Top 6 Recruitment Mistakes to Avoid for your Startup

No matter the size or sector of a business, mistakes in recruiting can have long-lasting negative effects on the workspace. Even the most established brands are not invulnerable to classic hiring errors, and that can be very damaging for productivity, workflow, and brand perception. If you want to attract the best hires to your startup, then it’s vital that you understand the most common mistakes made by businesses, and take the right steps so that you do not cause your startup venture any long or short-term harm. Here are some of the most common recruitment mistakes that brand’s make, and what you should avoid if you want startup success.

Moving Too Slow

The job market is only growing more competitive. That means recruiters now have to have stricter structures when it comes to the hiring process at every stage. Advertising, interviewing, and evaluation can all take time, but if you spend too long on the process, then you run the risk of losing out on the best potential candidates. When talent is being proactively sought out, you need to ensure that your hiring process is efficient and fast enough to be able to offer a position to the best people.

Moving Too Fast

If you’re recruiting, then it means that you have a skills gap in your startup. That means that you will want to fill that position as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, moving too quickly can be just as damaging to your startup as moving too slowly. Hasty decisions can lead to hiring the wrong person, and that can affect the likelihood of startup success. Move quickly, but remember to take the time to conduct full evaluations and background checks of your potential new team members.

Looking in the Wrong Places

Startups attract passionate people, and that means that your business should not rely on outdated recruitment strategies that are only seen by short-sighted job hunters. If you have physical premises, then signposting vacancies can be useful. By using branded banners and signage, you can advertise your available position to those that already have an interest in your brand. You should also prioritize finding grads. These can be valuable for fresh ideas and cutting-edge technologies. Make sure that you attend career fairs at relevant colleges, and brand your table with now hiring banners that are emblazoned with your logo and slogans. Attract those eager to start earning, and you will earn valuable staff loyalty.

Not Establishing Expectations

At every stage of the recruitment process, you will need your potential hires to know what to expect. That could mean giving them details about group interviews or the time frame to expect when it comes to delivering an answer to their application. One of the biggest failures of modern recruitment is not putting salary and workload expectations on the table as early as possible. You will waste a lot of time and money if you have multiple interviews with someone who will eventually turn down your job offer due to a lower than expected salary or the lack of a career development plan.

Waiting For Perfection

You want the perfect people for your startup, but so does every other company in the world. Rather than wasting time looking for the ideal combination of education, experience, and workspace cultural compatibility, instead strive to find the best potential. You should be looking at the future prospects of a candidate. The best employees for your startup will be those that want to grow with your company. It may be that you have to invest in more training and development in those candidates, but the rewards for your startup can far outweigh not hiring someone because they are not the perfect match.

Not Doing Checks

Verification is a large part of a recruiter’s role, and as the owner of a startup, you will often need to take on this responsibility. If your employee candidates have provided you with references from previous employers, then you need to contact them. Don’t assume that because you have been given a reference that this will result in a positive commendation. People do exaggerate their past and their previous work roles, so you need to know that they can do what they say they can do. It’s important as well that you do a cursory check of social media profiles and learn to recognize the red flags that are indications of a disruptive employee.

The hiring process for a startup means being objective over being subjective. Set a recruitment timetable and remember that all of the hiring advice in the world can quickly become redundant if you get a good gut feeling about a potential hire. Manage your time scales and make sure that employers know what to expect from you as much you learn what to expect from them. The interview process goes two ways, and by making improvements to your hiring process, you can make sure that your startup builds a better team around your foundation.


Lisa Besserman, Founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the 2014 “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas.

Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, the organization that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Startup Buenos Aires has been one of the main catalysts for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Latin America, by bringing global startup initiatives, development projects and investment opportunities to the region.
Under Lisa’s leadership Startup Buenos Aires has been credited as “Top 3 Growing Startup Cities” by CNBC and “5 Emerging Global Tech Hubs” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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