Sure. Having a great idea and the drive to make it a reality is a great launching point for your startup. But behind every successful startup is an extraordinary team that is passionate, talented, and innovative.

The question isn’t then shouldn’t be why teams are so important. It should be how you can convince these individuals to join your sparkling, new startup. You can begin by using these seven techniques.

1. Allow them to make major contributions.

One of the greatest advantages that startups have over already established businesses is that new team members are expected to wear multiple hats, along with being able to make innovative and significant contributions without having to climb corporate ladders.

Make it a point a to let them know that you encourage out-of-the-box thinking and that every idea is important in order to achieve success.

Most importantly, sell them on your dream. This means that you started this business to solve a problem and they’re an integral part in that process.

In addition, I personally like to empower them to be heard. We encourage and set aside 1 hour a week for each employee to share their thoughts on our company blog. This shows them how much we trust them, rely on them and value what they have to say. It also helps put a person behind the voice on the phone to our customers.

2. Show them your plan for success.

Selling them on a dream is only the beginning. You also have to validate that there’s an opportunity to make money – for both them and the business.

Be transparent and share your market research and projections. Whatever type of success you’ve already experienced, such as a victorious Kickstarter campaign, proudly show it off to potential employees. They need to be certain that there’s potential here.

In other words, show them where you’re going and how you’re getting there.

For them personally, you may not be able to offer them a high-paying salary. You do, however, offer equity or even the chance to become a co-founder. You could also provide benefits like meals, gym memberships, or flexible schedules.

3. Encourage current team members to recruit.

Obviously you’re going to be enthusiastic about your startup. Some candidates may not fall for that same enthusiasm. The may, however, want to hear from the people who are already involved with the startup. Whether if it’s an advisor, coder, or investor, having someone do the recruiting for you is an effective tactic. The reason? They’re already sold. And they can explain what it exactly was that made join your startup.

4. Showcase your culture, values, and vision.

Culture, values, and vision are more important than ever. Take Millennials, for example. They will gladly forgo a high-paying salary for a job that gels with their lifestyle and values.

As Matthew Gordon writes in StartUpNation, “Strong core values can drive smart hiring practices, reduce turnover and absenteeism, increase productivity and quality of work, help guide decision-making, improve customer relationships, and boost employee morale.”

Gordon suggests that the most successful startups focus on values built around happiness, education, creativity, transparency, excellent customer service, and being charitable.

You can build your core values by;

  • Identifying shared values.
  • Testing your commitment to these values.
  • Demonstrating your values daily.
  • Revisiting your values when in a crisis.

Proudly display these values and give candidates a chance to see for themselves these values in action. Also, let your candidate spend some time with you and your current team outside of the office so that they can get a better grasp on the startup’s culture.

5. Let your product or service speak for itself.

Sometimes all it takes is for someone to see a product or service for them to be a part of an organization. Take Apple, for example. People want to work for the company, even if it’s selling products at an Apple Store, because they love their iPhone. Of course, there’s more reasons than that, but it’s a common thread for Apple employees.

Build a product or service that people can rally around and you’d be surprised at the amount of people who want to join in on the fun.

6. Offer job personalization.

The 9-to-5 workday is a relic of the past. Today, people want a job that accommodates their needs, strengths, interests, and life outside of the office. In short, you should offer job personalization through flexible hours and location independence.

If you want people to physically enter a workplace, then allow them to personalize their workspace. One study found that when worker were given the opportunity to arrange a small office with as many or few plants and pictures as they wanted were up to 32 percent more productive.

7. Use future talk.

When you use phrases like “We will,” it displays your confidence that not only your startup is going places, but also that the recruit is going to be a part of the action. When conversing with potential team members, discuss all of the possibilities that you both are going to achieve.


Best known as an Entrepreneur and Connector. John was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. He is the Founder and CEO of Due.

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