Finding great talent is tough, especially as a startup, since instead of a fat paycheck and security, all you have to attract with are things like “possibility to make a difference”, “being part of a great journey”, together with working with huge challenges and new technologies.

To help out, I have put together few great advice and a check list on how to hire successfully. With sugar on the top – few great Swedish startup job openings.

“Always be hiring” by Pete Smith, co-founder of Songkick 
He adds “Spend as much time as possible meeting people for coffee and building your network” and “Spread the net wide”.

Today one has to be “out there”, networking both online and offline, to become attractive. Social networks are becoming number one source for both recruiting and finding those top notch startups to work with. I have earlier written why fans and social networks are invaluable for startups: “Many are still too busy building their services to have time to listen and engage, or simply don’t see the point in engaging in as many social networks as possible, just because their immediate users may not be there. While that might be the case, I still bet their next business partner, employee, or someone with a great idea or a new user base, most likely is. I can see an increasing number of job announcements on Twitter and also getting a lot positive feedback from the startups themselves using Twitter as recruitment channel.

This goes well with my other favorite advice, from 37Signals:
“If you have to hire, hire slowly. It’s the only way to avoid winding up at a cocktail party of strangers.”
“You need an environment where everyone feels safe enough to be honest when things get tough. Hire a ton of people rapidly and everyone tries to avoid any conflict or drama. No one says, “This idea sucks.” People appease instead of challenge.”

And don’t forget what Steve Jobs once said: “A people hire A people. B people hire C people.” Don’t be a B. And don’t ever go to work for a B.

Here’s a check list to get started

  • Participate, organize and sponsor hack and startup events. Be visible and approachable. (I have listed many Swedish events here)
  • Organize get-togethers and after work at the office. Since you’re a startup, people are delighted to help out with drinks and food.
  • Meet up with students, mentor if you can.
  • Give speeches as often as you can and make sure to tell everyone about it, both before and after to create opportunities for people to meet up with you.
  • People work with people. Make sure you’re found online across social networks and easy to get in contact with.
  • Let people know who they might be one day working with. If you aldeady don’t have a “About us/ The team” and a “Join us” page, add one now! Good example of About and Join us by Videoplaza. (Note 06032011: I miss the team presentations on the updated home page, only non-executives have bios?)
  • Blog. Not just about your company but foremost, share valuable knowledge about your specific field of expertise. Create value. Be personal.
  • Be creative when recruiting. Great example by Thinglink.

Same advice applies naturally if you want to work at a startup. Go to meetups, network online – and have coffee!

Here’s how to keep an eye on, and register, startup jobs in Sweden and the Nordics:

Want to work for a great Swedish startup? I’ve selected few job openings!

More good reading and advice on hiring:

Please add your best tips in the comments!

Paula is Digital Product Advisor and Top 100 Women in Tech in Europe, focusing on Product, Go-to-market, and Internationalization strategies. She has to date mentored over 150 digital technology companies on product, marketing and growth, and rated as one of the very best startup mentors in Europe. Contact Paula to to build engaging digital products and cooperate on #Startups #WomenInTech #GenderEquality #ClimateChange and #OpenWeb. Read more about her work and connect @Twitter, @LinkedIn. “You never learn anything when you speak, only when you listen”Roelof Botha / Douglas Leone, Sequoia Capital

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