Entrepreneurs often ask me how to attract the best talent to their startup with few financial resources. They need to put as much money as possible behind R&D or marketing and are hesitant to spend on salaries, especially because they are not taking a salary themselves.
The most talented players may be really interested in your concept, but they just can’t afford to work for free snacks and unlimited ping pong. Tweet This Quote
But having a terrific team is critical for everything from making the day-to-day stuff happen to gaining the confidence of potential investors. Often, the most talented players may be really interested in your concept, but they just can’t afford to work for free snacks and unlimited ping pong. Here are few ideas that I have seen work for startup teams:
1. Provide a flexible work schedule.
Let’s say you are starting a beef jerky company. First, identify what you’re good at as the founder. For this example, you are great at product development and sales. Next, identify what skills you need to launch the product idea. You know you need marketing, but you know that is not a full time job at this point. I would find someone who is already working at an agency or freelancing. Someone who has an income stream, but could also dedicate some time on the side to work with you. Let them decide what hours best fit their schedule.
Hiring people part-time gives you the opportunity to see someone’s skills in a low-risk setting. Tweet This Quote
In addition to giving you the help you need, this also provides the opportunity to see someone’s skills in a low-risk setting. For the marketing person, it eliminates the pressure of quitting their job for something that’s still uncertain. As the company grows, you will both be able to determine if it’s a good fit.
2. Create empowering jobs with plenty of autonomy.
Millennials are 50% of today’s workforce and will be 75% of the workforce by 2025. Unlike my generation of baby boomers, money is NOT the number one criteria for millenials when considering a job. Three statistics are especially important to understand as you recruit for your startup:
- 58% of millennials expect to leave their job in three years or less.
- Flexibility in the job is the #1 non-cash benefit.
- 65% would rather make less money at a job they love, compared to more money at a boring job.
Don’t be afraid to give your team lots of freedom to make a difference and take chances. You’ll be surprised by the power of giving someone the chance to shine.
Don’t be afraid to give your team lots of freedom to take chances and make a difference. Tweet This Quote
3. Share your passion with abandon!
Generally, entrepreneurs are so passionate about what they are trying to accomplish that there is an energy surrounding them and fueling them. Whether it’s solving big world problems or creating great beef jerky, it’s easy to feel the magnetic draw to these types of people. You should be aware of this attraction, and use it as an asset to draw other passionate people to your startup.
Use your passion to draw other passionate people to your startup—you want people to ask you for a job before you ask them! Tweet This Quote
Wherever you can, share what you are doing and why you are doing it! Most of us want to be around positive energy, as it ignites our own passion. Recently, I was at the MergeLane Demo Day in Boulder, and every team that presented made me feel like I wanted to be involved in some way.
At the end of the day, that’s what you want—people who ask you for a job before you ask them!