What We Can All Learn From Startups’ Recruiting Strategies

2 min read
Dec 13, 2014

Learn from Startups' Recruiting StrategiesSometimes the best way to get creative is to eliminate all options and force yourself to start from zero. Startups are the perfect example of this – because they don’t have extra money to throw around, they are always thinking of new, exciting ways to disrupt an industry, gain traffic, and find the best candidates.

It also means they have lean, effective recruiting strategies. They can’t offer crazy perks like treadmill desks, free tuition, or a concierge service, so they have to harness their entrepreneurial spirits and think of creative recruiting strategies.

Here are three startup hacks for recruiting we can all learn from:

Reconsider your need for recruiters: Many startups are strapped for cash and can’t afford to pay for external recruiters. So, the recruiting efforts are left up to the employees, anyone from an engineer to the office manager. Yes, this may distract employees from their actual jobs, but you will probably find amazing candidates. Your employees know the job requirements and company culture better than anyone. They are invested in the company’s success, and will dip into their own networks to find amazing candidates they trust.

Think out of the box: Startups are constantly faced with the challenge that no one knows they exist. Sure, friends and family do, but the general public won’t be flocking to their career page. As a result, startups have to get creative to get their brand out there. One startup hack you can try: retargeting. Companies like ReTargeter and AdRoll allow you to drop a cookie on the browsers of people who visit your jobs page. Then, when they surf the rest of the web, they will see your banners and ads. This is a powerful reminder that you exist, enticing candidates to come back.

Focus on perks that matter: Many startups can’t afford to offer free lunches every day, free parking, or weekly workplace happy hours. While those perks sure are fun, do they provide real value to candidates? Instead of focusing on the “free,” startups offer strong mentorship programs or large amounts of responsibility. Employees, especially millennials, don’t want to be a cog in the wheel at large companies, so startups attract these doers by offering lead roles and large amount of responsibility to quickly grow skill sets.


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