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Start-up Masterclass: How to attract top talent and how to hold a winning pitch
How to attract top talent and how to hold a winning pitch
By Oliver Milman
General Assembly arrived in Australia with a bang this week, with each of its opening classes packed out in Sydney.
The organisation uses industry experts and entrepreneurs to provide practical hands-on advice to start-up businesses.
It has set up shop in Australia following a successful period in the US and has partnered with StartupSmart.
The two first classes were on the topics of recruiting and retaining top talent and how to conduct a winning pitch, respectively.
We have picked out the key points from each of the classes and will be doing so each following week.
There’s a range of upcoming General Assembly classes in the coming weeks, on everything from generating media coverage to financial modelling. To find out more, click here.
Recruiting and retaining top talent
Paul Slezak, head of community and client services at Recruit Loop, who ran the General Assembly class on attracting and keeping top talent, said: “One of the most overused phrases in business today is that ‘our people are our greatest asset.’”
“However when it comes to start-ups in particular, staffing is often the first area to suffer.”
Slezak recommends taking the following steps for the HR process:
Getting the right response to your job ad
How to frame your job ad
Slezak says: “Gone are the days of just asking about strengths and weaknesses. And hypothetical questions are definitely a thing of the past.”
“The only way to determine how the candidate will perform in your role is to ask questions around how they performed a similar task in the past.”
Five questions you need to ask your interviewee
Staff retention tips
You need to have clarity in the role, which includes:
Retention depends on work environment, which includes:
It also involves communication
Typical questions in the minds of your staff members
The raw figures
More than 700 employees working with start-up companies were recently surveyed. The responses were:
Nailing the pitch
Rebekah Campbell, founder of tech start-up Posse, explained what it takes to impress potential investors and clients in a pitch situation.
“What is the problem someone has, who are they, what current solutions are there out there for them, why do they need something better?” Campbell said.
“Try to bring yourself into the story to give you credibility. Show you understand the problem and that you’re a good person to solve it.”
Here are Campbell’s top tips:
How will your product work?
Tell the story of everything you’ve achieved to date in bullet point form
Market size is the number one thing investors look for
Always outline your competitors
Investors back teams not ideas
Step through how you will achieve your objectives
Have a detailed financial model
Start by structuring you talk and writing out what you want on each page
Learn how to speak in public
Pitch in person to as many people as possible
Find investors who have experience developing the same kind of company as yours
Make sure your vision and the investor’s vision for the company are aligned
The entrepreneur knows when to make hard decisions
Focus is incredibly important and incredibly hard for a start-up
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