How To Hire A Winning Team For A Cash-Strapped Startup (Part 1)


Hiring can be resource sapping – but few entrepreneurs have the resources to spare, especially in the early stages of their business. Plus the expected long working hours and risk (90% of startups fail within their first 3 years), how can entrepreneurs hire the best talent, even when resources are tight? What resources can they use? What tips, tricks, and techniques should they know about?

Here are three key strategies to champion it:

Promote Your Employer Brand

Keep your company top of mind for star recruits. Differentiate yourselves from large corporates by leveraging content - share your mission and values, post pictures of life in your start-up and promote your work culture on various social media channels. Get yourselves out there.

Salesforce did a fantastic job at leveraging Instagram to showcase the exciting lives of its employees by using the #dreamjob hashtag in 2016. From adorable baby pictures to views of offices in various countries, the Salesforce Instagram account highlights all the best aspects of being a Salesforce employee. Since January 2017, the company has been promoting its culture with the #EqualityForAll hashtag. To make it easier for talents to jump from Instagram to applying for a job at Salesforce, they insert a profile link to the company's careers page, where the #EqualityForAll theme continues. This creates a cohesive message across all platforms and further empowers Salesforce's employer brand.

Other than social media, as a founder, get on as many speaking engagements as possible. Sell your story. Inspire, educate and attract. You will soon get top talents knocking on your door!

Reach Passive Job seekers On Social Media

According to Betterteam, 75 percent of people who aren't looking for a new job has the biggest untapped source of potential candidates. They will not see the job advertisement you post to your favorite job board, nor will they visit your company's career page.

Promote your job posting on various social media channels and make it appealing with visuals. Get your employees to champion your company by encouraging them to share available positions. Also, you can consider an employee referral scheme. PeerBrief is one of the useful employee referral platforms in Singapore.

Alternatively, check out Wantedly, a social media platform where people and companies meet based on passion and values, rather than money or benefits. They aim to create a workplace culture where people are happy in their jobs that they are driven to work hard to develop themselves and the company. It is an incredible success in Japan and they have since launched in Singapore!

Write Winning Job Descriptions (JD)

Here are four simple tips to ensure your “engagement” with potential job candidates is high.

Pitch: The mindset must be right. You are selling to a “passive” job seeker.  He/She may not be looking for a job so be clear about “what’s in it” for him/her?  Pitch like you would address an investor or customer. Compare these two opening lines, and you will see the difference.




Personal: Replace “The ideal candidate” with “You”.  Engage and connect with your audiences.

Strengths: Emphasize the strengths needed for the role versus simply listing down the responsibilities, i.e., you love “analyzing data”  to solve problems instead of the role is to solve problems.

List Skills: List the Must-Haves and separate them from the Nice-to-Haves.  This ensures that the candidate knows exactly what skills are non-negotiable.


We have much more tips but will be releasing it in Part 2 of “How To Hire A Winning Team For A Cash-Strapped Startup.” Meanwhile, if you have some extra secret sauce or tips , would love to hear from you!