Getting the Best Talent for Your Startup: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

by Homerun Nievera,

The hiring process can be tough for job seekers as well as employers. As an entrepreneur, it is critical that you locate and actively recruit top talent to join your team. As important as the hiring process is for a startup, however, many entrepreneurs make a few common mistakes that can be a detriment to the young business. Before you begin actively interviewing candidates for your available positions, take time to learn about the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make during the interview process. By doing so, you can steer clear of these mistakes yourself and make a better hiring decision.

Not Having a Clear List of Criteria in Mind

Before you post a job ad for your opening, you need to create a list of job duties and responsibilities for the position. You also need to determine the ideal skills, education level and experiences that the preferred candidate will have. This will guide you into creating an effective job ad to post for recruitment purposes. More than that, you can and should refer back to the ad when screening resumes as well as when interviewing candidates. Doing so can help you to more easily select the most qualified candidate for your position.

Not Having Challenging Interview Questions

It is common for those who are new to the interviewing process to download a list of common interview questions from the Internet and to simply read those questions off to candidates in an interview. This is one method to use, but it is better to use those initial questions as the basis for creating your own unique questions that are customized for the position and for your office culture. The questions should be challenging and thought-provoking. They should test the individual’s ability to think on their feet and to handle tense or stressful situations with ease.

Asking Illegal Questions During the Interview

There are laws in place to protect job seekers from unscrupulous acts that infringe on their rights. As an employer, you face a potential lawsuit if you do not understand the laws and structure your hiring practices and interview process within the framework of the law. If you are concerned about overstepping in this area, you can consider using an RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) to assist with the hiring process. Outsourcing the hiring process to a recruiting agency can also save you a considerable amount of time and energy when selecting a qualified candidate.

Not Selling the Company or the Position

An interview is your primary opportunity to determine which candidate is most well-suited for your position, but this is also a critical time for the candidate to determine if he or she wants to work in your company. The individual likely will be sizing up the company in various ways, assessing if you are the type of person he or she wants to work for and watching how happy or content other employees are. This is a key time for you sell the individual on the company and the position, so prepare a short speech about the company ahead of time.

Failing to Ensure the Personality Type Fits With Corporate Culture

While you want to find a qualified candidate for the position, the candidate must be a good fit for the team and for the corporate culture. Someone who is accustomed to the rigidity of corporate life may not do well in a more free-spirited environment that encourages open collaboration and creativity. Examine previous work history and the candidate’s personality carefully.

Hiring a new candidate to fill a job opening in your startup may initially seem like a straightforward process, but you can see that there are many factors that must be considered and properly addressed. It is wise to learn as much as you can about interviewing, structuring a job offer and other factors before you begin the process. By doing so, you can more easily navigate through this process and hire a qualified person to join your team.

Homer Nievera caricature
Homerun Nievera

Homerun Nievera is the publisher of and He has interests in several tech and digital businesses as director and chief strategist.

Homerun is a digital evangelistcontent marketer and lifelong learning advocate. Homerun is the “He Said” in the popular Facebook Page He Said, She Said.