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Startups face many hurdles in their early stages, so having an excellent team of employees is essential to driving the business forward. High performing employees with the right mindset are often something investors look for when deciding to back a startup. Thus, employing the right people is crucial to your business’ success. However, startups are often working on a limited budget and cannot afford to pay the same salaries as well-established companies for top talent. In this article, we set out five features of your startup that you can leverage to attract top talent.

1. Sell the Vision

Generally, people want to work on exciting projects that they feel passionate about. This intrinsic motivation is often stronger than any monetary reward a job may offer. Show your candidates that your startup is an opportunity to take on an new and rewarding challenge.

If your vision inspires them, they may be willing to pass up a high paying job and build a business with you. Whether the goal of your startup is to commercialise self-driving cars or to provide an affordable alternative to traditional energy sources, use your vision to make people want to work with you.

2. Use Employee Share Schemes

Employee share schemes provide employees with the opportunity to acquire or purchase shares or share options in your startup. The possibility to own a percentage of your company aligns the personal interests of your employees with the business’ interests. So if your business succeeds, your team does too.

Employee share schemes create a long-term monetary incentive for employees. While passing up a high salary job may mean a temporary pay cut, owning part of your startup could lead to long-term financial success.

3. Create a Flexible Work Environment

People like being able to manage their time in a way that balances work with their personal commitments and may exchange a high paying job for a flexible work environment. Set clear goals and empower your team to reach these targets in a way that works for them. Facilitating remote working options, by leveraging technology such as video calls and project management software, goes a long way in creating a flexible and productive work environment. It allows employees to manage their own time, enabling them to lead a balanced lifestyle.

For example, Asana sets deliverables and goals four months in advance. Targets are set in a precise manner, so everyone knows exactly what they are responsible for and the expected outcomes. Team members know what they need to do, but are free to complete the tasks in a way that suits their lifestyle.

4. Foster a Great Culture

People spend a significant portion of their time at work, so they want to work in places with positive energy. Fostering a unique culture where individuals feel valued is a high selling point for top quality candidates. As a startup founder, the energy you bring to work is the foundation of your company’s culture. If your employees love working with you, they are likely to recommend you as an employer. To create a workplace that attracts top talent:

  • hire people with the right attitude;
  • celebrate the successes of your business with your whole team; and
  • encourage collaboration.

5. Offer Opportunities for Self-development and Career Growth

Many people feel unchallenged and unappreciated at work. New challenges and increased responsibility motivate high performing individuals. Offering opportunities for self-development and career growth can also be a selling point of your workplace.

Excellent ways to help your team develop their skills within your business include:

  • allowing high performing employees to take on roles of greater responsibility as the business grows; and as
  • implementing mentoring schemes and training programs across the business.

Key Takeaways

Launching a startup is a challenging process that requires commitment and creativity. Having a stellar team is key to success. However, most startups operate on a limited budget and cannot afford to pay above-market wages for top talent. So to attract candidates, startups must offer other benefits that are not necessarily monetary. As a startup founder, look to leverage the unique features of your workplace to hire top talent. This includes:

  • your company’s vision;
  • culture; and
  • work environment.

If you have any questions, contact LegalVision’s startup lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.


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