HOW TO AT­TRACT THE BEST TAL­ENT TO YOUR STARTUP?

Silicon Luxembourg - - BUSINESS -

ARE YOU A STARTUP LOOK­ING FOR NEW TAL­ENT? DO YOU WANT TO TAP INTO THE CRE­ATIV­ITY AND IN­NO­VA­TION AVAIL­ABLE IN THE TAL­ENT MAR­KET? DO YOU WANT TO TAKE YOUR BUSI­NESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH THE LEAD­ERS OF TO­MOR­ROW? If so, I want to let you in on a se­cret…

If you want the best peo­ple working with you, you need to do a whole lot more than sim­ply pub­lish a fancy-look­ing re­cruit­ment ad. It starts right from day one, long be­fore you even have the fi­nan­cial means to be hir­ing.

WHAT EX­CITES THE BEST MINDS IN THE MAR­KET?

A com­pelling vi­sion and a mean­ing­ful mis­sion.

You're do­ing a bet­ter job than your com­peti­tors? Who cares? They cer­tainly don't. Your fu­ture em­ploy­ees do not want to get bet­ter at repli­cat­ing oth­ers; they want to in­no­vate and break the rules. They want to join in­spi­ra­tional lead­ers who are chang­ing the world. If your startup cen­ters around this, and if you are a great leader, you au­to­mat­i­cally be­come a mag­net for the tal­ented peo­ple you are long­ing for.

SO, THAT ALL SOUNDS GREAT, BUT HOW ARE YOU TACK­LING THIS HOT TOPIC?

Hav­ing ac­com­pa­nied star­tups in their ex­pan­sion for seven years, I am happy to share seven lessons I have learned about how to at­tract the best tal­ent.

1

You, the founders, mat­ter. You em­body your star­tups. Po­si­tion your­self as a thought

leader. Con­trib­ute and share your startup voice when­ever it is rel­e­vant. Share valu­able con­tent on your site and blog, as well as on rel­e­vant sites and so­cial me­dia. Share your story, your suc­cesses and your fail­ures, which tell so much about who you are. Make your­self vis­i­ble: net­work and speak at rel­e­vant con­fer­ences to share your vi­sion. These are valu­able op­por­tu­ni­ties to be heard, raise in­ter­est and ul­ti­mately, in­spire tal­ented in­di­vid­u­als to join you.

2

Just do it! In case some naughty in­ner voice tells you, “This is ridicu­lous, you are too young, too small, too in­ex­pe­ri­enced, how can you pos­si­bly make an im­pact?” please con­sider this Anita Rod­dick quote that I love: “If you think you're too small to make a dif­fer­ence, you've never been to bed with a mos­quito.” I per­son­ally know very young en­trepreneurs who dare greatly. And they hap­pen to be suc­cess­ful re­cruiters too.

3

Build a strong brand for your startup from day one. Lots of good can­di­dates want to be as­so­ci­ated with a rep­utable brand. As­so­ciate your brand with a re­mark­able value propo­si­tion to stand out from the crowd while build­ing your vis­i­bil­ity and cred­i­bil­ity. De­liver what you prom­ise, and de­liver it with the high­est qual­ity stan­dards. And let the mar­ket know! Feed­back from your clients, part­ners and/or in­vestors is es­sen­tial as they are your main am­bas­sadors.

4

Build a great place to work. In the early days, top tal­ents don't come to you be­cause of the fi­nan­cial pack­age you can of­fer - they know you can't. So, go for what a big com­pany can­not of­fer: au­ton­omy, flex­i­bil­ity, global pic­ture, pro­fes­sional growth, and … a sense of ad­ven­ture. Can­di­dates are ready to com­mit and in­vest sig­nif­i­cant time and ef­fort, pro­vided that 1) you of­fer them a mean­ing­ful po­si­tion, and cre­ate space for them to reach their po­ten­tial, and 2) you em­power them and make sure they have enough room to sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­ute to your com­pany's suc­cess. In a nutshell, do not cre­ate too tight a job de­scrip­tion! As lead­ers, you only build ef­fec­tive teams by de­vel­op­ing in­di­vid­ual tal­ents.

5

To do so, be bold and hum­ble: be ready to hire peo­ple who are dif­fer­ent and smarter than

you! This is the price for mak­ing your startup suc­cess­ful. The price is of­ten high for startup founders who grow their com­pany as their own “baby.” Since a grow­ing child's needs will evolve un­til they ul­ti­mately leave the nest, par­ents need to adapt to each and ev­ery step, from car­ing to em­pow­er­ing to trust­ing and let­ting go. Well, when it comes to your startup, a rapidly grow­ing and chang­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion, you will con­sis­tently al­ter your fo­cus over time, from de­vel­op­ment and sales, to op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency, to mar­ket ex­pan­sion and re­struc­tur­ing for scal­a­bil­ity. The skills re­quired at each step may be fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent to those re­quired at the pre­ced­ing one. You will not own them all. The magic of growth will only hap­pen with a sub­tle com­bi­na­tion of tal­ents.

6

Build an open and trans­par­ent re­cruit­ment

process, in­volv­ing your team as much as you can. Ac­cord­ing to Mad­dy­ness, 94% of can­di­dates will google you and your staff be­fore reach­ing out to you to find out more on your cul­ture and en­vi­ron­ment. Twenty-one per­cent will even call your em­ploy­ees to get more in­for­ma­tion.

7

What if you can't find your golden nuggets in Lux­em­bourg or in the Greater Re­gion? Broaden the scope of your hunt­ing play­ground to more re­mote ar­eas with higher un­em­ploy­ment rates and rel­e­vant first-class uni­ver­si­ties.

It all boils down to one thing: if you want to at­tract the best tal­ent, you must work hard on at­tract­ing them be­fore the job even be­comes avail­able – be­fore you even be­lieve it pos­si­ble to take some­one on. Ev­ery­thing is linked to the cul­ture you in­fuse in your startup…right from day one.

FLORENCE ROUX-CHRISTMANN STARTUP ECOSYS­TEM EN­ABLER, BUSI­NESS MEN­TOR & CO-AC­TIVE COACH

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