How to Attract Talent

Behind every great startup you’ve ever read or heard about exists a team of passionate, talented, and motivated individuals. The question is how do you get the most talented people to help you—especially when you may not be able to pay top notch talent and the value of the equity in your company may be unclear.

“Help others see why working for your company will be the best move of their life.” 

Here are some ideas on how to best approach attracting top talent:

  • Build An Exciting Company That Does Something Big. Attracting top talent starts with building a business that people want to be part of. If that vision is big enough, you can make every other factor irrelevant. If you build an exciting company that’s trying to do something big, good people will want to work for you, and the people who work for you will tell their friends how awesome it is.
  • Have a Clear and Compelling Mission. The mission is the entrepreneur’s most compelling case for why the startup is going to achieve greatness. At the core of this case is a passionately held belief that what the start-up aspires to do is important. As we’ll see, that passion might come from the desire to make the world a better place, being certain that the start-up could capture a great economic opportunity that nobody else has seen, or having the simple desire to solve a problem that perplexes the founder.
  • Articulate the Startup’s Long-term Goals. Long-term goals describe a tangible way that the entrepreneur will measure the venture’s success, say, five years into the future. Long-term goals include being the leader in an important new market, becoming a big public company, being acquired by a bigger company, or remaining permanently private and independent. After establishing the long-term goals, answer the question, “How will an employee get a return on the stock they receive in exchange for giving up their life to your startup over the next five years?”
  • Take Away The Fear Of Failure. One of the hiring challenges startups face is that top recruits might consider it too risky joining the company. After all, the startup has no track record and there’s no guarantee for success. Tackle that issue head on in the interviewing process. Present the worst-case scenario and stress that the candidate would have no problem finding another opportunity should the startup go under. And that with the help of the candidate, the chances of success (and avoiding that result) would be significantly reduced.

Attracting the type of talent that understands the entrepreneurial venture and can bring expertise to that journey is essential to success. Doing so requires a great deal of your talent and creative thinking.

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