Photo : Taken with LOC Interview Candidates on 4th August 2018 as part Internsfair at NSRCEL IIM-B
One of the first people you’ll hire as a start-up are interns. I mean, you can still spend hours manually updating that customer database of yours but the idea of hiring young, optimistic and talented interns to do your busywork is a compelling one for a boot-strapped Entrepreneur. This will mean that you can focus on high-level planning and strategy, Sales and NBD versus expending time and energy on repetitive tasks.
Hiring at an early stage start-up is quite different compared to the way a Google or Facebook would hire. There aren’t going to be a million resumes to choose from to begin with and that’s perfectly ok. Ask me, I know. Below are some best practices I’ve learned about hiring interns for my start-up. I hope you find them useful.
1. Power of storytelling and WIIFM
Sell the world-changing idea of your start-up and highlight the ‘WIIFM’. Let them interview you too. Do they get a cool certificate from a top management school like IIM-B on completing the internship, are you offering them an irresistible job title, will you recommend them on Linkedin, are the hours flexible, are Thursdays meant only for team outings, is there a commission on every customer acquisition, do they get to meet and network with heads of companies, do they get access to the best fairs and conferences and so on.
2. Get Online Fast
Make sure you have a strong online presence first. Potential hires will search for your company online and finding you on social media, blogs and seeing your company website will greatly impact their decision to join your company versus not having any online presence at all.
3. Advertise Jobs Right
First of all, make sure you have an accurate and great job description so people know exactly what your expectations are. Next, put out the ads in a variety of places including Intern hiring sites like Internshala.com, social media, blog about it, share it through local college WhatsApp groups and most of all don’t ever underestimate the power of word of mouth. Tell people, customers, college professors, ex-colleagues and friends to refer.
4. Make them your brand ambassadors
Internships don’t last forever and you need to maintain a pipeline for hiring. This is made easier if you treat your team as your customers and give them an experience they can talk and gloat about to their friends. Make them feel valued and equip them with niche skills and unforgettable firsts in their career. Your employees are your biggest brand ambassadors.
5. Invite Them, Truly, to Collaborate and co-create
One of the main reasons why people join start-ups is so they can learn with you and ride the ups and downs of your venture. So, make sure to include them as part of your start-up family and don’t just issue task lists and promise perks.