5 key points for a start-up to handle recruiting challenges

Start-ups need to optimise their HR budget and make the right hiring decisions. Here are 5 tips to handle recruiting.


Recruiting efforts and hiring always puts start-ups in a fix. While start-ups are on the lookout for deserving candidates that fit in perfectly with requirements, it’s a tough call between wanting to pinch pennies and making the right investment on skilled talent. Even if funding is pouring in, optimal resource utilisation is crucial if you want your start-up to scale up and eventually break into the unicorn or IPO league. Here are 5 key tips to help your start-up navigate the recruiting challenge:

Look for the right balance between skill and experience

Take the middle road when going for experienced candidates and choosing young, fresh-off-the-boat graduates. You need to go for a candidate who’s not too seasoned (they usually expect a fat pay-check) and one who has a strong skill set (someone who is certified and with a measurable portfolio/experience).

This way you can get your hands on a decent candidate who won’t consume a major chunk of the HR budget and will bring in the right mix of talent and expertise even if they aren’t hired for an executive level position.

Sustainable Hiring

As the trend of start-up funding accelerates, so does the trend of winning massive pay cheques. Especially in the Enterprise Tech sector, for qualified professionals skilled in new-age technologies like AI, Blockchain, IoT, and cybersecurity, big pay packages are trending in the job market.

In a bid to acquire proficient talent, it’s important not to press the panic button and compromise on your sustainable recruiting practises. Don’t get into a competition with other companies and offer pay packages that adhere to market standards.

Play to your strengths

Start-ups are clearly at an advantage when it comes to the onboarding process. Unlike large enterprises, where new hires must go from pillar to post, completing one interview round after the other. In the case of start-ups, the final interview with the key decision maker like the Hiring Manager or the CEO occurs soon enough. There are no endless forms to fill out or multiple process checks to be completed. Onboarding is usually quick and easy for start-ups. Take advantage of your speed of recruiting to offer candidates a quick hassle-free onboarding process. It’s also easy to facilitate meetings with the final decision maker in your company. So, allow candidates to experience the transparency of start-up hiring.

Unconventional Hiring

Technology based hiring software that relies on AI and Machine Learning are often difficult to procure for start-ups since they are not feasible from a cost perspective. Investing in Hiring technology or being limited only to metro cities while sourcing candidates may prove to be expensive. Scour candidates in the off-beat track like Tier II and III cities, and even from remote locations in India. Since the pandemic has impacted the job market severely, raw talent can be found in native areas across the country. Connect with candidates remotely and onboard them virtually. This way you will be helping deserving people with the right opportunities and you can optimise costs by taking the off-beaten path.

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You need self-managed, upbeat candidates to onboard who are motivated and independent.

Hire self-managed, upbeat people

For a start-up that’s focused on rapid growth, hand-holding and micromanaging employees is potentially taking several steps backwards. You need self-managed, upbeat candidates to onboard who are motivated and independent.

Keep an eye out for business acquaintances, former colleagues, or even people you have a personal equation with and who you can vouch for in terms of their commitment. Since the environment in a start-up is very dynamic and rarely sticks to a strict routine, you need candidates who are adaptable. Make sure that the person you are hiring is aware of the uncertainties that come with working in a start-up.

Hire people who are looking for a challenge and for the opportunity to grow and learn over someone who’s looking for a safety net and waiting to settle down.

Anju Nambiar
Anju Nambiar
Anju has 5 years of experience covering business. She writes on startups, business life cycle and startup ecosystem. Her stints include Amazon and Adjetter Media Network.

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