A majority of the time a successful business isn’t standing solely on the founder’s back. Strong businesses may start that way, but over time they grow to be a mix of not only the product or service offered, but the individuals working to deliver that product or service. Hiring the best talent possible does not guarantee your start up’s success, but it does greatly increase your odds of surviving.

The Importance of Hiring Top Employees

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs think of hiring employees as strictly a human resources or office manager function. If you want to be an okay company, you can take this route. Being the best company requires you to take hiring to a higher level. The easiest way to recruit top talent to your company is to not have to recruit them at all: you want top talent to naturally be attracted to your firm.

Human Resources and Equal Employment Opportunity

First, some of the basics. Your job descriptions cannot be discriminatory and you can’t screen potential candidates in a way that violates the laws that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces. If you are not comfortable with coming up with job scopes on your own, it is recommended you hire or outsource the function to a freelance human resources professional.

Employee Value Proposition

Once you have your legal job scopes, the real task of attracting the best employees kicks in. To get the most qualified individuals to want to join your company, your firm needs to have what is called an Employee Value Proposition. The essential question an EVP addresses is “Why would a potential employee want to work here?” The more attractive your EVP is, the more likely you will be attracting the cream of the crop to your company.

Some things to consider as you build your Employee Value Proposition:

Compensation

This has to go at the top because everyone has to pay to live. However, as important as pay is, in the bigger picture it is just one piece. A horrible environment that pays $10,000 more than the industry might attract talent for a little bit, but once they realize what is going on with the company they will leave for greener pastures. Pay a fair wage and win employees over with other factors.

Environment

Your environment is made up of many factors. Some include your office/work location (commute, convenience restaurants and gyms, etc), what type of furniture you have, and what technologies you are working with. Environment also means the personality and culture your business has. A grumpy, negative environment will drive away quality candidates over time.

What You Do. Are you in a potentially world changing industry? Are you starting something that has never been done before? Top talent enjoys a challenge, and breaking new ground falls in line with this goal.

Latest and Greatest Technology

Are you using the latest and greatest technology? Are you working in a new industry? Or is your office still running Windows 95? It’s important to have adequate hardware and software in relation to what the job functions require.

Benefits and Perks

A company can pay less in salary if the difference is made up in benefits and perks. Some employees get fixated on salary, but well rounded benefits like access to a gym (or paid gym membership), great health insurance, and the like will draw in great talent as well. You also need to consider that if someone is so focused on money, all it takes is a slightly bigger check elsewhere to encourage them to leave your firm.

Not Just Job Postings

The best talent is not sitting out on the job boards clicking “Apply” for every job under the sun. There are people doing that, and they’ve been unemployed for 18 months. It is an ineffective strategy for both sides: employers get hundreds of unqualified candidates and candidates get no response from overwhelmed employers.

As part of attracting top talent, you need to be going where the top talent is. Not the job boards, but social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Posting jobs online is a start and will build up a candidate base, but a majority of individuals are not actively looking for work. Most people find their next job through networking, so you want to try to plug into the networks of qualified candidates whenever possible.