October 4, 2012 5:00 AM
There’s little question that recruitment can be a significant challenge and that hiring the right employees can have a huge impact on a small, growing company. Every hire made by any comes with an amount of risk, but for start-ups the risk and reward is much greater.
Alpha Campaign-award winner EidoSearch just finished a recruitment round that saw four new employees join the company, and its CEO’s role as a Ryerson University professor helped the company cut some of that risk.
The company hired four new developers in September, two of which had been Masters students working in CEO Xiao-Ping (Steven) Zhang’s Ryerson lab. It gave the start-up co-founder plenty of chance to see his new hires in action, an opportunity he admits not every start-up has. “That is a huge advantage to being a professor at a university.”
Still, there are other ways to ensure a new hire is a better known prospect. For example, one of the new hires had been working for EidoSearch part-time over the summer and is now coming on full-time, similarly giving Zhang insights into the new recruit. Due to the experience and skills he’s witnessed, Zhang believes the new hire could fill multiple roles supporting both IT system admin functions and developer support—a needed jack-of-many-trades.
“I definitely think that if a start-up begins employees part-time or as contractors, it’s a good way to reduce the risk. And you always have that risk, but for a start-up you’re just not as robust in terms of cash flow; at a big company, one employee doesn’t really affect your operations as much.”
As well as performance, witnessing new hires in action gives a start-up’s leaders an opportunity to know whether the employee has an important piece of the recruitment puzzle: attitude. Zhang notes that mesh is very important in a start-up and employees need to be top-talent, but also need to have a certain risk profile themselves. They need to be interested in the prospect of growing with the company, excited about the challenges ahead and share the company’s vision.
“It’s important to get the new hires on board and have them share our big vision with us,” Zhang says of motivating the employees. “The second thing is to provide a learning experience. The nature of working for a start-up is that it’s creative, challenging and you will learn a lot of things.”
Backbone will continue to follow EidoSearch’s sales efforts and successes in print and online over the year, as we follow the winners of our Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign.
Lawrence Cummer is a freelance writer with over 15 years of experience writing for periodicals, business and communications agencies. He is former senior writer and editor of the technology trade publications Network World Canada and Communications & Networking Journal, respectively. As well, he has been a senior contributor to a variety of publications.
A frequent writer for Backbone Magazine, Lawrence currently covers a range of topics, including general business, information technology, telecommunications, physical security, occupational safety, and home construction and general contracting. Lawrence can be reached at email@example.com.
Posted by Sue Ansell at October 4, 2012 5:00 AM
Categories: Start Up Innovation Campaign Technology start-ups