Expert opinions, STARTUPS

How a startup can recruit an effective team in a pandemic

The idea of ​a startup for the sale of personal care products was born in 2019. And when in 2020 I ripened to its implementation, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. I had to decide many difficult tasks, but one was definitely non-standard: how to assemble a team in conditions self-isolation? We started doing it remotely. On the one hand, it complicates the search, because you cannot communicate with the applicant in private, evaluate how he behaves in an unusual environment. On the other hand, the candidate market is expanding significantly: it no longer matters in which city or country a potential employee lives. After all it turned out: members of the team that I assembled live on different continents.

We look for and we attract

In any country, look for candidates on the same resources where your competitors are looking for them. Simply drive a vacancy in the search engine and see where there are similar requests. Top 5 first sites can be safely used.

Professionals, as a rule, already have a job. And if they change it, then they arrange for a new one fast enough or on recommendation. Here search by filters and personal appeal to such applicants will help a lot. You will have to find yourself contacts of unique specialists. As for myself, we get a selection by work experience and companies indicated by applicants, and then my assistants write to them directly.

Money and prospects are very important for candidates, but in a startup we focus on challenges, drive, freedom and speed. This is what people who sit in large established companies usually lack. Do not be afraid to scare the candidate: cool professionals love challenges. Be sure to make a presentation of your company — so you will — as quick and visible as possible — tell the applicant about it, its goals, team, market, business model, and product. All this will single you out among other existing companies and will promote loyalty. The employee will know much more about you before meeting you: accordingly, this will greatly affect feedback. Not to mention that such a presentation will be useful to you for other tasks in the future.

Studying the candidate’s past

It is very important for a startup to recruit professionals with experience, while this is not about the previous position, but about specific results that the applicant has achieved in his previous places of work. There will be neither time no funds to train the employee, to correct his errors: hiring newcomers is suitable for companies that already have established processes.

The candidate may have 10 years of experience in the position you need, for example, in attracting clients in social networks. But if the costs for each client were, say, $50, and you have the limit value of $30, you take a big risk by hiring such an employee. Of course, you can hope that he can cope, but it is better to look for someone who has already shown the results you need and fit in the cost you need.

It seems to be obvious, but the values and approach of the applicant should correspond exactly to his future work. If you are looking for an employee for a creative position, a person who has been engaged in routine all his life will need a very long time to reload. Or if you hire for a fast food a person who used to work in a restaurant, most likely he will spend too much time cooking — just because he has another approach. Therefore, in fact, the McDonald’s does not take those who worked in the restaurant.

Delegate the selection process

Suppose your vacancy attracted a hundred candidates. In order to minimize time resources to select the best and most motivated ones, a test job exists. This will save time both to you and potential candidates. Let the task be short so that applicants spend no more than 10 minutes on it. Formulate key questions and ask candidates to answer them.

Of course, I ask about the results that the candidate has achieved in the past, and about his values. For many companies, the level of salary expectations, the format of cooperation can be important, as well as whether the applicant is prepared for stress, when he can start work, etc. My experience suggests that 30% are screened out already at this stage. From the remaining, select the top 10 and ask for your assistant to interview them. As a result, three candidates should remain with experience and values you need. From these, you personally choose the strongest.

Use modern technologies

This is how I gathered our team from different continents. Our IT-developer lives in Greece, brand director lives in New Jersey, I am now in Indonesia, and the second founder of the company is in Portugal. The customer support team is based in Ukraine, and digital marketing is based in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. In New York, I have several marketing assistants, and our productologist lives in Moscow. At the same time, we are focused on the US market.

We use modern services in our work. Of course, there are already familiar videoconference services. We also use the Miro service — it allows us to be remotely in one place, see presentations, discuss issues, exchange documents, meet. It provides convenient visualization tools – sketches, schemes, charts, etc. Inside Miro other platforms can be used: Trello, Zoom, Google Docs and others; this is very convenient.

So you need to:

  • understand which candidate you need, what kind of tasks he will perform, what results he should achieve and what values he should have;
  • make a presentation of the project, find and attract candidates, optimize the selection process using test jobs to save time
  • use available modern technologies for remote operation.

By Denis Arslanov, founder of Sensin

Previous ArticleNext Article