Strategies for Hiring as a Startup – Emmaline Datey

In our previous article “Building a Dream Team for Your Startup,” we discussed the crucial strategies that startups need to implement when hiring to scale their businesses. As entrepreneurs, it’s inevitable that we’ll reach a point where the workload becomes overwhelming, and we need to build a team. To shed more light on effective hiring and employee management strategies for startups, we interviewed Emmaline Datey, Group HR and Administrator at EIB Network, Ghana’s leading media network. In this article, Emmaline shares valuable insights on how startups can hire and manage employees to achieve maximum success.

Prince Akpah:  What are the best ways to find the right people for a startup?

Emma Datey:  First, finding the right people starts with building a good and strong employer brand. Ask yourself what the right people are looking for as a guide to building a strong corporate culture and brand. Great talent seek companies that have great potential and opportunities to flourish in. 

Second, the construction of your vacancies or job adverts should be clearly defined, spelling out two things:

  1. What the company has to offer
  2. ‎What the company requires from the potential employee

This would be very helpful for startups since it’s new and is not well known in the labor market. 

Thirdly, invest in a strong social media and web presence where lots of potential talent can be found. Ensure that your website (career site) is attractive and user-friendly. 

Prince Akpah:  What specific roles and skills are needed for a startup?

Emma Datey:  Being a startup company, the company has no time to allow freshers on the job grow and beat the competition. It can be a mix of both, the experienced bunch and freshers. For critical roles, I’d advise startup owners to engage tested and proven professionals. 

Traits to be looked for in candidates include the having right attitude, self-directiveness or motivation, self-leadership, proactiveness, smartness, resilience, ethical, confidence, human relation skills, customer service, excellence, discipline and willingness to learn and grow. 

Prince Akpah:  What should founders prioritize when hiring?

Emma Datey:  Create a good strategy. Define your mission, vision, objectives, and values. Have an adequate budget and connect it to recruiting an effective team. This is a function of manpower planning. One of the mistakes startup companies make is to recruit people who cannot multitask or perform maximally. They end up recruiting less efficient people and more than is necessary causing an increase in labor costs. Develop clear job descriptions that properly define the roles to be filled. If you plan your recruitment properly in line with your company strategy, you will have made a good investment with the potential to reap fantastic returns. 

Prince Akpah:  What work culture should be encouraged in startups?

Emma Datey:  Work culture is everything. Build a culture of leadership, trust, business ethics, professionalism, teamwork, zero tolerance for mediocrity, respect, innovation, integrity, reward and recognition, non-toxic work environment, and growth. 

Prince Akpah:  What is your general advice t startups on building their team?

Emma Datey:  Team building is very important to organizations that want to win and win well. Teams require synergy, positive energy to effectively operate, singleness of purpose, and good leadership. Deploy employee participation and listen to your team. Allow them to be actively involved in making decisions and play them to their strengths. Give room for mistakes and growth.

NB: This article and interview was done by Prince Akpah in 2017.


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