Marshalling the troops; recruitment for early stage businesses.

Start-ups are an increasingly attractive prospect for people looking to be their own boss. As of March 13th 2013, 2,000 young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 30 received backing from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills to start their own businesses. In the most recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) UK report in 2011, 3.4% of the UK working age adult population were owner-managers of a business that was 3-45 months old (new businesses). This trend doesn’t look like it’s going to change, with an increasing amount of people every year deciding to take charge of their own destiny.

However, when deciding to be your own boss, you will also have to decide if you’re going to take the (sometimes) terrifying step towards being someone else’s. Starting a business that is looking towards significant growth means making some tough decisions along the way. One of the most challenging will, more often than not, be employing your first member of staff.

There are many ways that start-ups grow. Some grow rapidly, exploding onto the market place with huge amounts of capital and large investment, meaning that employment is key from the earliest stage to allow the business to function, and to get that hotly anticipated product to the masses. Others grow more organically, often starting as a one man band working in their kitchen/bedroom/local Starbucks, taking on new people as the work load increases steadily. Either way, when the time comes, you’ll need to be sure you’re taking on people that will not only be excellent at their jobs, but will click together as a team.

As a start-up, you need to have a strong idea of what you want your company to look like, not only in the present, but also in the future. This means that when you’re looking for that ellusive perfect candidate, you need to think not only of plugging the gap you need right now, but also how they can help your business grow into the one you dream about.

Recruitment can be one of the biggest hurdles a start-up needs to jump over, but there are a few ways of making it that little bit easier:

–  Avoid recruitment agencies – their impressive lists of c.v’s may seem like an easy and effective option, but the high costs generally aren’t realistic for most start-ups.

–  Use your contacts! As we mentioned in the last blog, networking is king, not only for gaining new business, but also for meeting the potential candidate of your dream!

–  Linkedin. The recruitment agent’s best friend! If you’ve spent time building up your connections, you’re in pole position when it comes to finding great people. You never know who is out there looking to work for an exciting start-up like yours.

–  Enternships. One of the founders of Start Up Britain set up this site whilst at university, bringing together students and recent graduates with innovative start ups and small businesses (for a small fee). It’s a great way to tap into young talent, and supporting emerging stars won’t break the bank

–  Interview, Interview, Interview. This may seem silly, but one, two or even three interviews are not always enough to get to know someone. Make sure your personalities click, especially if it’s only going to be two of you locked in an office for 60 hours a week!

–   Make sure you know who you want to recruit, and what you’re recruiting them for. If you put out a vague job description, you’re going to get vague c.v’s. Sit down, think about what you need someone to do in your business, and put that in the job description!

–  Turbine. This website encompasses all the boring bits of being a boss, and puts it into one easy online platform.

–  Make sure you have good HR advice in place. As a start up, outsourcing your HR needs makes sense, and is vital incase any issues arise.

–  And finally LET GO! Yes, no-one can do your job, sell your product or talk to your clients as well as you can, but if your business is going to grow, you’re going to have to let someone try!