Recruitment Strategies For Newly Funded Startups

When a startup raises funds, a critical first step is to recruit the right talent. We sat down with Patrick Kersten, one of the three local entrepreneurs behind Project Rise, to gather insights around how startups should recruit, and what are the best ways to build their company cultures.

Image Credits: Mich Jacoby / Silicon Luxembourg

When startups receive funding, what roles should they prioritize in recruiting first? Why?

There is no set rule. It can be assumed that funds are raised to execute on a growth plan presented to the investors. When growth initiatives include hiring staff, then it is generally said what their role and contribution is meant to be.

Two common scenarios can be found. The first is to complement for missing skills. In the initial days, many team members have multiple missions. Having specialists join will allow for the scale-up phase. The second scenario is when the base structure has been built it’s time to scale, then it’s about adding more of the same profile in order to accelerate the execution plan.

At Project Rise, we help startups set up their go-to-market plan and to get the right funding for it.

What skills and attributes should startups look for in talent?

It has to be the right mix of experience and attitude. A startup is a fast-changing environment. Good team members have the capacity to adapt and fill gaps when they arise, and independent workers with a can-do mentality are valuable in the early days. As the team grows, the required attributes can change significantly.

Do you have any tips on where startups should look for future talent?

Some say that the future belongs to fully decentralized teams, and it is true that many projects have had good experiences this type of approach. With the rise of remote work, this is an opportunity for recruitment, especially in IT – but this must be paired with having the right induction process and company culture.

Building a core team is essential, and more often, this is happening locally. When addressing new markets, it may be valuable to have local-based sales teams, apart from those who operate globally.

In both scenarios, invest your time by meeting new people and showing your ventures when possible. With the endless number of decisions to be made over time, you’ll want more than employees – you’ll want people who are dedicated and will go the extra mile with you.

“Growing a company is an exciting journey, so make sure that milestones are known, and are part of a bigger vision that is understood by all.”

What are often the most common challenges when it comes to recruitment for startups? Any advice to combat this?

There needs to be a clear vision on how the role is expected to evolve in the coming years and factor this into the recruitment process and choice of the ideal candidate.

A common challenge is finding the right mix between today’s needs versus the skill set required to scale, as these are different often more experienced and expensive profiles.

Do you have any advice on how startups can build a strong company culture – especially in such a fast-paced and changing environment?

Company culture is the key to success. Know your values, share them, and live them consistently. Identify what sets your team apart. Create the framework for team members to communicate and celebrate on a regular basis. Growing a company is an exciting journey, so make sure that milestones are known, and are part of a bigger vision that is understood by all.

Does Project Rise support startups from a people and culture perspective? If so, how?

Project Rise gives access to founders that have scaled their business. Early recruits are especially relevant, and are certainly big moments. We fondly remember seeing our teams grow despite some recruitment errors. Sharing our experience is what makes Project Rise different from other investment groups. We very much love to help founders in those aspects and moments.

For any entrepreneurs looking to grow their business to the next stage, they can reach out to Project Rise directly through the website to discuss opportunities.

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