The Ultimate Startup Hiring Guide

startup hiring guide

In today’s world many entrepreneurs have decided to pursue their dream of running their own business. If this is the case for you, you’ve probably started thinking about how to optimize your hiring process. Luckily, the process of finding and hiring the right people doesn’t have to be as tedious and time-consuming as it may sound. To make the process as effective and expedient as possible,  predictive hiring solutions and specialized strategies helps with startup hiring. 


1. Utilize Employee Assessment Resources.

When you start your startup hiring process, make sure that you utilize employee assessment resources. These resources will empower you to determine which candidates are most likely to function effectively in their given roles and as team members. The most effective employee assessment process will involve the company’s current staff members completing the assessments first. Once this happens, the companies that administer the test can determine which shared attributes or skills the individuals who are most successful with the company have. After making this determination, you or the employee assessment company can carefully screen incoming candidates to determine which staff members would function most effectively in specific positions.

SENTIO, an HR tech company, offers predictive pre-hire assessments. Of their many features, SENTIO can help you decide if the candidate will be successful and fit into the company’s culture.

2. Hire Based On Potential, Not Just The Candidate’s Track Record.

If you’re serious about your startup’s hiring process, seek out candidates who seem to have potential. While existing skill sets and track record is important, these don’t provide you with the full picture of everything a job candidate can be. In reality, factors such as educational opportunities, existing social networks, and self-concepts can subtly impact  whether an employee has had high performance in their work settings thus far. Recognizing your ability to provide them with the necessary support and resources can positively impact productivity and results. Consider whether the employee may be able to take your organization into a deeper dimension of success.

In some cases, it might be difficult to identify factors which indicate that a specific employee has potential. One thing to consider is work ethic. In many cases, an employee may not have all of the skills or capabilities you’re looking for. Nevertheless, they work hard and are willing to learn new things as quickly as they can to help push the company forward. Another thing to consider when attempting to gauge the potential of a job candidate is general life outlook. Is the candidate generally positive, negative, or somewhere in between? In many cases, individuals who maintain a positive outlook are more effective in dealing with setbacks, constructive criticism, and disappointments. Because all of these things are integral, being able to grapple with them while still working effectively is imperative for those who want to excel in the vocational setting.

3. Look For Flexibility.

While there are many attributes that would make an employee the ideal fit for a startup, flexibility is probably at the top of the list. For example, with many startups, the employee may need to put in 14 hours one day and 4 the next. Also note that startups tend to operate with smaller staffs and are often fast paced. An employee may be required to jump in and complete tasks that aren’t in their job description. Flexible people can do this type of thing with a substantive level of competence and confidence, so look for this type of individual when you’re ready to hire.

4. Enhance Your Interview Process.

Another strategy you should implement to optimize the hiring process is enhancing your interview process. This approach is important because the interview is the time for you to learn as much as possible about a specific job candidate. By asking the right questions, you can gain the information necessary to determine whether a particular candidate would be ideal for the position.

Note that there are a wide range of questions that you’ll want to ask during the interview process. Some will be personal while others will pertain directly to the job the candidate is applying for. Still others will concern the work the candidate completed in other positions. Ask questions that give you a sense of the other party’s character. This is important since you will be working closely with them.

Some of the questions you may want to consider asking during the interview include:

• What is your understanding of what our company does and why we were founded?

• Are you familiar with the roles and responsibilities for the job you’re applying to?

• Describe your biggest work-related fault? Have you done anything to correct it?

• Do you consider yourself to be introverted, extroverted, or somewhere in between?

• What is your most significant job accomplishment, and why is it important to you?

In addition to asking the right questions during the interview process, make sure that you consider the value of having a co-worker sit in with you during this component of the hiring journey. This step is effective because even the most objective employer will have blind spots. Blind spots can include favoring certain candidates over others. Pre-existing prejudicial assumptions about individuals can cause hiring managers to pick someone who isn’t truly ideal for the position. Consider the value of asking a trusted co-worker to be present when you conduct the interview. Then request their honest feedback.


If it’s time for you to do some technical hiring, it’s important to have a game plan in place. Rather than allowing the process to unfold in an entirely organic manner, utilize some of the strategies and systems outlined above. You will increase your likelihood of bringing the most best matched candidates on board this year!

Learn how SENTIO can help with your startup hiring.