How to Attract Top Talent to Your Startup

A few months ago I crossed over from the corporate world to the startup one. I was hesitant at first because depending on who you’re talking to, startups can have a bad rap. But I decided to make the leap. Now a few months in, I can speak to the general misconceptions people have about working for a startup and challenge them.

If you’re looking to add to your team at a startup, you need to learn ways to challenge the misconceptions of top talent so that they want to join your team. Let them know the reality of working for your company and more specifically the way your startup operates. Often there are benefits that they may not have even considered.

Misconception #1: Startup jobs are not as secure as corporate jobs

People throw out the statistic that 90% of startups fail. It’s true that many startups fail. But not all startups are made the same, you can join one that’s just starting out or one that’s further along and has business results. Think about the startup’s offerings and if they will be relevant in the future? Is there a need? Do you trust the leaders to steer the business in the right direction?

Also, startups can have pretty comparable salaries because they’re lean, there isn’t as much internal competition. For this reason, promotions can often happen more often if you make yourself valuable.

For employers, telling your employees what to expect and being transparent on what your plans are for the startup down the line is key. If your plan is to sell in a few years, let them know that. If you’re in this for the long haul let them know that too.

Misconception #2: Startups make their employees work long hours

While this could be true for some startups, not all startups are like this. Many have flexible office hours and work from home options.

Our hours at Abacus are a 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM workday but with flexibility on how you spend those hours and the option to work from home occasionally. We just care that the work gets done.

For employers, telling potential employees your expectations of the hours they would work and their vacation time upfront is crucial. Give them your expectations and be honest.

There are corporate jobs where employees are expected to work overtime, long hours aren’t exclusive to startups.

Misconception #3: Startups are unstructured and disorganized

I would argue that startups can be unstructured but in a good way. This comes down to personal preference. Most startups are too lean for people to be watching employees constantly and micromanaging them.

Yes, working for a startup does take some level of self-discipline and self-starter attitude. Nobody will hold your hand. This can be thrilling for some people but not the right fit for others.

That startups are disorganized I would disagree with. Many startups are organized, they just may have dynamic processes that often change with efficiencies and more resources.

Let your employees know what kind of environment they will be working in. If there’s limited direction then tell them they’ll have to figure some stuff out on their own. With this knowledge, most potential employees will know if they can hack it.

Final thoughts
As an employer, it is your responsibility to put startup misconceptions to rest. There are many benefits of working for a startup, don’t let top talent assume that your startup is a certain way if it isn’t.

Abacus Agency
Abacus Agency

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