Attracting the right talent for your startup can be one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of a founder’s workload. Talent isn’t cheap and startups are rarely in a position to pay the big bucks that established talent can demand.

If this sounds familiar, don’t despair! This article describes some tips that you can use to net that most elusive of things: talent that doesn’t cost the earth!

Startup businesses can feel like they are swimming against the tide when it comes to attracting new talent. Bigger, established businesses can almost certainly offer more money and job security, but what they can’t usually offer is the buzz and sheer satisfaction that comes from being in on the ground floor of something that has the potential to be the next big thing. This is the first point we will cover.

1) Sell yourself on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

When you can’t compete financially with established businesses, try offering something that they can’t offer. The sheer excitement that comes from building a new business from scratch and watching it flourish: this is a type of job satisfaction that the established names can’t match.

For emerging talent, this can be a big carrot, as helping a startup succeed as a business is an amazing entry on any resume. Plus, they have the personal satisfaction and wealth of experience that comes with launching a new enterprise.

2) Clubhouse

The new, trending app Clubhouse
The new, trending app Clubhouse

Clubhouse is an up-and-coming social media site with a twist: it is an audio chat-based network. As a startup enterprise itself, it has a large base of users that like to be in at the start of something big. Users who have helped propel the platform include Elon Musk.

With Clubhouse, you can instigate conversations on your passions, specifically your business and the niche it operates within. You will soon attract other users with similar passions, and amongst them could be that future employee!

Getting started on Clubhouse isn’t easy at the moment, as it is invitation-only and solely works on the iPhone. However, they are expanding into Android soon. So, why not nail that invitation and get chatting!

3) YouTube

Many people who have a passion for a subject will launch YouTube channels to showcase their passion and talent. These are good people to hunt down for a couple of reasons.

  1. They already have the startup mentality ingrained as proven by the very fact they started a YouTube channel.
  2. They have the same passion as you on similar topics.

The trick is to do a search on keywords that are relevant to the niche your business works within. The first few pages will probably be more established YouTubers who are less likely to be persuaded to work for you, but click through to the second page onwards and you will find people who are just as passionate, but are only just starting out. These are the people who might be worth contacting as potential future employees.

4) Scout the Universities

Potential employees on a university campus
Potential employees on a university campus

Establishing a relationship with universities and colleges allows you access to a huge well of untapped talent. Talented graduates that bring the energy of youth to your fledgling startup can be a great way of attracting talent.

There is the added benefit that they won’t carry expectations with them from previous employment. Career fairs at universities are a great way of showcasing what you have to offer, and graduates are more likely to be swayed by the prospect of the excitement a startup can offer.

They also have less to lose career-wise by taking a gamble this early in their working life.

5) Emphasize that they will be more than just a number

Established businesses may be able to offer more money and perks than a startup, but one downside they have is that the employee is likely to be just another faceless member of staff amongst a multitude of similar employees.

Humanize your company by creating online blogs that emphasize the team ethos and importance you place on your staff and their working conditions. Make sure that you sell this aspect of your business in any job postings you create, along with any other factors that set you apart from the anonymity that is endemic in large corporations.

Remember that once you set this bar, you will need to fulfill the conditions and promises that you claim.

6) Social Media

Similar to Clubhouse, join relevant groups on Facebook and watch who is posting relevant and smart content on your niche. Strike up a relationship with potential employees and introduce yourself and your company to them.

7) Use existing talent to attract new talent

New, unemployed talents waiting to be interviewed
New, unemployed talents waiting to be interviewed

Talent begets talent. If you have existing talent within your team, use them as a draw to attract further talented employees. Talented individuals love to work with others who have the same passion as themselves. Play on this fact when creating your job posting; introduce potential employees to your existing talent pool and you will find they are more eager to join.

8) Emphasize the impact they can make to your company

Unlike the faceless bureaucracy of an established large business, employees for startups have the potential to make a large impact on the overall operation of a startup. Emphasize the difference they can make to your company in the job posting.

This can help in a couple of ways. Firstly, the employee is more likely to feel that they will be wanted and valued as an employee. Secondly, the people that are likely to be swayed by this point of view are going to be more mission than money focused, which naturally makes them ideal for startup enterprises.

Understanding and maximizing what you obtain from the job market is a crucial aspect for any startup business. Getting the right talent in at the right time can be all it needs to make or break your business.

Hopefully, the above tips will help ensure that those first hires will be the ones that propel your business in the right direction.

What other ways of attracting talent do you use? Let us know in the comments!

This article originally published on GREY Journal.