Startups have a huge challenge of needing to scale their team quickly, often without the support of a dedicated human resource (HR) team. Funding or unplanned new business (a great problem to have) can mean having to scale your team exponentially in almost no time.

Paired with that is the talent challenge that many markets in the region face, as skilled developers and experienced executives are often in short supply.

Even when hiring at a normal rate, it can be challenging for startups with the growing demand for talent and a region-wide preference for stability over risk when it comes to employment.

We look at some of the challenges that they face.

Startups cannot match salaries

pink pig figurine on white surface

Startups cannot compete on salary with big businesses. Real benefits and salaries are what attract top talent, so offering a fun work environment and free lunch often doesn’t quite cut it.

However, we know you still want and need top talent, so there are unique benefits that startups can offer to attract top talent.

  • Flexible working and remote working. Startups that focus on employee output rather than clocking in the hours at a desk, can attract good talent
  • Equity in your startup can be a great alternative to a high salary

HR departments do not exist in startups

Startups rarely invest in an HR department or manager. This means that entrepreneurs often have to resort to tapping into their own network to find people. This isn’t something that works well, especially if you’re looking to scale quickly.

This is often not by choice, so here are some simple tips you can use to manage your HR a little bit more effectively:

  • Accuracy is crucial, so spend time trying to craft out exactly what you need to avoid getting irrelevant applications
  • Humour, while hilarious, isn’t the best way to get top talent and can be a detriment
  • Focus on the facts and be clear on what you need

Time is always a factor

As an entrepreneur every minute is precious sometimes, so finding the time to interview candidates, find the right ones and then do a series of assessments can be almost impossible.

However, everything we mentioned is crucial to hiring, so it has to be done. Here are some practical tips on how it can be made easier for you.

  • Include screening tests to weed out irrelevant applications and test their skills at the same time
  • Fine-tune the process so you only interview and spend more time assessing the best of the applicants rather than every single person
  • Hiring contract workers is also a way to buy more time for your hiring, as this can be a short to medium term solutions for the work

Finding talent around you is tough

Remember those online banner ads telling you there are 25 attractive women in your area, well finding 25 qualified people in your area is a challenge.

woman browsing on her laptop

Often local candidates are just not that strong if its a niche role or technical skills are required. You may find it hard to fill certain roles due to lack of supply.

There is no quick fix, but a remote team can be beneficial to build a team where the talent resides. It can even mean lower salaries and being able to build a talented and experienced team quickly due to a higher concentration of talent.