28 January, 2022 | News

Tips on how to attract the best people for your startup!

Great article from NLGroeit. NLGroeit is an organisation that supports growth plans of SMEs in the Netherlands. The article gives tips on how to attract the best human resources for your startup and what to look for. The article is in Dutch, thus we have translated it in English! This is the Dutch version (https://www.nlgroeit.nl/groeicontent/tips-beste-mensen). Do you need help on attracting talent or would you like to work for a startup? Please reach out to our secretary Thijs! (t.haverbeke@phia.nl)


NLGroeit founder Kees de Jong writes about his experiences with entrepreneurship, his struggles, mistakes and solutions. “As an entrepreneur, if you keep learning and working on yourself, you can master all situations.”

Over the past twenty years I’ve made all the mistakes you can make in the context of staffing. I fell into every pit once. Fortunately, I scrambled out and learned from it. My most important insight is that the importance of the first set of employees is seriously underestimated. This first set is often found “accidentally” through friends or family. A shame, because this group often determines whether the company successfully frows to the next phase.

The beginning

The best ‘first employees’ are often action-oriented doers with a change-oriented attitude. After all, an entrepreneur is bursting with ideas and certainly in the beginning nothing remains the way it was. In further growth phases you need more thinkers and decision makers. Active selection of people who meet a specific profile is therefore vital. We were lucky. In retrospect, our first researcher worked at double the clock speed, setting the standard for extremely effective and efficient work. Years later we saw how lucky we were.

Gut feeling

Another learning point is that you tend to hire people you like. You have finally learned to trust your gut feeling and a decision is made quickly. Too quickly, since you see elements of yourself in the candidate, you often omit the difficult questions. We therefore learned to have the candidates tested externally. In addition, we always ensured that a female manager also let her intuition speak. That prevented a lot of trouble. We have also been trained in conducting job interviews. Ask for facts and examples, always check references and speak to more candidates than you actually want.

Investing in managers

Final Tips: Never let a marketing manager come from a company bigger than yours. This will save you money, because such managers spend more with less results. The opposite is true for financial managers. An experienced financial manager from a larger company is the best investment for further growth.

Knowlegde is power

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