Editor’s Note: You asked and Elena Bajic answered. Today is the third response in Forbes’ weekly Ask An Expert series, running from now through the third week of November.
I have a great business idea for a start up. What next?
Next you build a great team. It sounds like your business idea is in a pre-revenue and pre-funding stage, which means you will need to be creative in how you attract and hire talent. You should be thinking about bringing people to your team who complement, rather than duplicate, your own skill set. Pay extra attention to adding those skills that are critical to the success of your business, but perhaps outside of your comfort zone. For example, if you invent an amazing product, but don’t feel comfortable in sales meetings, focus your energy on adding a great VP of Sales to the team who can drive business development.
Equity can be a powerful tool at this stage, but you want to be careful with who you give it to. As an example, if you are launching an IT startup, you will probably want to give equity to your CTO, but you might want to devise a different payment structure for your social media consultant. Equity should be reserved for team members who are of vital strategic importance to your overall business. Distribute it by giving a portion of equity at sign on, while leaving a portion in reserve for performance bonuses down the line.
How to avoid answering multiple online application forms & hearing nothing back, not even an automated email!
You probably can’t completely avoid answering online applications -it’s a reality of today’s job search process. But you might be able to optimize how you spend your time online. Submitting hundreds of applications (although it might seem that you are increasing your chances of a reply and makes you feel productive!) can often backfire. Instead, be very selective about where you apply. You can achieve stronger results by making sure there is clear alignment between your background and the positions you target.
Another benefit of applying to fewer places online, is that you will have more time to follow up through other channels and establish a rapport with hiring managers. I can’t emphasize enough how critical networking is in the overall job search equation. A successful job search is truly a multi-channel marketing effort.
Do you feel there is a lack of data on potential candidates? What do you do with 500 resumes that are all similar?
I find that resumes tend to look similar when the requirements for the position are not clearly defined. I suggest going back to your job description and adding more detail about the role – the responsibilities, backgrounds, traits and skills – that are necessary for success. As you go through this exercise, a more crystalized image of the ideal candidate will form. After you’ve done this exercise, go back to the resumes you’ve received and categorize them into strong/ medium / weak potential candidates relative to the ideal candidate you’ve defined. Discard the ‘weak’ and ‘medium’ candidates and focus solely on the strongest ones.
An important point to keep in mind, as you start interviewing the first 2-3 candidates the information you gather will often impact your view of the qualities and skills that are essential for success in the position. When this happens you should redefine and document any additional or revised requirements, and then revisit some of the candidates you discarded earlier to determine they might now be a fit for the role.
This article was written by Elena Bajic from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Image Credit David Smooke. SmartRecruiters is your workspace to find and hire great people.