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The Definitive Guide to Building Your Hiring Plan: Startup Edition
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The Definitive Guide to Building Your Hiring Plan: Startup Edition

June 11, 2020
  • The words hiring and recruiting get thrown around in the world of HR, but what do these terms exactly mean?
  • A hiring plan is the key to formalizing your hiring process. This will in turn help meet your company’s goals better
  • If you’re a startup or a small business looking to get ahead, you need the right people on your team
  • The work culture at your company will always influence productivity, so hiring people with a great work ethic is a must
  • A free applicant tracking system could help startups and small businesses organize their hiring process better

If you’re either working in HR, running your own start-up or headhunting for large organizations, hiring and recruiting are probably two of the most important yet challenging aspects of your job. 

But what do these two terms exactly mean? 

Well, even though hiring and recruiting basically serve one core function: look for new employees to fill certain job roles; they aim at achieving two different goals. 

You can call hiring a ‘quick fix’ to an existing problem: a vacancy. 

Your company opens up a position, you advertise for it on different job boards, potential candidates apply, you pick, you sort and then you start interviewing the best of the best. 

Recruitment is a more intentional, long term procedure. You’re looking to recruit from a very limited talent pool to fill a very specific job role. 

Look at it this way, when you’re hiring, you focus on attracting more talent towards you. When you’re recruiting, you aim at appealing to and approaching candidates from a highly specialized niche. 

Whether you’re recruiting or hiring, it’s still a very hands on process. 

When you’re looking for new talent, you want to make sure you find the right ones. And to find the best fit, you need to go through the right motions. Especially if you want to do things effectively and efficiently. 

This means finding the best people that will help reach your company’s goals – in a timely and cost effective way.

But where does a hiring plan fit into all of this?

Well, when you’re hiring or recruiting new people, you usually follow a few common steps. 

You identify your organization’s HR needs, define job roles and terms of employment, advertise on various job boards, attract potential candidates, sort, call back, interview, select, hire and onboard. Rinse and repeat. 

Look at it as a cycle that begins with identifying the human resources your company needs to achieve its goals and ends with introducing the new employee to their job roles and company culture. 

This is usually easier said than done. Hiring new people can be both costly and time consuming. Figuring out skill gaps, allocating budgets, finding the right platforms to advertise on require proper planning.

In tech, sourcing candidates made up 42% of recruitment challenges while unstructured processes contributed 16%.

This is where a hiring plan comes in handy. It helps you visualize who you want to hire and how you plan for them to contribute towards overall productivity. 

It’s like a Pinterest board for your perfect candidate. 

Look at it this way, when you’re hiring, you focus on attracting more talent towards you. When you’re recruiting, you aim at appealing to and approaching candidates from a highly specialized niche

In other words, a hiring plan can help you formalize your recruitment and hiring process. It acts as a qualitative and quantitative guidebook around evaluating applicants and defines the necessary criteria to be met. 

Qualitatively, a hiring plan will list out the positions that need filling as well as describing the ideal candidate and their job role.

Quantitatively, it can take the form of a spreadsheet with the relevant financial information associated with hiring budgets and headcounts. 

Usually, hiring plans are drafted by an organization’s HR team at the beginning of each financial year. This is done by consulting every department on their needs, evaluating headcounts and capacity as well as consulting with the finance department regarding budget allocations. 

A hiring plan is like a Pinterest board for your perfect candidate

Before you dive right in, ask yourself: 

  • What are the company’s goals for this year?
  • How do these goals help achieve its overall long term goals?
  • What kind of employees do we need to hire in order to achieve these goals?
  • How many new employees do we need per department?
  • Which department/s do we prioritize based on urgency?
  • How many people do we need to hire this year?
  • Can we afford it?
  • When do we fill these roles? Which quarter? 

In our experience, these questions are usually a good place to start from. Depending on the type of company you run or work for, the questions can be narrowed down to suit your needs. 

To stay ahead of the curve and to stay consistent with your hiring and recruitment guidelines, it’s very important that you have all your criteria on an actual document. This also helps you understand if you’re going in the right direction.

If you’re a startup, hiring the right people is essential for the continuity and growth of your budding business.

In some ways, it could decide if you’ll make it to the next year or if you’ll shut down.

That’s a pretty heavy statement but it’s not without reason. 

If you’re a startup, hiring the right people is essential for the continuity and growth of your budding business

Running a startup means that you’re also competing against well established, better funded industry players every single day. Your survival depends on you providing your clients with better services than everyone else in the playing field. In other words, you need great talent if you’re going to deliver. 

The bottom line is, if you have access to an exceptional pool of talent, you intrinsically have a better competitive advantage against everyone else.

Your employees will also define the culture at your company. 

When you’re starting out, you build everything as you go. There are no rules set in stone, no playbook to refer to. In the end, it’s your initial employees who will set the tone for. They’ll also establish benchmarks for productivity and curate the work culture within. 

As a startup, getting this right is super important. When you’re up against heavy competition, delivering quality work is everything. To deliver, you need talented people with a killer work ethic.

You need to be able to rely on your team. At the end of the day, they’re the backbone of the company as well as your brand ambassadors. 

That being said, finding the right people for the right job is never an easy task. Anyone working in recruitment and hiring will know the trials of hunting down the perfect candidate for the job. 

It might be that you’re struggling to find the right platforms to advertise on, attract the right people or that your internal processes are not competent enough to weed out the bad fruits. 

Keeping track of and sorting through all the incoming cvs can be very time consuming. And with everything going on, spreadsheets and manual tracking doesn’t quite cut it anymore either. 

Don’t worry though, you’re not the only one that feels this way. A recent study by Jobscan found that 99% of the Fortune 500 companies use an Applicant Tracking System to help them organize their recruitment process. 

But what exactly is an Applicant Tracking System and how does it help?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a nifty piece of human resource management software designed to help ease heavy workloads off hiring managers and recruiters. 

99% of the Fortune 500 companies use an Applicant Tracking System to help them organize their recruitment process

It’s identified a core problem in modern day recruiting: it’s difficult to organize, sort through and keep track of everyone that applies to a company. 

To combat this problem, an ATS acts as a database management system for job applications. Recruiters gain the ability to sort through applications and CVs based on different criteria. They can add filters, search for candidates through keyword searches or pick candidates based on the compatibility between the resume and job description. 

You can even automate several functions such as updating candidates on whether they’ve made the cut or not. 

In fact, many ATS’s go beyond basic applicant tracking and offer advanced features such as video screening, live syndication and recruitment workflow integration. 

But here’s the problem, if you’re a startup that’s strapped for cash and unable to spend on fancy recruitment software- you’re probably not going to be able to afford a lot of the products out there.

Popular Applicant Tracking Systems such as Greenhouse’s starting price varies from somewhere between $6,000 to $25,000 per year

Some ATS’s have a 14 day trial period but that’s about it. After that, you need to either jump on their monthly or annual payment plan. 

Popular Applicant Tracking Systems such as Greenhouse’s starting price varies from somewhere between $6,000 to $25,000 per year.

So if you’re a startup or a small business that’s looking to formalize your recruitment process but are unable to afford most of the ATS’s available in the market, what do you do?

This is where products like Rooster come in. 

What exactly is Rooster? 

Rooster is an end-to-end recruitment platform that helps businesses find the right candidates as smoothly as possible.

Basically, it’s an applicant tracking system. 

But with so many barely affordable ATS’s out there, what makes Rooster any different?

Unlike every other ATS, Rooster has a freemium plan; which means that if you’re either:

  1. A startup or a small business looking to integrate an ATS into your hiring and recruitment process but don’t necessarily have $6,000 to dish out on fancy software
  2. A company that’s looking to formalize its hiring and recruitment process but are skeptical about an ATS’s value addition to your business

we’re probably your best friend. 

Rooster is an end-to-end recruitment platform that helps businesses find the right candidates as smoothly as possible

In other words, if you belong to either of the two categories mentioned above or if you’re:

  1. A business that’s already integrated an ATS but are looking for other, better options

you can experiment with Rooster at no cost. 

If you feel like the freemium plan is maybe a little too restricting for you- our paid plans won’t cost you over $20 regardless of the amount of people you hire anyways.

Economies of scale is a beautiful thing. 

Startups and small businesses can use the software to iron out their recruitment processes and effortlessly meet set goals and criteria mentioned in the hiring plan. 

You can even integrate your website’s career’s page directly with Rooster. Every single application you receive will be funneled through the ATS and organized. 

Additionally, you can automate responses, hire collaboratively, and manage candidates through the platform.

No more messy spreadsheets, missing applications or manually reaching out to every candidate.

So there you have it, everything you need to know about formulating a hiring plan in 2020.

Along with a clever piece of software. 


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