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Scaling up? Use this early stage hiring check list to get started!

Being fortunate enough to have supported some early stage companies and those later stage who are scaling, it struck me how many of the challenges they face later on could have been reduced by getting things right from Day 1.

We are reading so much about the talent shortage, the great resignation, DEI, so many of the critical principals that make an employer attractive to others can be influenced at the beginning and is much easier to get it right then, rather than try to fix things later on down the line.

 If you are about to scale get your ‘to-do’ list out now and add these points to it:

1. 12 month Hiring Roadmap – roles, locations and in priority order

2. Salary & Benefits Bench marking – are you going to market with a competitive offer and not using data from “when I was a Dev Ops engineer....”

3. Build your career site and choose your ATS & HR Portal – Workable, Team Tailor, Greenhouse, Bamboo HR, so many options to choose from!

4. Select your hiring team – will you hire TA, use a Talent Partner (Yes..Us!!) or recruitment agencies? Or Hybrid? There are pros and cons of each so it is important to weigh these up.

5. Define your message – mission, vision and purpose, what is the journey you are on and why would people want to get on board the rocket ship?

6. Create your EVP – what are the values that will underpin the culture you want to build? How will you know you have hired the right people? This is so important for ensuring you don’t have retention issues later on. If you need people that will thrive in a chaotic start-up, that will write copy even though they are the VP of Marketing, then make sure you keep who you want, not what you want, front of mind at all times.

7. Design job/person specs & adverts – that hiring managers and TA can use easily. This is NOT a list of requirements, it is an opportunity to tell your story, bring candidates on a journey with you and show how your mission will impact them professionally and personally. 

8. Talent Attraction strategy – where and how are you going to attract talent? What communities will you get involved with, what education partners will you need, what marketing collateral will you need to create? Being front of mind is not enough in this competitive hiring world, you need word of mouth too.

9. Define your recruitment process – discovery, hiring manager, tech tests, meet the team – how will you get this process done quickly yet ensure you keep the candidate experience at the heart of each touch point? Do you know what best practice is? Your outcomes from any process should be to – enable the candidate to show their best self, select based on fact and leave the candidate wanting to recommend all their friends to you!

10. Train your hiring managers – in today’s recruitment world. Recruitment is an art and so is interviewing. Make sure your manager’s know how to select based on fact as well as excite and above all make sure they know how to give feedback that candidates can learn from. Get them in the mindset of building long term advocates, no matter what the hiring outcome is.

11. Get your message out there before you start hiring – being in stealth mode 2 years on is not going to bring talent to your door!

12. On-boarding programme – a swag box is not enough to get your new talent feeling at home quickly. Your on-boarding programme should start the moment they sign the contract and confirm start date so map out the steps from this date to the end of month 1. For those on 3 month notice periods you are going to need to get creative with how you keep that post interview feeling, still fizzing 3 months on.

13. Contact us so that we can do all of this for you whilst recruiting your key hires and you can go back to doing what you do best (sorry couldn’t resist it!).

If the thought of recruiting is filling you with dread then get in touch. Hiring can actually be really easy if you get the steps right from Day 1 and select the right hiring partner.

To find out more about our Scale-Up service please visit

or email hannah@agilityondemand and I will shout you to a virtual coffee (strictly just start-up chat and no sales pitches).

Posted by: Agility On Demand