Peter Mallon is the Managing Director of the North East Times magazine. In this article, he shares his top tips for attracting and retaining top talent to your start-up.
When your business is in its infancy it can be hard to attract top-quality talent. Performers at the top of their game will want to ply their skills to the biggest projects and take home pay that reflects that, and you might struggle to offer that during your business’s modest beginnings.
However, there’s still plenty you can do to help your start-up attract and retain the very best talent. Read on for my top tips.
Offer the kind of freedom they’ll struggle to find elsewhere
Robert Rodriguez — a director, producer, and screenwriter whose filmography includes titles such as From Dusk Till Dawn, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and Sin City — is famous throughout the film industry for always choosing to work to a very strict budget in order to retain as much creative control over his projects as possible. In an interview with Tim Ferriss, he revealed his secret for attracting stars such as George Clooney and Bruce Willis to his low-budget films: he explains that they’ll get the chance to take on the kind of role they aren’t offered in big-budget Hollywood movies where actors are usually typecast, and they’ll have much more freedom to explore their craft than in almost any other movie.
Applying this same mindset when hiring for your start-up can help you lure top level talent away from firms who can offer a much bigger paycheque at the end of each month. People who are truly exceptionally talented usually have an independent streak and, if you offer them an opportunity to carve out a role within your company on their own terms, they’ll often jump at the chance.
When you approach top-quality talent with a job offer, you should therefore take a leaf out of Robert Rodriguez’s book: explain the kind of freedom they would have to explore their craft within your company, as well as the unique opportunity they would have to grow within your firm as they help you dominate your niche.
Offer a share of the business
There’s no doubt about it — extremely talented individuals will be taking a big risk by joining your start-up rather than choosing to work for a more established company. One way to offset the instability that is inherent in a role within a new business is to offer new hires a share of your business.
To attract the very best talent to the North East Times, I identified the perfect candidate for each role I needed to fill and offered each a bespoke package of benefits that fitted their individual needs. This included a share in the business after a 12-month probationary period. Placing my faith in these individuals has made them more invested in the project, and they’ve each gone above and beyond their duties to ensure the business continues to thrive.
Offer industry-leading perks
Basecamp is one of the biggest tech companies in the world, with millions of users across the globe. They are also famous for offering their employees an incredible array of perks. In a blog post published last year, Jason Fried, the company’s founder and CEO, revealed that the long list of benefits includes a 4-day work week from May 1st through August 31st, a one-month sabbatical every three years, and a $100 a month massage allowance.
As you can imagine, the company has no trouble attracting the very best talent. Think about the kind of perks you can offer to your employees that would set you apart from other businesses within your industry and make you an easy choice for highly-skilled employees looking for their next role.
So, there you have it: three things you can do today to attract and keep the very best talent to your start-up. Follow this advice and you’re sure to find the perfect employees to fill the key roles in your fledgling business.