A Start-up's Achille's Heel- Hiring Without Recruiting Processes

In this fast-paced world, time is of the essence especially while hiring candidates for start-ups and small businesses. While hiring can be done quickly without giving much thought to the process, recruiting without a proper system in place can lead to potential problems down the road such as bad hires, additional training for certain candidates and lengthy retention procedures for employees who don’t fit in as they should.

Without a streamlined recruitment process, hiring can be considered as a start-up’s Achille’s heel and for good reasons. There are a series of steps involved in the recruiting process that can ensure a smooth hiring experience and streamlined operations. This might lead to the question; which recruitment processes should be chosen and why? The first of the recruitment steps are planning, while the second is active recruitment, and the third is employee selection.

3 Steps to a Successful Recruiting Function

Understanding the number of employees to hire

The most basic step is that of human resources planning wherein company leadership in partnership with their HR personnel decides on a hiring plan, the number of employees they want to hire. This phase also consists of choosing the skill sets for certain designations and most importantly comparing the company’s requirement with the number and quality of available talent in the market. A good hiring plan is tied directly to the company goals and how these roles and the skillsets of these employees are aligned to achieve those goals. This sets the tone for everything else and allows leadership to understand to the best that they can the specific resources needed to achieve their hiring goals for the year. The rest is just simple math. Without a hiring plan your recruiting efforts are sure to be reactive and ever-changing.

Understanding your source of hire

The second step and a crucial one is where the HR of the start-up uses platforms through which eligible candidates are sourced from. While some start-ups might believe that college campuses are an ideal place to find candidates, using a healthy mix of college campus recruitments along with online job portals as well as an effective outbound sourcing and engagement strategy often works out better for companies looking for diversified talent. The process of background verifications, as well as reference verifications an assessment of individuals based on their talent pool should be completed in this step.

The give and takes – what is most essential when hiring

The final step and perhaps the deal maker or breaker is the employee selection segment wherein the HR/Recruiting of the firm, narrows down the best candidates based on the information collected so far. Assessing the candidates as per the skill sets, work-related skills, all rounded capabilities as well as their ability to uphold the company’s values and work ethics are important parts of the employee selection segment.

While many firms believe that candidates should be hired solely on their merits and their performance during the interview, it is beneficial to remember that a balanced recruitment process will also consider other elements such as if the candidate is a team player, his/her performance in previous companies or if a fresher then, his/her ability to involve himself or herself in a situation while giving a quick resolution.

Although many start-ups tend to rely on their few HR/recruiting personnel to source out and hire suitable candidates, the recruitment process can involve start-ups seeking for experienced agencies and outsourced partners to help them find candidates as per their business needs. This is especially beneficial if the HR personnel is short-handed due to being handed other non-administrative tasks. Also, starting to build out your internal infrastructure for hiring by utilizing and implementing talent management software like an applicant tracking system and HRIS might seem like a cumbersome task in the beginning due to the training involved; however, once the HR professionals, hiring managers, and employees have been trained to use the software and it’s been implemented appropriately aligned to a streamlined hiring process, automation and the ability to track the effectiveness of your hiring and optimize over time becomes a lot easier .

Using other strategies such as a well-planned interview process that properly assess various aspects of the professional while in the recruitment phase can help start-ups find candidates as per the company’s business requirements and insure a higher quality of hire. This will, in turn, ensure that they fit into the business model with minimum training and a few months of exposure to the job.

Will Staney

Will is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former Head of Global Talent Acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio andGlassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAPwhere he lead strategic programs includingemployer brandingsourcing strategy, recruiting operations and systems process design.

During his over 7 years as a recruiting practitioner, after 10 years in sales and marketing, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". He would push innovation from the inside, execute on his vision, and once it was realized he would pass the torch on to those he had mentored and move on to his next challenge. He was destined to start a consultancy so he could help as many companies as possible adopt a more proactive recruiting strategy with community in mind.

In his free time, Will enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his two kids, Foster and Felicity.

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