The A-team: attracting top talent to your start-up

Every entrepreneur needs to think about their ‘employer
brand’ to ensure they attract top talent as a good team is, in fact, often more
important than the idea itself, says Rajeeb Dey

I’m often asked to speak at enterprise events and usually I can pre-empt what I’ll be asked. However last week I was asked a question from the audience which caught me off-guard. A student asked me, “now that you’ve hired a team around you, how has it changed your life as an entrepreneur?” It was a silly answer but after a brief pause I replied “I drink a lot more tea!”

And indeed I do drink a lot more tea, mainly because now there is a place to do that. Having an office and a fulltime team means someone will be going to the kitchen every few minutes and it’s hard to say no when you’re asked ‘can I get you anything?’ But that’s only half the story. I also have a lot more fun and my business moves quicker and more efficiently because of the team around me.

Recruitment, especially for start-ups, is more of an art than a science. As a young entrepreneur, no one sat me down and told me about the rights and wrongs of recruitment, and it’s been a trial and error learning process. As and when the time has been right, I’ve added team members who have had the expertise that I was looking for and I’ve certainly never worked to a recruitment timetable. People that are excited by the mission of Enternships.com and want to be a part of it often approach me. In fact, all the people that currently work for me I either met at networking events or hired after they contacted me asking to do an internship – during which time they had made themselves indispensable.

Building a team to support your ideas, vision and passion is fun but time consuming and the sheer amount of paper work associated with taking on a member of staff makes hiring that bit more onerous. But hire you must, as even the most energetic entrepreneur has limits. Start-ups do not need big recruitment budgets or HR departments in order to attract top talent but it is important that you develop a brand to which people will be attracted. Make sure you convey your brand values; what does your company stand for, why are you doing something exciting and why would I want to work for you?

If you are currently thinking about taking on additional people, think about the skills you have and the skills you need while thinking about where it is you want to get to by making the hire. Does it make sense to take on a full-time staff member when outsourcing work might deliver quicker and more cost-effective results? Take your time to make sure the person you have in mind wants to work for you and shares your ethos rather than quickly hire someone who just wants a job.

I often tell aspiring entrepreneurs to hire staff who possess patience. I’ll often be struck with an idea before I go to sleep and by the time I’ve got to the office I’ve got a whole new concept that I eagerly want to get implemented that day and take to market that evening. This doesn’t often sit well with technology development schedules, as I’ve learned from the look in my developers’ eyes when I unveil my grand ‘new idea.’ Hire people with the strength of character to keep you focused on the overall vision (and at times have the courage to say no to you!) but also staff who can translate your ideas into action.

I want to take my business all over the world, into every territory possible and turn my company into a market leader, but I can’t do that by simply flying around the world, and it’s my team that will gradually edge us to success; whether it be the next development release or the next video for our blog, the responsibility of the entrepreneur is to set the framework, hire good people and then trust and support them to succeed. Every entrepreneur, no matter how early you are with your start-up should think about developing an employer brand which top talent aspire to be a part of.

Rajeeb Dey is CEO and Founder of enternships.com, a portal that provides internships for students in entrepreneurial businesses.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez celebrate during Liverpool's game with Norwich
sport Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
Football Vine shows Suarez writhing in pain before launching counter attack
Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents The ad shows Prince Charles attired for his coronation in a crown and fur mantle with his mouth covered by a criss-cross of white duct tape
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sport LIVEFollow the latest news and scores from today's Premier League as Liverpool make a blistering start against Norwich
VIDEO
News
People White House officials refuse to make comment on 275,000 signatures that want Justin Bieber's US visa revoked
News
Sir Cliff Richard is to release his hundredth album at age 72
PEOPLESir Cliff Richard has used a candid appearance on an Australian talk show to address long-running speculation about his sexuality

Sport
Lukas Podolski celebrates one of his two goals in Arsenal's win over Hull

Arsenal strengthened their grip on a top-four finish with a straightforward 3-0 win over Hull City.

Arts & Entertainment
Quentin Tarantino, director
arts + ents Samuel L Jackson and Michael Madsen have taken part in a reading of Quentin Tarantino’s axed follow-up to Django Unchained.
News
The speeding train nearly hit this US politican during a lecture on rail safety
news As the saying goes, you have to practice what you preach
Sport
Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (front) drives ahead of Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia during the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International circuit
sport Hamilton captured his third straight Formula One race with ease on Sunday, leading from start to finish to win the Chinese Grand Prix

Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Voices
Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999
voicesThere's no truth to a law banning work emails after 6pm, but that didn’t stop media hysteria
Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Life & Style
Lana Del Rey, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne each carry their signature bag
fashionMulberry's decision to go for the super-rich backfired dramatically
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Primary Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS1 KS2 Crewe Teacher Perm Ch...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education is the lea...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS1 KS2 Teaching Cheshire

Primary Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Long term position in large p...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit