The team is the main variable that investors look at, especially for young startups that are looking to raise funding/financing. A great idea without a committed team won’t be considered by business angels or VC funds.
For a team to be successful, every member needs to communicate with each other and share thoughts, opinions, and ideas. Communication within the team is at the base of an efficient workflow which is an essential feature to show investors the startup’s ability to grow.
A cardinal aspect of teamwork is that each team member contributes to the overall work and fully understands everyone else’s responsibilities.
Startups with founders that work on a part-time basis will always be disregarded by investors, potential partners and clients. Only a full-time dedication can create that sense of belonging and commitment to the idea that investors consider a must-have.
Moreover, investors look for diversity. Every team member needs to have a different set of skills covering complementary parts of the projects. Teams are more likely to fail when diversity is not included since diversity can also be used as a proxy for a breadth of knowledge and mindset.
Steps of the Recruiting Process
The term recruiting indicates the selection and recruitment of personnel. It refers to the entire corporate process of research and selection of candidates.
This process can be developed internally or externally.
In the first case, startups that have enough resources can train current employees using the assets already present in the company to enhance their skills.
In the second case, lack of resources or competencies causes companies to recruit managerial or entry-level profiles outside the organization. In this case, recruiting aims to hire or identify collaborators in line with the company’s objectives and values.
The research and selection of personnel are entrusted to the HR department, internal recruiters or headhunters.
Today, more than ever, this is an activity that HR carries out in synergy with other company departments to understand which talents the organization needs and with which exact hard and soft skills. Moreover, the HR department might also be assisted by external agencies to scout the best profile for the role.
In most cases, the recruiting process takes place in three stages: planning, research, and selection.
In order to find the most suitable profiles for the organization’s needs, careful planning is required. This plan should include an ideal mixture of outbound (looking for the best candidates) and inbound strategies (attracting candidates through brand awareness and employer branding).
Research and Screening
In this phase, the organization tries to reach a suitable set of candidates through job advertisements, offers, university job posts and social media campaigns.
Candidates who respond to the offers are screened by the HR department according to their curriculum, references and assessments completed during interviews (in-person or remote) or even evaluated with innovative methods, including psychometric tests or gamified scoring systems.
In this third phase, the organization analyzes the information collected on the various candidates and decides which candidates are most in line with the company’s vision, mission and values and have the right skill set for the job.
The company will have a final round table where the HRs, along with the departments’ representatives will decide the best fits for the open position.
The Recruiter Role
A recruiter is a professional whose job is to recognize and hire talents within the job market. Recruiters can be part of the organization’s HR department.
Some are specialized in the evaluation of internal resources (internal recruiter or executive recruiter, if they only look for managerial figures).
Other recruiters, such as headhunters, work for recruitment firms, which serve multiple organizations; typically they screen CVs and interview candidates before selecting the most suitable for the client.
For effective talent management, HR departments and recruiters try to establish constant contacts with potential candidates – even if not available – to build a pool of skilled candidates from which to draw at any time, based on the needs that arise from time to time.
Many companies are moving away from the classic selective interview to embrace new recruiting techniques that allow candidates to better test their skills.
Gamification is among these new techniques: simulations or role-playing games that make the selection of talents more amusing and punctual. Another innovative technique is that of contests: competitions in which the candidates’ skills are tested, always aimed at identifying the most qualified profiles.
The advantages of a successful recruiting strategy are measured both quantitatively and qualitatively: the faster candidates with the right characteristics are reached, the higher the savings.
Reducing the time for finding and recruiting team members is a factor that generates a competitive advantage: you steal talent from the competitors and quickly fill the vacant role with an asset that, thanks to careful selection, quickly becomes productive.
In a 2017 UK survey, 46% of organizations said they had reduced the time of selection and recruitment as a reaction to a drier job market in which resources are scarcer and competition tighter. 28% said they shortened the duration of the recruiting process because long lead times drive candidates away.
59% of organizations indicated that it takes an average of two weeks to go from a job announcement to the first interviews and 92% of companies submit a job offer within a week from the start of interview processes.
An effective recruiting process has a positive effect on a company’s financial performance and profitability. Fast recruiting cycles free up resources in the HR department for higher-value activities, such as training and facilitating teamwork.
The company brand is also strengthened from a positive recruiting experience to the benefit of competitiveness, both in the business and in the ability to attract talents.
The Importance of Corporate Culture
The success of a company is also assessed based on the effectiveness of its organizational culture since this determines the collaborators’ individual approach, the pattern of thoughts and the perception of the role played. Therefore, meticulously developing its structure is a cardinal process.
We can define corporate culture as an ethical and behavioural modus operandi, derived from corporate values and objectives.
Promoting corporate culture should be one of the primary objectives of the HR department since it is constantly involved in the enhancement of talents within the organization.
Such a proposition assumes that managers, team leaders and all collaborators are informed, aligned and aware of the initiatives planned to achieve such a milestone.
These are the main components of corporate culture:
This term refers to a broad perspective that includes long-term goals and the company’s projection, rather than a simple statement regarding its orientation. Corporate aspirations and available opportunities are just some of the elements that make the company vision come to life.
If the vision is clear and well defined, then it will also be easy to communicate and transmit it to all company levels, ensuring that it is respected and continuously improved.
The mission is a sentence that summarizes the necessary path to achieve the corporate vision.
If the vision refers to an ultimate goal that may not be immediately attainable, the mission, on the other hand, concerns more short-term and concrete goals.
A mission statement has to define clearly why the company exists and/or what purpose it serves.
To implement the mission, it is necessary to focus on specific and measurable objectives, which have also to be relevant for the company, achievable and time-limited.
These characteristics are summarized in the acronym S.M.A.R.T.
Values are the set of principles and beliefs that drives company operations. An organization’s values can be considered as a proxy for working guidelines that drive daily activities within the company.
How employees manage their responsibilities, in fact, helps to optimize the effectiveness of the future strategy and the success of partnerships. Values must be shared, to be a guide for all team members and external collaborators.
Listing a series of values is not enough for them to be absorbed by employees. It is essential to put them into practice, analyzing the progress and seizing the opportunities for continuous optimization.
Promoting corporate culture, through a well-designed strategy, is crucial; in this phase, the HR department plays a pivotal role: in addition to integrating direct comparison tools, such as one-to-one interviews or plenary meetings, it evaluates the implementation of new projects for the future.
Talking about corporate culture wouldn’t even make sense without the people, the actual components of an organization.
Employees should be at the centre of the successful implementation of strategies.
The sense of belonging to the company can fuel a virtuous circle of well-being, satisfaction and performance.
The talents’ loyalty depends on the attention to their needs and ideas, plus the possibility of professional growth within the company.
The climate in the company is also one of the strategic elements for creating a solid corporate culture. A productive atmosphere, open communication, positive reinforcement, growth opportunities, and positive thinking are a few of the numerous features that need to be present to foster employees’ commitment and passion for their tasks.
How will GründerAtelier help?
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We strive to partner with ambitious entrepreneurs and bright minds to create a prosperous environment where the most innovative ideas can thrive.
The professional team of GründerAtelier has offered many successful sessions to guide young startups through their capital raising, operational development, marketing, sales, talent acquisition and scaling endeavours.
We have launched an accelerator program that will guide you through all the steps you need to take in order to scale.
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