Stark HR Magazine Jan/19 - Page 18


Branding for Startups

When running and growing a

startup, your employer brand

is probably not the first thing

on your mind, but it can play a huge role in influencing the kind of talent you’re bringing in.

If you’re part of a small startup and are ready to start recruiting you might be wondering, “How can I convince talented people to take a risk and join my young company?” It’s a tough question, but a lot of it comes down to how well you’ve defined your employer branding. Employer branding helps to shape candidate decisions just like good marketing shapes investor and customer decisions. Here are a few simple things you can do to make sure your startup has a solid employer brand so you can hire the people you need.

Employer Branding in the Bootstrap/Funding Stage

In the very early stages you probably don’t have the resources or the need for a dedicated career page or a full time recruiter/HR professional, but you still have to convince people to join you. Here are the two things you’ll need in order to establish the early version of your employer brand:

Company Pitch and Vision

This is virtually identical to what you are pitching to investors and early customers, so you’ve probably already got this down. Just be sure to take the time to tweak it a bit to think of it from the employee’s perspective. Investors want to see returns, customers want a product that works well, and employee’s want to build something they are passionate in and can grow with. This last part is key, tell people how they could grow if they take the risk and join you and they’ll be more likely to take your offer.

Define Your Culture Early

Culture is something that can happen deliberately or by accident. If you take the time carefully shape your culture you’ll ensure that it supports, rather than undermines your vision. This culture will also be a part of your employer brand. Is your culture about careful collaboration? Or does it center more on radical experimentation? Does every action have to support eventual revenue growth? Or do you have more social goals as part of your agenda?

There’s no right or wrong culture to have, but take the time to define it. This will strengthen your company in the long run and help you create an employer brand that attracts exactly the kinds of people you want to hire.

Make Recruiting Everyone’s Job

At this stage your company probably doesn’t have a full-time recruiter, which means that the whole team will need to help. Make sure the people you hire are comfortable in facilitating future hires. This will help spread the workload and make hiring great people are core part of your company identity.