Structured hiring is a silver bullet for startups

One of the major reasons startups fail is to do with the team, with over 23% of failed startups in a recent study citing the team as being the main reason. Skill or knowledge gaps, divisions or conflict in the team and lack of buy in to the vision are key issues that can contribute to the downfall of a company. Instilling a well-rounded and complimentary team is of utmost importance for small companies, yet there is still a relatively informal hiring process in place in the majority of them. Recruitment is difficult for startups, but get it wrong and it could be the reason the company fails.

Being able to find and attract the best talent, the cost of running a robust hiring process, a lack of experience in recruitment, not having any structure or consistency in the process and access to relevant resources are the main reasons why it is difficult for startups to assess and hire the best people for their companies.

When it comes to attraction, startups have to rely on being able to communicate and convey their vision and purpose as well as the flexibility and excitement of working in a startup in order to attract the best talent. It will always be difficult to compete with bigger companies in terms of salary or benefits, but by hiring people that really buy in to the vision of the company, these employees will add more value and be better hires than those just motivated by financial reward.

An area where startups can make marked improvements is in the interview process. As mentioned, having a complex and robust interview process can be expensive, especially if there is a need for a recruitment specialist or hiring manager. However, by adding structure and standardisation, benefits can be realised quickly. Defining a clear role description and engaging job advert, having well thought out company values, competencies or behaviours, establishing logical questions and developing an extensive scoring criteria can drastically improve your interview process.

Implementing this structure improves the quality and the focus of interviews as well as removing the stress, allowing interviewers to focus more on the candidate. Each candidate should receive a similar experience, as only through this consistency can proper comparisons be made. If all candidates can be assessed on a level playing field there is a greater likelihood of selecting the best candidate for the job.

Structure and consistency can be instilled by using the technology and software that is available to companies now, which cover the majority of the hiring process. This includes applicant tracking systems, CV and candidate sifting technology and assessment technology. Some of these may still not be viable for a startup due to the cost and complexity, but as the company grows these tools will become necessary as excel spreadsheets and email chains become too big and complicated to manage.

A cost effective and valuable technology that startups can use is for the delivery of interviews. Running an interview through an app that provides a consistent and structured process, that records interview content and has a centralised scoring and feedback function will improve candidate experience and engagement and will ensure that the best candidates are being hired.

Candidate experience and engagement are key benefits to startups when using technology in the hiring process. In trying to attract the best talent, having a modern and slick process goes a long way to convince candidates that you are the best place for them to work. A better and consistent candidate experience can also result in a more thorough assessment as it is a less stressful environment for the candidate and the interviewer.

By creating an element of structure and consistency in a recruitment process, startups, as well as larger companies, can ensure that they are attracting and hiring the best talent. Any company that does this quickly and effectively is surely giving themselves the best opportunity for success.

At Equitas we are helping companies to make better hiring decisions with our interview app. It can be challenging to hire the right people for key roles, ensure a diverse workforce and find the time to deliver a consistent and engaging candidate experience. Our app makes your interviews more accurate, efficient and fair, empowering you to make better hiring decisions.