There is a question that every startup interviewer should know the answer to the following question: “Why should I choose one of the hundreds of other start-ups or established companies next door?”
In today’s talent market, where candidates host the show, it is necessary to seriously differentiate the competition. If you can not define what makes your startup unique, you’ll never attract as many candidates as you want.
We spoke with four founders and talented talents about how to approach the issue of differentiation. They had the following to say:
Focus on creating an outstanding candidate experience
Candidates are very concerned about their recruitment experience. In fact, nine out of ten experts say that a good interview experience can change their mind about a company they had doubts about.
Arum Kang, CEO of Coffee Meets Bagel, is very aware of this. “At each stage, from the moment you interact via email, the candidates write you down,” she says. Everything, how fast you respond, how the candidate is greeted on the ground and how excited you are in general, can greatly influence the impression of your company’s candidate.
Great candidate experiences come naturally in many flavors. Even if each company invests in the candidate’s experience (this is not the case), the unique “taste” of your company will always be enough to distinguish you from others. Arum, for example, is very keen to keep people abreast of the latest news and will always send updates as soon as possible to minimize potential fears. In addition, Arum announces candidates who present themselves at field interviews at the beginning of each week to ensure that everyone is warmly welcomed.
Sell your vision
Much of the startup work is an opportunity to have a real impact on the creation of a product you believe in and, ideally, to be part of the next great achievement. Candidates do not just buy your work, they adhere to your vision.
“I love inspiring people for Kinnek,” says Karthik Sridharan, Kinnek’s CEO. “We have such a vision, there is so much room for creativity and exciting new areas that we can explore, it’s impossible to get bored.”
Karthik says he did not do it well enough if people do not leave and think, “Yes, I want to be part of it!” If you can sell a candidate to your vision and get in touch with him Another recruiter will find it difficult to steer them in another direction.
Focus on the technique
Some technicians are much more concerned with your company’s technology – and how it will work – than with the mission and vision. So, before looking at what you think is a big selling point, find out what makes your candidate shout.
Getaround, for example, has an exclusive technology stack of almost 100%, and it knows it’s an important selling point for many of its technical candidates. “For someone who wants to be widely present, you’ll find it here,” says Scott Zindell, talent manager at Getaround. He does not let a candidate leave without realizing the importance he gives to Getaround’s unique technology and the way it can use them when their ears appear, which is usually the case.
Rent your clientele
If you are lucky enough to have a product with a loyal customer, rent it!
“When customers come to us, they are already fans of the product and the vision, and the question of cultural adaptation is usually solved,” says John Coogan, CTO and co-founder of Soylent.
Not all companies have this luxury, but when you do, look for candidates who already like what you do. You will find dedicated employees without differentiation.
Focus on transparency
One sure way to make your employees disillusioned and cautious is to exclude them from important business discussions. Karthik swears by transparency and ensures that candidates understand what transparency means at Kinnek during the interview process.
“As a founder, I make sure everyone knows the important details about building the business,” he says. These include transparency about the amount of the bank, advancing to critical stages that the company and venture capitalists do not exist, and even ensuring that employees have the opportunity to meet with investors. When candidates plan to spend a lot of their lives starting up, it helps a lot to know that they are treated with respect instead of whispering behind closed doors.
The way you differentiate your company differs from one candidate to another. Depending on what each person cares about, of course, you will put more emphasis on other things – mission, details, culture, and so on.