How to Hire Confidently with a Start-Up Business

How To Hire Confidently With A Start-Up Business

Hiring for any company is an extremely challenging process, and for startups, hiring your first few employees is a crucial step toward the success of your company. Startups have limited cash flow and the wrong hire can put your business at risk. According to research, 23% of startups say not having a having the right team was the reason their business failed.

Your first employees will set the tone for the company’s future, be an essential part of the company’s growth and determine the company’s culture.

Hiring manager is a new game for start ups and don’t have in-house recruiters, which can lead to poor hiring decisions due to their lack of hiring expertise, resources, and time.

This article will give actionable tips on how you can improve your hiring process to ensure you make a successful hire to your start-up business.

Determine Your Needs

The first step in hiring for a startup is to figure out what positions need to be filled and exactly what qualities you are looking for in a candidate. To make finding the right candidate easier, ensure your hiring needs align with your company’s core values.

Employees in startups often have multiple responsibilities and may gain more as the company grows. You will want candidates who are flexible, open to change, dependable and can multitask. Big shifts and changes occur in startups so you want a candidate who can navigate these challenges.


Since your startup probably doesn’t have an in-house recruitment team, invest in job posting tools to assist with your hiring process. These job tools will help eliminate time-wasting aspects of the hiring process by enabling you to filter candidates by your specific needs.

Write a clear, detailed job description to attract quality candidates. The more detailed the description is, the better. Include all necessary skills, education and other knowledge needed for the position. Try to avoid overly broad descriptions as it may be harder to sift through the candidate pool once you start receiving job inquiries.


Interviews take a lot of time, which is something most startup managers, unfortunately, don’t have a lot of. To ensure you only bring in top candidates for an in-person interview, consider conducting phone interviews to help you narrow down your candidate pool.

Phone interviews won’t take up as much of your time and will help you determine which candidates you want to invite in person. An over the phone conversation almost acts as a pre-screening method before a face-to-face interview.

Phone interviews can help you:

  • Discover how interested the candidate is in the position
  • Clarify the candidate’s experience
  • Assess the candidate’s communication skills
  • Get a sense of the candidate’s salary requirements
  • See if the candidate will fit in with your company culture

Once your candidate pool is narrowed down, bring qualified candidates in for an in-person interview.

During the interview, try not to repeat the same questions you did in the phone interview. This is your time to dig a little deeper and get to know the individual professional.

You may want to consider interview assignments to get a sense of how the candidate can perform certain duties. Your goal with these assessments is to see if the candidates can apply skills they outlined on their resumes.


One step startup’s often fail to do is properly screen candidates before making a final hiring decision. Pre-employment screenings can verify the information provided by the candidate and can include a background check, education verification, and past employment verification.

While screening can be a bit time consuming and extend your hiring process, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Resume fluff if not uncommon and some candidates may go as far as lying on their resume just to seem qualified for the position.

To eliminate risk with new hires and ensure you are hiring an honest and trustworthy person, consider implementing a pre-employment screening process.


Remember your first few employees are going to become key players when it comes to the success of your business, so once you have them, continue to make them feel like an essential part of your team.

Make sure you have your onboarding process down to a T and set your new employee up for success. When you start your first employees off on the right foot, they will be more likely to stay in the position, thus increasing your chances of attracting and retaining future candidates.


Hiring can seem like a daunting task for startups as the future of the company is at stake. Onboarding the wrong hire can be costly and detrimental to your business’ success.

But when you eliminate all time-wasting elements of hiring and become confident in your process, you will be set up for success. Use the suggestions in this article to ensure you onboard quality candidates to your start-up.

About the author: Corey Doane is a contributing editor for 365 business tips. She has a B.S in Public Relations from San Jose State University and has experience in PR, marketing and communications.