Bringing on new team members can be a complicated and daunting task; we at the Atomleap High-Tech Accelerator understand this well. Recruiting for startups in particular poses unique challenges, as you do not have the same resources as established companies. Use these tips to help decide if you need to bring on a new member, decide what you need this member to do, and how to integrate them into your team!
The first step in hiring a new team member is to make a plan and prioritize what needs to get done. What is the most critical task that needs to be accomplished? Sort through which tasks need to be accomplished immediately and which are long term goals. Which can be completed along the way? Consider your current team. What members do you have already and what are their tasks? What are your team members potentials and how are they going to grow with their tasks? Can you redistribute the tasks between current members or if they are already prioritized? How will the new member fit into the team once their tasks are finished?
The next step is to create a profile for the new position. Consider the following: What tasks and responsibilities will belong to the position? What is their role in the company? Why is the role significant and how will it help the company reach its vision? How does the role fit with other roles? What is the end result the role must achieve? What values and principle must an employee have to fulfill the role?
Think of what you require from a new hire. What experience must they have? What qualifications and specialized knowledge? Which of those is most necessary and on which can you comprise? Don’t overlook general qualifications. Basic skills such as analytics and communication are important, as is an applicant’s personality. How they cooperate with other team members, how they take constructive criticism, and if they are self-motivated determines how well they can perform in the role and whether they can effectively complete what is required of them. Once you have your profile built, you must put it out into the world.Use both new and old forms of networking; social media and job search engines are helpful, as well as personal networks and university alumni networks or career centers. Filter though your applicants and decide who you will hire with your team. Then, bring them into your team.
Onboarding, also known as training, is the process of integrating a new employee into an organization and its culture. This takes time, but is essential for the longevity of your company and an integral part of personnel management. Research shows that successful onboarding leads to higher job satisfaction and performance, and greater occupational commitment. There are two areas of balance that are key to onboarding new members; expectation management, vs. perks, and motivation vs. feedback.
We mentioned above that job recruiting for startups provides unique challenges that have unique solutions. Startups cannot offer the same security and profits that established companies can. However, they can offer perks that are very desirable to potential employees, such as the ability to work from home, a cool office location, and offer more flexible hours, tasks, and holidays. You want to keep your employees happy but be careful to not oversell their benefits; make sure you and your new hire are aware of both of your expectations. The second balance is feedback vs motivation. The initial work done at a company leaves lasting impressions on both the employee and the company itself. Make sure to check in regularly with new hires and let them know how they are doing, but do not go in so much that they feel they are not trusted to accomplish their task.
Once hired, you will want to set regular meetings with each individual team member to discuss their career progression and satisfaction levels and give and receive feedback. Remember that recruiting and onboarding is only the first step in HR management. In order to keep your employees satisfied and performing well, you want to make sure that the communication with them is open, ongoing, and earnest.
We recommend you keep a written record of these discussions (for instance, you could create a career plan using a template like this one, which you can adapt to your company’s needs). The bigger your team gets, the more you will need an HR management software to track things like how many days each employee worked, their schedule, holidays, and performance. This is particularly necessary if your team members are based in more than one location or if you have colleagues working remotely. We recommend you use SaaS platforms like HeavenHR, Personio, or KiwiHR for this purpose.
We hope this post was helpful and gives you something to consider when bringing in new team members. Also, if you are a high-tech startup based in Berlin (or willing to relocate here) and need help with onboarding or other aspects of growing your company, feel free to get in touch with us using the contact form on our homepage. We are looking for innovative teams to join our six-month accelerator program starting in January 2019.