5 Tested Ways to Attract the Top Talent to Your Startup


Regardless of the size and reputation of an organization, hiring the right people can be a painful experience. Glassdoor statistics reveal that each corporate job posting attracts at least 250 resumes. Of these, only 4 to 6 get called for an interview and one gets the job. That’s a lot of time and effort screening and interviewing people. 

For startups, this process is even more challenging. That’s because heavyweights like Google, Amazon, and Facebook tend to lure the best talent with six-figure salaries, lavish perks, and attractive stock packages. 

In this post, we have a few tips that will aid you in all your sourcing efforts and enable you to get the best talent on board. 

  1. Build Your Brand

72 percent of recruiting leaders around the world agree that the employer brand has a significant impact on hiring. In fact, half of the candidates will not work with a firm having a poor reputation, even for an increase in their pay. 

Yet, employer branding is one of the most overlooked aspects of recruiting. 

Building a strong employer brand will help you attract the right people, reduce recruiting costs, and boost employee engagement rates. Consider these quick pointers to create an employer brand that attracts the most desirable candidates.

  • Evaluate your employer brand awareness through surveys or polls of external stakeholders. This will help you get a pulse of your firm’s reputation and attractiveness. 
  • Encourage each employee to get involved in the employer branding process. Seek their input and buy-in to position your firm as an approachable and appealing brand that values its people. 
  • Showcase employee stories. Capture interviews with employees that speak of what it is to work with you. Post plenty of photos and live video tours of your facilities and office spaces on social media. All of this will showcase your company as a valuable and enjoyable workplace and strengthen your employer brand. 
  1. Send Out a Clear Job Description

Writing a great job description may not count as a part of a recruitment strategy but it can surely ensure recruiting success. Elite candidates need elite job descriptions that stand out from the thousands of job postings out there. 

Use these quick tips to send out a quality job description that attracts the most qualified candidates. 

  • Keep it succinct. It should clearly outline what you are looking for in a candidate. 
  • Simplify the workload by narrowing down the key job responsibilities. Details of the job can be discussed during the interview. 
  • Let your brand personality shine. Though it’s just a job description, the writeup should give the candidate a glimpse of the values your startup stands for. For instance, you could add a snippet about the work environment and the culture.
  • Be reasonable. Make sure you enlist the actual skills and experience required for the job. For instance, don’t ask for 10 years of experience when you know that 2-3 years of experience will suffice. 
  • Keep the language professional. Avoid using capitalization and exclamation points. This will make you look too aggressive and put off the candidates. Also, avoid complicated jargon. 
  1. Work through Your Existing Employee Network

One of the richest sources of getting suitable candidates are your existing employees. Startups tend to have a tight-knit smart team and each person has their influence in the industry. Use this as your recruitment tool!

Top talent tends to network with other top talents in the industry. So, if you already have the best people on board, use their network to find similarly talented individuals who can prove to be a great cultural fit for your company. 

Smart startup owners work with their current team for quality referrals. It’s reassuring to know that an employee you trust has recommended this potential candidate. Plus, referrals make the hiring process smooth and quick.

One way to solicit referrals from your existing team is to introduce a generous employee referral program. These programs can save you time and money on your recruiting needs. In fact, data suggests that referral programs save organizations more than USD 3,000 per hire. Implement a robust employee referral program and encourage your people to jog their memories and supply a list of suitable candidates. Ideally, you should tie some part of the payout to the performance of the new hire.  

  1. Make It Lucrative by Offering Stock Options

Bootstrapping startups have the advantage of offering shares to their full-time employees from the ground level. This allows the employees to make it big by contributing to the growth of the business. Thus, each team member had equal ownership of the company’s future. 

  1. Improve Candidate Experience  

The above-mentioned pointers are critical to finding and attracting the top talent in the industry. However, it’s also important to create a great candidate experience for your applicants. In a Candidate Experience Study by CareerBuilder, 4 in 5 candidates shared that the overall candidate experience is enough to give them cues about how an organization treats its people. 

Poor candidate experience can be fatal to your business’s reputation. One way to avoid this is by ensuring a quick and efficient hiring process. This will not just improve your brand image but also boost your ability to attract high-quality talent.

Modern tech solutions like the applicant tracking software or ATS can help you manage your recruitment process from start to finish. The ATS is a SaaS product that can automate, track, and organize your recruiting efforts on a centralized system. It captures end-to-end recruiting data from a variety of sources, organizes candidate data, and manages interview workflow. 

Whether you are a seed-stage startup (as small as 4-5 persons) or a small venture, you need to strategically align the talent function to your business objectives. Hence, growing startups looking to scale their team and business should build a firm recruiting foundation of tools, processes, and talent operations to support this growth. When used effectively, an applicant tracking system can improve your recruiting productivity and boost candidate experience. 

Summing Up 

Startups and small businesses often find it challenging to attract the best potential candidates in the job market. But that doesn’t mean hiring great talent is an impossible endeavor. The tips shared above will help you perfect your recruitment strategy and get the right people on the job. 

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