Dear Founder, is your hiring strategy as non-traditional as your work culture?

By: Ranjini Sivaswamy, 21/01/2016

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You couldn’t ask for more – this is probably the best time ever to be a start up in India. You have the country standing up and paying attention to entrepreneurs. No questions asked about age, education, experience or background. All that matters is your idea and how you make it happen.

As passionate founders are well aware, the ‘making it happen’ is where the equation changes.

When the idea rides not just on you as a founder or your investors, but a team that readily gets their hands dirty - that’s when there’s a high chance that your dream will happen. We understand why it is critical, but why do entrepreneurs find it challenging to hire the right people?

If your work culture is different to that of traditional companies, why shouldn’t your hiring strategy be?
Every start-up will state that factors like finding people who can and are willing to work in a start-up, adjusting to the small company-high energy work culture, and inability to compensate according to industry standards are some of the major challenges. But the fundamental issue is with how you hire people. If you are going to look for your right team within an old hiring box, the hiring challenge is going to continue to trouble you. You need to take a perceptibly different approach and find new ways of working with people.

Here is an alternative approach to think about: Why should you ONLY hire full time employees and commit to a lifetime of benefits, when you might need their services for just over a year? Why should you spend your money in setting up a full-fledged office space at the early stages of your company? Why was the internet invented after all! And more importantly, would you compromise on the quality of your hire, just because you cannot match the industry compensation standards?

Spend less money by engaging experienced consultants part-time!
Most of the start-ups we work with at Flexing It have the requirement of independent consultants and freelancers for short periods of time, in varying capacities. Your needs as a start-up are different from that of established companies. By trying to hire full time employees for all, including more atypical and uncertain requirements, you are definitely losing some ammo in your HR and talent acquisition strategy.

Just as the start-up scenario is changing, the consulting scene is changing too.
A major deterrent for start-ups looking to hire independent consultants is the lack of curation or assurance of quality of their work, deliverables and professionalism. This of course only comes into play when start-ups have decided to get such skills on board and know where to access them from! However, attitudes to work are changing and enabling alternative approaches for both employers and consultants. Consultants bring on board quality skills, domain expertise in their fields, strong networks, and the ability to craft flexible working arrangements. By effectively engaging them you can take away a huge burden from your HR team, and more importantly, get critical work done and deadlines met. At Flexing It we are curating and connecting companies with the best of consultants, experts and independent professionals in the country. There are more and more experienced individuals who are choosing to become consultants rather than staying on in their full time jobs. Start-ups can now easily access expert talent and leverage the advantages of hiring independent consultants at the intensity that works for them.

As a startup founder in a competitive business landscape, one of the best strategy decisions you can make is to engage with freelancers and consultants more strategically. Looking beyond regular hiring methods and channels can have great pay offs. It can open new doors to get the right people and skills to ‘make it happen’ for your start up dream!

 

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