Engage your personal network
When you hire your first employees, you need people you trust and get along with personally. Starting with your personal network makes sense. You can
extend this exercise by asking your partners and employees to look for opportunities in their networks. You may even organize a workshop to go through your LinkedIn contacts together and discuss potential candidates.
On the downside … asking friends or former colleagues if they want to join your company can be uncomfortable. However, nothing is more important for your company than getting those first talents onboard. So, set aside any doubts and make that pitch!
Connect personally through LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world, providing you access to hundreds of thousands of resumes. If you subscribe to LinkedIn Recruiter Lite you get advanced search options and the ability to send mails to potential candidates, which increases your chance of receiving a response.
However, identifying candidates with the right skills is time intensive and the response rate can be discouraging especially for in-demand profiles.
Create a talent pipeline through job boards
There are plenty of high-quality job boards that are widely used in Belgium: Indeed, Stepstone, ICT Jobs, Monster & Jobat to name a few. The great thing about job boards is that they need limited upfront investment, although you should go the extra mile to create strong adverts that stand out amongst strong competition. On the negative side, once an advert is published you are destined to wait for response and the applications may not come when you need them most. Also, applicants are often underqualified, and you may spend much time reviewing irrelevant CV’s. Job boards are a good strategy to build a talent pipeline.
Meet talents at job fairs
Job fairs are a great way to meet candidates personally, and to get direct feedback on your value proposition to potential candidates. However, they often create a competitive environment where you are pitching against many employers, some of whom have large recruitment budgets that pay for attention-grabbing stands. Many start-ups struggle to stand out in the bustle of a busy job fair. Job fairs are great for personal interaction and immediate feedback but should not be your main bet for finding candidates.
Partner with a professional recruiter
Professional recruiters know the secrets and the pitfalls of the recruitment process. They often have a funnel of candidates that applied to similar roles and can tailor a selection process to the specific needs of your company. They use structural interviews and psychological test to ensure a candidate is a fit for the role. On the negative, the service of recruitment companies is often tuned to larger companies while many startups are wary of paying the fees charged for placements. For that reason, professional recruiters may not be your initial resort for hiring those first talents that help you start your business.