search cancel

11 Tips for Scoring The Best Startup Talent

I am looking at expanding my company. What is your #1 piece of advice for me to attract the best talent?

Young Businessman At The Interview



1. Talk to Your Potential Candidate

“I’ve been on both sides of the hiring process — both the employee side and the hiring manager side. The No. 1 piece of advice I can give you is to have a “dialogue” with your potential candidate. The mistake people often make in the hiring process is that the employer often values the job opening over the candidate’s contributions. Look at the specifics, and talk through real-life use cases.”

AJ THOMAS, Infuse Entrepreneurship



2. Build a Local Brand

“The best talent is the talent that comes to you. But in order for them to come to you, they need to know you exist. Building a local brand through local news, meetups, conferences, etc. is longer-term strategy. However, it is ultimately the most effective, especially if you are going to have a harder time relocating new hires.”

JAMES SIMPSON, GoldFire Studios



3. Ask for Employee Referrals

“If you already have some great talent (which you hopefully will!), ask your employees to refer their contacts. They can refer hard-working, intelligent people they’ve worked with before and are able to vouch for. Jobvite is a great platform for employees to share job requisitions on social media — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Happy employees will be great advocates for your roles!”




4. Be Different

“The best talent may love their work, but to keep and attract them, they need to love where they work. Have a company culture that is different and unique. Be flexible and understanding, because good employees will give you that back. The best talent want to work hard for the company and what it’s about — not just for the money. Create a cool place to be that reflects your company’s culture.”

KYLE CLAYTONJackrabbit Janitorial



5. Hire for Values

“Hire for values first, and explicitly state what you stand for. The candidates who identify with those values will be lining up out the door to apply. Most importantly, it doesn’t matter how great someone looks on paper. If they don’t share your company values, they’re either going to quit, or you’re going to have to fire them within the first year.”




6. Look for the Best Person

“Don’t look for the best person in your city — look for the best person on the planet. With remote working technology the way it is now, nobody should be restricted to their local area to attract talent. Do a global search, and get the best possible person to help build out your business.”




7. Develop a Strong Reputation

“Attracting the best talent requires an excellent company brand. Develop a solid reputation in order to stand out among other companies, and be the ideal employer. Your brand should be consistent and up to date on your website and social media. Use all platforms available to communicate your company values and culture. If you have all of these things, you will attract the best talent.”

HEATHER HUHMANCome Recommended



8. Create a Great Company Culture

“Create a fun, positive company culture from day one, and then make sure everyone considering applying to your company can see what a great place it would be to work.”

CHUCK COHNVarsity Tutors



9. Never Hesitate to Ask

“Tap into your existing networks. Just because the best talent you know isn’t looking for a new job, that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t consider an offer. If your personal relationship can get you in the door, you should seize that opportunity.”




10. Create a Job Posting That Grabs Attention

“Stand out with your job postings. Create a heading that pops, and keep it short. Use the words “ninja,” “super hero” and “machine” in your title to get them to click on the posting. Talk about your culture (Ping-Pong tables, Clif Bars, veggies, energy drinks, relaxed dress code, etc.) in your posting. Who would you want to work for?”




11. Don’t Pre-Define What Makes a Good Candidate

“Organizations frequently, and sometimes unconsciously, go out looking for a very specific type of person (e.g., Ivy League, past experience at a Fortune 100). This drastically reduces your prospective talent pool — and often eliminates those who are most driven. Be flexible and consciously avoid making assumptions about people before you sit down with them directly.”




Originally published by StartupCollective. Syndicated with permission on


Photo Credits


Author : Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Share This Post On