Headhunting in Startups

The essential agents of the economy, startups, have recently been on the agenda... What affects the startup's success on the road is crucial once they find a bright and distinctive idea. Though startups start with investor dreams in the short term at this point, they certainly seem to disappear before they can come out of their cocoon if they cannot properly plan their human resources.


The startup process comprises three stages. These are "opportunity recognition, "business model & plan development" and "resourcing". Resourcing means human resources here.


Well, what to consider when deciding on human resources in startups?


Being a "headhunter" is a must for startups. Capability can do a task, whereas competency is the combination of "capability and authority". You can never know what a person will do until you take a chance on them. The person must have the capability to a certain degree and "authority" to transform that capability into behaviour if you want to examine competency. In startups, if you directly make people do that task instead of making guesses about them, you will discover the real talent. It is crucial for headhunting to redesign the recruitment process and discover the talent at the time of onboarding.


Another pivotal point in human resourcing is "agility". Especially in startups, agility is an absolute must to break the rules through quick decisions and go beyond the limits. As for Accenture, agility means: "A company's ability to project, perceive and react to market volatility in the manner that builds up a competitive advantage". Simply put: "Agility = compatibility + speed + operations". Everything can change. It is necessary to adapt and produce, acting with celerity.


Sharing the common values with your teammate that you recruit will always speed you up in startups. Values turn obscurity to clarity; they are home to a trustful atmosphere. Cohesiveness in a team is crucial since the teammates you will walk together are the ones with whom you will manage success, failure and risk. Synergy is indispensable when building a team.


The person you recruit should step out of their comfort zone and take on tasks other than their tasks in startups. This is the secret of authentic performance in startups. Human resources must take the first step by hiring employees open to innovations, skilfull and adaptable to change.


The very first thing to have in Human Resources is an HR system for a startup. Performance systems integrated with cloud-based HR software can contribute a lot to performance compliance and keeping of inside information. Setting the system up from the very beginning will make a significant contribution to the days ahead.


Startups must also embrace the entrepreneurial culture. Company values are not designated. They are, after all, made up of employee values. Chosen common attitudes create value. Self-assembled values in an organization are the most dynamic ones, in my opinion. The real synergy is naturally formed. The written and imposed values are likely to exist only on paper. Organizational culture is formed consistent with the values already found in the company. This culture is very influential for creating a team synergy and improving employee performance & productivity, whereas it is also helpful to choose a suitable employee for your team.


Developing a feedback system is one of the essentials in Human Resources. In startups, the 360-degree feedback system makes employees be more engaged in the organization. Using this method, developing digital systems can be effective to give instant feedback to the employees about their tasks. This supports the internal communication both among the employees themselves and their managers, strengthening the bond.


Gizem Eniş

Head of People

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