In the last post in this short series we looked at the person specification that you would be putting together to attract people to work for your start-up. We looked at how it was important that you have certain expectations for your new employee, that you also didn’t push things too far to try and find the ‘perfect’ employee. A start-up is a natural incubator of talent, and this means that you need to lower your sights a little when you’re looking for new people, so that you can help to nurture them into becoming that perfect employee that you will need eventually.
Putting together that job specification and person description, it therefore makes sense that you split your specification into chunks. This means ensuring that your description asks for a basic level of skill and expertise, and then the extra bits that you would like to see if possible. So you develop your specification so that it includes essential items and skills, and then branches out further so you have a specification that also includes desirable skills and attributes. Doing it this way ensures that your startup receives a flow of candidates who can do the basic requirements of the role you have created. It also means that you’ll find some candidates that have increased levels of skill and experience that can add even more value to your role. The end result is a role specification and person specification that will bring in a wide variety of talent when it comes to shortlisting time.
It is worth bearing in mind that many experts in this area feel you should recruit for attitude. What this means on a simple level is that you try to recruit people who have the right attitude for your company. Your start-up is precious to you, and you have worked hard to get it into the position it is in today. You know what kind of attitude will bring the best results in your start-up, and it is this that you should be seeking in your person specification. Later on, as the person begins to grow into the role, you can teach the skills and nurture the attributes that you need to improve that person in the role. At the beginning though, it is all about attitude, because it’s possible that you will find that many of the applicants don’t have the skills you need for your start-up. What they may well have is the correct attitude.
Work hard on your person specification, because start-ups have an exciting overview of the future. You can take in plenty of creative people and nurture them so that they become incredibly efficient, and experts in your field. Don’t shut them out by writing person specifications that are limiting and narrow-minded. Instead, find the right attitude through a person specification that is open-minded and focused on building in value to your start-up. You’ll appreciate this approach in the long run, as a team becomes strong and committed to your vision.