How to recruit top talent on a budget

This post was written by Kelli Newman and originally appeared on Medium

No matter the product or service, all successful startups are essentially collections of talented people working together toward a shared mission. Your idea could be “the next Facebook,” but if you can’t attract people to help build, sell, and operate the idea, it can only go so far. But how do you attract top talent when many of your prospective hires are also being wooed by companies with far deeper pockets? Salaries simply can’t compete, and there is only so much equity to go around. Read on for creative ways to attract top talent no matter your budget.

Create a Friendly Culture

Money isn’t everything. After basic needs are met, most people report greater happiness gains not from higher salaries, but from better managers and more supportive colleagues. From day one, you should work to foster a workplace environment that rewards teamwork and respect. Many talented candidates would gladly trade several thousand dollars a year for a better company culture.

Offer Unlimited PTO

Several startups have hopped on the trend of offering employees unlimited paid time off. This is a perk that doesn’t cost you a thing, particularly when you take into account the countless studies that prove employees who take time off from work come back more productive and more engaged in their job.

Be Flexible

Let your employees set their own hours and work from home whenever possible. With the countless free and affordable tools out there (we love Slack!), telecommuting is easier than ever. This is a huge perk for parents, in particular, as well as employees who live further from your office and would otherwise waste hours on the commute.

Encourage Employee Referrals

According to Teamable, a software platform that makes employee referrals seamless, new hires who are brought in via employee referral are easier to close, hit productivity sooner, and are far less likely to quit. Offering employees a $1,000 bonus for every new hire they refer is an incredibly cost-effective way to attract top talent without having to spend money on recruiting agency fees or diverting your in-house recruiter’s precious time any more than necessary.

Play Up Your Mission

If there’s one thing people want more than money, it’s meaning. Everyone wants to feel like they are making a difference in the world and almost every startup, regardless of product or service, can find a deeper mission than making money. At FabFitFun, we inspire happiness and personal growth through discovery. What does your startup do? Share that mission with every candidate you come in contact with.

Happy hunting!

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