Having the idea and putting it into motion are the beginning steps of launching a startup. You also need the right people in place to keep it going.

Here are some tips on how to grow that talent pool of employees. Remember, we offer additional advice for hiring and employment through our business center.

Get started Visit our Business Center Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.


It's time to start hiring when you raise enough capital to have something to offer. Recruiting, though, doesn't have to wait. You can start recruiting talent while still raising cash. Your hiring and employing strategies for a startup should begin with this step as early as possible.

Start talking to potential employees and hype your company. Consider present and former co-workers because you already know what they have to offer and what their weaknesses may be. Use networking and social media sites including Linked In, Google and Twitter to find potential hirees.

Be careful just how much information you share. If your potential hirees express a strong interest and you want to sign them up, consider having them sign a non-disclosure agreement if you plan to share any proprietary information. We offer a free non-disclosure agreement document to help you protect your trade secrets. Once you hire an employee, include a confidentiality clause in the employment agreement.

Before you start recruiting, make sure to have a solid business plan in place. That way you know better what you will need when it comes to employees to make your business work.

Promoting Your Brand

A key to successful recruiting is to build up a buzz about your company. Seek out events that are likely to be attended by the people in demand in your field. Use these events to promote your business and have your pitch ready so you can lure them quick.

Other options include sponsoring an event of your own or speaking at an event. Don't forget reaching out to the local media.

Finding the right fit

Hiring is about finding someone with the skills you need. Your hiring and employing strategies for a startup need to focus around hiring people who are able to adapt quickly to change and learn on the run. The ideal hires are people who connect with your company vision and seem passionate about bringing that vision to completion.

Don't get so caught up on hiring that you "push" a candidate who doesn't really want to work for you. The candidates should push you to hire them. The hope is that persistence carries on into their work habits.

Good signs to watch for are candidates who are able to think outside of the box and display that creativity upon which startups thrive. Consider giving them a task to complete to see how well they do. If you aren't sure, consider using them as an independent contractor first to evaluate whether you like their work. Remember to get it in writing with our independent contractor agreement.

Also remember, you don't control how independent contractors complete the task. They regulate their work plan and are more likely than employees to have un-reimbursed business expenses. If you know you want them to work steadily for the company, consider hiring them and having them sign an employment agreement.

Company Perks

Sometimes it takes a little more than a paycheck to lure that ideal employee. Consider offering some perks.

Start with employee benefits including vacation, sick leave, personal days and paid holidays. You may want to offer other benefits including flex-time.

Address benefits in the employment agreement, including language that the benefits may change. Spell them out in an employee handbook.

You can also offer other, more subtle, perks including a comfortable working environment, modern computers and gadgets that they can use in their free time.

Employees may want a bit more of a financial perk as well, especially if they are among your first employees. Hiring and recruiting strategies for a startup may include offering equity and stock options. We offer an equity incentive plan document among our attorney-reviewed free forms available for you to use.

Don't Over-hire

Put customers first. Hire the number of employees you need to meet their demands and anticipate how that demand may increase. Let that be your guide and try not to put workers in place too soon because, once they are hired, it will mean extra steps-and possibly extra money-to tell them they aren't needed after all.

Hiring and employing strategies for a startup should follow your thorough business plan, which lays out which steps to take.

Get It in Writing

Whatever your hiring and employing strategies for a startup, make sure employees sign an employment agreement. We suggest including the following in the agreement:

  • Confidentiality agreement

  • General statement of eligibility for benefits plan

  • Non-compete agreements

  • Rate of pay

  • Severability clause

  • Specified probationary period

  • Starting date

  • Statement of at-will nature of employment

  • Title of position being offered

  • Any other state, industry-specific or company required information

  • Statement indicating that there are no agreements between the parties other than those explicitly stated within the agreement

When you get to the stage of hiring, use our free employment offer letter document to confirm the job responsibilities, starting date, compensation and other terms of employment. Also make sure to follow our hiring employees checklist.

Get started Visit our Business Center Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Visit our Business Center Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.