You know you have a category-defining concept. You know you need top talent to scale. But how do you make your startup stand out among a crowded field of tech titans?
On this episode of the My First Million podcast, Sam Parr and Shaan Puri discuss some of the challenges small companies face when recruiting — especially when they’re competing against big dogs like Meta, Tesla, and Google.
“It is harder when you don’t have this huge prize, this huge mission, and this huge pie that you get to split amongst people,” Puri said.
Some of their ideas, plus a few of ours:
Still, it can be especially difficult for companies recruiting from a small pool of highly specialized STEM talent. And when you’re also aiming for diversity in hiring, that pool can seem even smaller. It’s worth the effort, though, as research shows that a diverse workforce leads to greater innovation and, in turn, profitability. And as behavioral scientist Aline Holzwarth writes for Forbes, there are a number of strategies that will make your company attractive to a diverse pool of applicants. These include:
And sometimes the perfect employee is right under your nose. As Fast Company reports, internal hires tend to be enthusiastic, engaged and loyal. In fact, a survey by SmartRecruiters found that 75% of promoted employees — whether that’s an intern, contractor, or boomerang employee — will stay with a company for three years or more.
Finally, don’t overlook the importance of a robust retention strategy. According to Business Insider, a competitive labor market means many companies might struggle to keep their most valuable employees. Conducting “stay interviews” is a good way to find out what workers want most and build policies accordingly. Fostering an environment that allows for trust and autonomy and creating clear pathways toward advancement opportunities also can help keep your workers happy.
And that, of course, opens whole new avenues for recruitment, as engaged employees can be your biggest cheerleaders.