For Young Entrepreneurs: How to Convince Talented People to Join Your Fledging Company

Having co-founded a young company as an entrepreneur from my early twenties I realise how difficult it can be to get experienced and talented people joining your team. Most of these sort of people if they join your team will most probably help spur its growth in several ways but the problem almost always is ‘how do you get them to leave their well paid job in bigger companies’

When you approach these people you are probably conscious of being turned down. Even less skilled and unqualified candidates in Nigeria almost always seem to want to work in medium and bigger organisations where they meet people ad mingle. It seems no one wants to work in that small, sometimes stuffy, office space with pervading doubt of whether enough sales will be made to meet next payroll.

Be Realistic

Nobody is going to jump at the chance to work in your young company so being realistic will actually help you focus on what you actually want. Part of the realism you will face is that you will have to convince people (especially talented, skilled and experienced ones) on why it is a wise decision to join your new company. You will have a lot of selling to do if the right people are to join you in the early days. These are some of the challenges you will face and you will have to decide how to pitch and position your company to overcome these hurdles.

Who Do You Want

As a new company you will certainly not need a lot of initial workers and staff. You will have to determine the key and very important positions to slowly start recruiting for. Identifying the positions is just the first step. You will then embark on a search for the right persons to fill them. If the position involves a highly important function like lead developer, strategy and marketing lead etc you may have some particular persons in mind you want to bring into the team based on their experience and skills level. If you have such list of prospects they most probably are already working in lucrative positions or gainfully self employed. Getting them to join you when the battle is yet to even be started will be no mean feat.

The approach you use will be determined by who and the level of persons you want. Create a sketch of the qualities and skill sets of your ideal candidate for those early positions so you can start matching them with possible prospects you come across to see which persons better suit the requirements.

Do You Have a Superior Argument

When you eventually identify a few of the right persons to join your company on one or two crucial roles the task remains of getting them interested enough in your project to abandon what they are presently doing to join.

You will have to come up with a superior argument that seeks to open up to them the vision and opportunities in where you are going.

I once sounded out a top web developer to know the factors that will sway him to joining a young startup company. Aside the basics of money he stated that he would consider how interesting, innovative and challenging the idea is. So while money is always going to be a factor in convincing the talents you seek to join your young company you will also have to sell an exciting package to them. They will want to know if joining you will be interesting and exciting enough.

Get to Know Each Other First

If you have narrowed your search to a few definite names one of the ways to first set the ball rolling is to approach them for lunch. Have a relaxed meeting where you get to know them first. It will be easier if you connect with your prospects ahead of time and become known to each other way before you bring up the topic of joining your team. This will also afford you the chance to learn more about their personality and determine if their personality suits you envisioned company culture.

Social Media makes it easier to reach out and connect with people so utilise it to set up meetings with your prospects.

Do your Homework

If you want a top player to join your company you also have to look good before them. It’s all about impressions and you need to create the right impressions. If you are talking with a prospective experienced person to join your company you have to appear to have a good enough of the industry your company operates or is to operate in. You wouldn’t inspire much confidence if you do not appear to have done your homework.

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