Hiring Guides 12 Dec 2017

Creative start-ups – how to make your first hire

You’ve had the winning idea….

…put in months of blood, sweat and tears, and finally gotten your new product or service off the ground. The next step for start-up success is bolstering your team with your first hire. We’ve worked with a range of start-ups over the years, so wanted to share our advice on hiring into this unique kind of company.

Go easy on the hire must-have’s
The less of you there are, the more gaps there’ll be in your skills/knowledge, and the greater the temptation to advertise for a ‘Full-stack Unicorn’. If your job advert ends up looking like the following list, there’s a good chance you’ll put some fantastic candidates off applying because they don’t tick every single one of the ‘new hire requirements’ boxes:

Must-have skills

Our advice? Identify the area where you need the most support, and advertise for this alongside a few ‘nice-to-have’s. Not only will you receive more applications, you may be surprised by how far a little bit of experience can go with the right leadership and development tools.

Get the team involved
While your company’s still in its infancy, chances are your team – and your workspace – are only small. It is, therefore, essential that the majority of your team agree they’ll be a good fit. Before offering a candidate the job, you should be absolutely certain that they’ll be a match from a personality perspective. Even getting members of your team to have a quick chat with them while they’re waiting in reception is a good way of gauging culture fit and making sure everyone feels involved.

Practice your interviewing skills
Unless you were a hiring manager in a previous life, or come from a human resources background, you may never have conducted an interview before. There is lots of information online about this but we’ll run through a few key points here. Above all, we’d suggest practicing with members of your existing team before carrying out the interview in real life. And don’t worry – it does get easier with the more hires you make.

Sort the legalities
Hiring a creative contractor for the first time is quite different (and much quicker) than hiring a full-time employee. But, if you are looking to expand your team permanently there are a few hoops to jump through first. For everything you need to bear in mind from a legal standpoint, check out for laws and regulations applicable to you. Or, if you’re simply looking for salary advice, give us a call or search our job board for similar roles.

We hope you found this blog helpful. If you work at a start-up and are looking to make your first hire, feel free to give us a call. Get in touch with us on +44 (0)118 988 1100.

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