration Forms to Screen Applicants

The resume is essentially useless when it comes to making a decision about hiring. It serves as a great way to start a conversation but leaves too much to the imagination when it comes to the true identity of a person. The real test for a potential hire is how effectively they can communicate. Communication skills are magnified 10 fold in a small startup because everyone talks to everyone. There is no room to hide in a small office space filled with “startup minded” people. Using phone interviews can be effective in testing communication skills but unless you record the conversation chances are you will forget the meat of what was said and simply be left with you impression. If you capture the ideas in writing then it may serve you and your team better while making a decision. Try using a online form, like a registration form, that you can customize with a few questions to really test the communication skill and style of your potential talent. This will also prove them in their writing ability. Make no mistake; everyone must be able to communicate both verbally and by the written word to succeed in a startup.

The Bottom Line

A startup should always be in the hiring phase ready to snatch up the best and brightest. If you always have your feelers out then you and your team of highly motivated, work 60+ hours a week at any cost, will find people you need to prosper. Using creative Craigslist ads and simple technology, like customized online forms, finding the right people just might not be so hard.

Jared Jaureguy is a Technology Consultant who has helped many startups implement the best use of technology to achieve their goals. You can follow Jared on Twitter @JaredJaureguy.

Social Media For Recruiting

It wasn’t long ago that social media was defined solely as a way to learn how a friend just ate at a great restaurant or who was getting engaged.

However, social media continued its evolution and became particularly useful for companies to locate, recruit, and learn about candidates for open positions. Using social media for recruiting has quickly ignited a hiring fire, lighting the way for many. While sites like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace are still often used for ‘fun’, as well as business, others like LinkedIn have become known as more ‘serious’or ‘professional’ space.

So how does a company effectively search and target potential candidates from such a large pool though?

Recruit from Your Own List of Friends and Followers

Using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can all be useful in recruiting by being able to distribute information about open positions quickly and efficiently to large number of people. Recruiters know they’re distributing information to candidates who will take notice, especially since jobseekers are turned off by sites like which have become filled with spam.

There are a number of free resources available. On most social media profiles, companies can use their status box in order to announce open positions, and of course good old fashioned networking is the best tool of all. On LinkedIn, after building connections of industry peers including co-workers, clients, and local companies, one can browse the profiles of each other’s connections, and then ask for introductions.

Link Up with LinkedIn

Another useful way to recruit on LinkedIn is by joining relevant groups and staying active within them by participating in the group’s discussions and keeping their eyes open for those who are active and knowledgeable.

While similar tools are available on almost all social media sites, LinkedIn gives recruiters the ability to not only view a candidate’s resume, they can also see any recommendations the candidate has received from their peers. The ability to give and receive visible recommendations is a tool that’s not as ‘visible’ and specific on other social media sites. Additionally, recruiting companies on LinkedIn can post available jobs and sign up for LinkedIn Talent Advantage, basically a toolbox for recruiters, both for fees.

There’s no reason to be afraid of approaching candidates. A recent survey on found that almost 80 percent% of respondents didn’t mind if a company made contact about potential opportunities, so now is the time to make use of the many tools social media has to offer.


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