How to hire enterprise talent on a startup budget

Startups can attract enterprise-level talent when they highlight the qualities that differentiate them from established businesses and enrich employees.

Startup companies are often exciting ventures looking to break new ground or disrupt an existing industry. When it comes to this kind of work, having top talent on board can be a major benefit. But how can your startup attract enterprise talent when it can't offer compensation associated with working for an established business? By being resourceful, inventive and responsive - just like a successful startup should be.

Attracting top talent to your new business

Bringing in dependable, in-demand staff to fill key roles rests in part on your company's ability to make its work environment seem positive, engaging and attractive. Some specific considerations to make include:

Emphasizing the startup culture and work environment

Large, established businesses offer a sense of security and a strong pedigree, but they also tend to have relatively inflexible work environments and sometimes stuffy or overly formal corporate culture. A startup can emphasize certain attributes it offers that many larger organizations looking for the same type of employee may not. While the details will vary based on what your organization offers, there are many potential benefits to highlight, including:

  • Flexible work schedules and work-from-home opportunities.
  • More direct access to conversations and collaborations with company leaders.
  • Relaxed dress codes.
  • A company's mission, especially if it includes a focus on creating a benefit for society, protecting the environment, helping disadvantaged groups or similarly noble goals.

Building a great company culture

A strong culture, in the context of a business where employees feel valued and enjoy coming to work, is a major benefit for startups, as Entrepreneur pointed out. It's also often easier to build a positive company culture from the beginning, and with a smaller number of employees, than it is for a large company to make significant adjustments. While you have to have this attribute in place before it can attract talented candidates, word of mouth and reviews of your company by current and past employees can reflect this benefit and encourage top talent to work for your organization.

"Startups are some of the most exciting companies that our Pharma Division works with," says Ryan Jacklin, Division Director for Beacon Hill's Pharma Division in Colorado Springs. "Startups offer so much to job seekers – they bring new ideas to the industry, as well as the ability to help build something from the ground up. Every day is going to be different. Because of that, candidates also have to be willing to fill just about any role – making copies, cleaning the kitchen, as well as helping run critical clinical trials, for example. Because of the required flexibility, it takes a special kind of candidate to thrive within a startup company."

A group of startup employees holding a meeting in a conference room.

Highlighting benefits outside of salaries

Whether or not your startup can offer comparable salaries to larger, more established companies, there are certain unique benefits it can bring to the table. When trying to attract talent, consider highlighting non-wage benefits like:

  • Internal training and development opportunities, both for informal development, and any assistance offered in terms of training or paying for official certifications.
  • Chances for career growth, especially for staff who join your startup early on and can potentially establish themselves as department leaders or even executives down the road.
  • Stock options and equity, which take time to pay off but offer especially high value in cases where a startup establishes itself and becomes a success.

Working with skilled recruiters

Recruiters bring valuable experience and expertise to the table, helping connect your startup to the most relevant and talented candidates available.

"For startup companies, our team really focuses on recruiting the individual," notes Mr. Jacklin. "It's important to us to identify the types of individuals with the adaptability to thrive within a fast-paced and ever-changing environment. Additionally, flexibility isn't just important for the candidates we identify – it's important for the solutions we provide. Perhaps a startup client isn't sure what the ideal candidate looks like for them – we can provide them with flexible staffing solutions to support their needs. In our role as a staffing partner to them, we can also provide them with our own industry expertise, so that we're not just providing them with their next hire, but we're providing them with the knowledge they'll need to sustain growth. Over the years, our team has grown to be experts at understanding the right type of person to fit in this type of unique environment."

To learn more, get in touch with the recruitment professionals at Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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