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Recruiting for your startup - the job description

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by Startacus Admin

Last week we started the first of our series of tips posts on recruiting for your startup by considering the basic setup - the logistics of the recruitment process in a sense. This was the part of the process that's often forgotten or not considered, but is still of vital importance.

But Part 1 is only important if you actually go ahead and recruit. But recruit for what? Well in the second part of recruiting for your startup we consider therecruiting for a startup fundamentals that will mean you can recruit the right person - the job description, the key duties of the role, the all important criteria and the package you can offer your potential new employee.

The job description

Okay, imagine this is a little like describing the reality of working for your organisation, or painting the picture so to speak. The job description is often a paragraph or two long and will give the reader an understanding of your startup, where you are based, your organisational history, your startup structure, your aims and achievements etc. It’s all about the job and can be pretty much vital when trying to attract the right type of applicants to your role.

The duties and responsibilities

Now it’s important to reiterate here that you shouldn’t simply just do a 'copy and paste' from other job specs that you may have seen online. Of course, do read over typical job specs for the type of role you are recruiting for since they will help you consider the role and the duties you want your new recruit to undertake. However remember that every role is unique, and you need to think about the day to day operations of your individual business and the duties and responsibilities any potential employee will have to take. There is no point also in papering over the truth. If your new recruit will have to get their hands dirty or multitask galore, then spell it out. Of course, do keep the language professional, and make sure that applicants are in no doubt about what they will be expected to do and achieve. Include performance expectations and targets, if nothing else it will help you keep on track of someone's performance when they are working or perhaps not working out!

The criteria

On a piece of paper, (yep we're getting all high tech on ya) write down your ideal candidate and list the experience, skills and educational background they should have. Now be realistic. You are after all a 'startup' and although you might be the next biig thing, you have to understand that you haven't potentially got the same pull as an established big business and market leader. So, and this is not unrealistic for any hirer to be fair, put an 'E' next to anything on your list which you believe to be an essential, and an 'I' next to anything that you believe to be ideal. If you have more E's than I's think again! Whatever the role, consider how you can make sure the right people apply. Also try and ensure that your criteria is not so general so that everyone in the world meets  it! After all, it would then prove pretty impossible to shortlist accurately and quickly. It also goes without saying, that you should be clued up about all employment laws and legislation where you live. Using the wrong language or shortlisting criteria could get you in a spot of bother to say the least

The package

So, what are ya gonna offer? Apart from the obvious considerations you'll have to make about salary, you also need to consider what will be in your employee’s contract with regards to working hours, holidays, sick pay terms etc. Of course, and although we’re stating the obvious again here, do make sure that you check up on the legal requirements for an individual’s employment terms wherever you live. We can't recommend this enough.

Apart from pay and employment terms what other benefits can you give? Deciding on benefits can be tough for a startup, especially when money is tight and you are  bootstrapping, however, think about what commitment you can give, if someone commits and performs in the role. Perhaps there could be shares in the business, perhaps there could be a performance related bonus. Just remember that whatever it is, you don't over-commit unless you can follow it through.

So, there you go folks. That's Part 2 done and dusted. In Part 3 of recruiting for your startup we will return and work on how you can interview successfully to find the right person for your startup vacancy. Until then!

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Published on: 24th October 2013

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