Hiring the best talent is a talent, especially when it comes to startup recruiting. We live in a digital world, but it is your staff that will make all of the difference in whether your company is growing or stagnant in the next few years. Here are some of the characteristics to look for in your next round of employees.

Previous Startup or SMB Experience

Starting a company with a team involves a very different skill set from building on an already existing brand. Even small businesses are different from startups, and much of the talent from new startups comes from employees in small businesses with no viable exit strategy. Run a coup and make it happen with people who have the right mindset for the hours, the pressure and the investment that it takes to build a business from ground zero.

International Experience

If your brand is not established, then you actually have an incredible opportunity to open your doors as a globalized company. If you have a bilingual or trilingual staff, you can potentially connect with more cost efficient labor pools, new customer bases across the world, and ideas from emerging markets that will inspire you. Even better is if you have a few members on staff with international business experience. Dealmaking is a matter of dealing with customs and personalities, and the more efficiently that you master the nuances of culture that you will face, the faster your company will grow. You can’t get into Google or Apple without this kind of diversity on your resume, and your company can copy this recruitment strategy to its advantage.

Open Source Projects

The best talent today is not sitting on its hands. Employment in the traditional sense is hard to come by, and the resourceful people are the ones you want to look for. You may not be able to afford the Ivy League graduate; however, you can get talent that is just as good by perusing the open source boards of successful projects and premium content creators on social platforms. These are the people who already know how to make something out of nothing, and that is exactly the kind of people you need on your team.

Social Media

Having a public presence is par for the course these days, because social media wherewithal showcases mastery of other technical skill sets that are essential to success in the modern business landscape. You can also learn very quickly about the personalities behind the talent looking at someone’s blog, vlog or Twitter. Believe it or not, Apple finds many of its new employees this way, sometimes completely eschewing the traditional hiring process in its tech and marketing departments.


People who can wear more than one hat are assets that may end up being your partners down the line. There is no such thing as a hard department in a startup – you will be switching tasks and overlapping responsibilities often. This is the fun of a startup, and believe it or not, there are people who actually function better without a precise job description. Save those for the third or fourth round of funding after a few quarters of profits roll in.