Recruiting Tips for Start-up Companies: How To Combat Obstacles Of Attracting Young Top Talent for Growth and Success

You are a start-up with ambitious plans for the future. You are hiring. You want young talent to apply for your roles so that you have the best team possible to carry your company forward.

But how do you get those young talented people into the interview room? Do they even know your start-up company is out there looking for someone like them to work there? 

And if they do know you are recruiting, why are they going to choose you over a more established, bigger company that is also looking for someone with their skills and personality?

Recruiting young, talented individuals is essential for the growth and success of start-up companies. However, competing with established organisations for the best candidates can be a challenge. 

To overcome this hurdle, start-ups must adopt effective recruiting strategies that highlight their unique value propositions. 

In this article, we will look at some valuable tips to help start-up companies attract and hire top talent. Tips that will put your start-up company on the radar of young people looking for rewarding roles that will help them start to build their career – and, in turn, drive the success of your company. 

Build A Positive Employer Brand

We’ve written in the past about the importance of boosting employer branding when it comes to recruitment.

As a start-up company, you are arguably in a better position than some existing companies because you have a blank slate. 

And if you want to attract a young team to drive the company forward, you can start out with branding that will appeal to a younger targeted audience.

  • Highlight your company’s vision, mission, and values in a way that resonates with potential younger candidates. Gen Z is looking to work for companies that embrace diversity and inclusivity so make sure this is visible when you are getting the message across. 
  • Emphasise the unique opportunities and growth potential your start-up offers. Whilst you might not have a hierarchy of promotion opportunities in place just yet, you can emphasise the excitement of being a start up, your mission and passion for your sector and your new team being part of the growth of the company from the beginning. 
  • Make sure you leverage social media platforms fully and target those platforms where most young people are likely to see your efforts such as TikTok and Instagram. If you already have some younger staff in your company, you can get them onboard with this. Building a positive online presence and cultivating a reputation as an innovative and exciting place to work will help you stand out in a competitive market.
  • As a start up, you need to actively get yourself out there to get your brand known. This is important not just with potential job candidates but also with others in the industry. Careers fairs and professional networking events can put you into contact with both peers and potential candidates. 

Define Clear Job Roles And Expectations

In a start-up environment, roles and responsibilities can be fluid and dynamic and whilst this can be used as a positive – young people will get the opportunity to work in a variety of areas of the company – it is also essential to define clear job roles and expectations to attract the right candidates. 

Whatever the job role – Apprenticeship, graduate position or part time student jobs, make sure you clearly communicate the specific skills, qualifications, and experience required for each position. 

If you are in a position to offer a full time job once an Apprenticeship is completed, for example, outline the opportunities for growth and future professional development within your start-up. 

Young candidates are more likely to be attracted to roles that offer them a chance to make a meaningful impact and grow alongside the company.

Tap Into your Network and Employee Referrals

Leverage your existing professional network and encourage employee referrals. 

Current employees can be your best brand advocates, as they understand the company culture and values. If they are speaking to their peers about how much they like working for your start-up company, those peers are much more likely to listen to their friend than be convinced by you.

If possible, offer incentives for successful referrals, such as bonuses or additional time off. 

If you have a start-up company, chances are it is in a sector that you have been passionate about for sometime and you might already have contacts in the same industry. These contacts may also be able to refer new team members to you. 

Prioritise Cultural Fit

Again, we have discussed the importance of cultural fit in past articles and it is something to look at if you are a start-up company. 

As we said above, however, don’t let cultural fit take over to a point where your start-up lacks diversity. People from different backgrounds will tackle challenges within your company from different angles and this is important for the future success of any company.

When it comes to cultural fit, rather than looking at skills, qualifications and previous experience, assess whether candidates have researched your company and have applied for your vacancies because their values align with those of your company. 

If this is the case, this can be good for your future staff retention because you will have a team of staff sharing the same values – and the values of your company. This means they should work together better as a team and drive the future success of your company.  

Emphasise The Growth Opportunities For Your Start-Up

Start-ups can offer exciting growth opportunities that may be lacking in larger, more established organisations and this is something you can leverage when trying to attract younger people to the company.

As you are still a smaller company, highlight the fact that a young team will be involved in important projects and they will be the ones responsible for the success of these projects. These are the people who are there from the beginning and will be trusted with a large degree of responsibility. . 

Young, talented individuals are often eager to join organisations where they can contribute meaningfully and have their efforts recognised. They won’t be answerable to, or overshadowed by, an established team of older staff who might have been in a company for many years. 

Use your social media presence and branding to showcase success stories of young employees who have already been growing within the company, reinforcing the belief that your start-up can provide a rewarding career trajectory.

Offer Competitive Compensation And Benefits

Okay, as a start-up company, you might not be in a position to compete with larger organisations when it comes to salary and financial bonuses but that does not mean you can’t be creative with offering benefits to your young team of staff. 

We have asked in the past whether or not you are paying your staff a fair wage. At the very least, offer your young team of staff the best salaries you can afford. On top of this, think of other benefits you can offer your staff. 

Flexible work options and opportunities to work from home or other areas away from the office can be good incentives. You could also offer extra time off on completion of projects, for example. 

To attract the best young talent and demonstrate to them that you value them as part of your team, you could also offer professional development courses – both in house training and the opportunity to do qualifications outside of the workplace. 

As well as attracting new staff, this can also boost your staff retention. 

Be Transparent About Growth Potential 

Larger, established companies who already have a proven track record in their field have more evidence to show potential candidates when it comes to being transparent about what the company has already achieved and what the future aims are.

As a start-up company, whilst you might not have so much evidence, transparency is still crucial when attracting top talent to apply for your roles. 

Young candidates want to understand the company’s financial stability, growth plans, and potential exit strategies. 

Be honest about the risks and challenges your start-up may face, while also highlighting the opportunities and potential rewards. 

Chances are, if young people are already looking at your company they are already excited about working for a start-up company, anyway, knowing the risks and also the potential. They want to be part of a team that drives the company forward from the ground up.

Demonstrating a clear roadmap for growth and development can instil confidence in candidates and show them that your start-up is poised for success. 

Advertise Your Vacancies

Recruiting young, top talent for your start-up company requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. Get this right, right from the beginning and you could soon have a vibrant young team of staff helping you to make a great success of your company.

If you are looking to employ young people, whether in graduate roles, Apprenticeship positions or you want to employ young people in casual roles to give them some experience of the workplace, you can reach your target audience by placing your job ad with us at e4s.