3 hiring tips every startup should know

When your startup or small enterprise is at the stage of building a team, hiring the first member, and defining your hiring processes are significant milestones.

Setting the foundation for a strong team would support revenue generation and allow you to assess product-market fit – ultimately defining how successful your company becomes.

No pressure.

Hiring is not an easy task, and we know it can be frustrating. Apart from the administrative process of looking through resumes, you’ll have to assess if they are a suitable fit for your company.

If you’ve already mastered the hiring art, find out how to retain your good employees in our previous article.

For those starting out, we hope these three tips will help you find the right person for the job.

Tip 1: Who’s your ideal candidate?

Every startup has different values, beliefs and work environments. It’s essential to get the right person who will embrace the startup culture and believe in the vision.

In Southeast Asia, while recruitment agencies note that IT-related hiring is strong, it’s a candidates’ market due to the talent shortfall in this region. Especially now, when the pandemic has caused the candidate pool to shrink. Companies are focused on retaining their top talents, making it more difficult for startups to compete. 

The good news is many jobseekers are also looking for remote work opportunities, with up to 34% willing to find new jobs if the company cannot accommodate flexible work arrangements. These changing attitudes benefit startups that leverage on the gig economy for flexible hires that suit their budgets. 

Still, this phenomenon means that applicants who apply for the job may not be what you had in mind when you started hiring. So, be clear about who your ideal candidate is.

As a base value, set these criteria: 

  • The minimum and preferred qualifications
  • The relevant experience, education, and skills of your ideal candidate

Once you have these criteria set, you can use them to screen your applicant pool.

Tip 2: Be where your ideal candidates are

As startups may not have the necessary budget to hire the talent they want, you might have to pitch your company at networking events. This way, you have a chance to share your company’s ideas, values, and mission, which in turn could resonate with individuals looking for that dynamic go-getter spirit of a startup. 

Besides, you’ll be able to watch potential candidates in action, which offers a different insight than an interview room.

Consider keeping an eye on online communities such as Linkedin where there are active participants in their field. Usually, top talents are thought leaders who share insights about their sectors. You can also search from open marketplaces where many highly skilled professionals offer freelance services. 

Additionally, expand your reach to hire globally if your startup is able to do so. Building an international team means you don’t have to compete for local talent especially if you operate in a saturated job market. It further increases the diversity of your workplace.

Once you find the prospective candidate, you’ll need to entice them to join your company. Just be prepared to answer questions about your company – it’s as much a discovery process for them as it is for you.

Tip 3: Request a cover letter to pre-screen your candidates 

While not always mandatory, a cover letter can tell you a lot about the candidate. At a glance, it should give you an insight into their personality and ambitions for the role. It will also inform you if they have been consistent with their information in the resume. If you requested specific information, it would also show you if they have your needs in mind.

If you want to be more concise, you can design open-ended questions such as:

  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What are your goals for this role? 
  • What is your expected salary or commission incentive for this job?

This ensures you’re not receiving a cookie-cutter document that the applicant sends to every other job advertisement.

A personal, convincing cover letter can inform you how much this chance means to an applicant. If they wrote a thoughtful cover letter and adapted their resume to suit your startup needs, it shows how much they cherish the opportunity to work for you.

When you’ve made your choices, schedule interviews via phone or online before eventually meeting them in person (if possible). Talking to them lets you observe their confidence, know whether they have the necessary background and if they researched your company. It also lets you see if they can think on the spot.


Know what sets your company apart and be open to questions and concerns in the interview process. Highlight the benefits of working for your startup, whether it’s a driven, energetic team, or maybe it’s the pay package and benefits.

However, not all candidates prioritise pay first. The Qualtrics 2022 Employee Experience Survey has revealed that, since Covid-19 employees demand flexibility in work hours, better work life balance and more investment in technological solutions. If your startup can offer all these benefits, make sure your ideal candidate knows that.

Since employees value a company that is willing to invest in the right tech solutions, one way to woo your ideal candidate is to ensure the technology is in place to support your staff. 

Investing time to find the right smart point of sale solution (if your business requires one) is equally important as finding the right hire.

Consider Qashier’s multiple digital solutions in an all-in-one device for your startup. 

The smart POS system can handle different operational aspects, from QR code table ordering to table management (F&B), employee management, customer relationship management (loyalty programs), inventory management, data analytics, and cashless payments.

Speak to us to see if Qashier’s Smart POS can meet your business needs. Schedule a meeting with us here, call us at (+65) 3165 0155, WhatsApp (+65) 8882 8912, or email [email protected].



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