etween 25,000 and 50,000 dollars. This is the inherent cost of a bad hire, not to mention the time lost during the hiring process and the momentum the company could have gained had it hired the right person for the job. “The worst mistake business leaders can make is hiring the wrong people,” warns Robert Walters, a human resources expert.

While they are all crucial, the first hires for leader roles in each area have a big impact on the development of a startup's culture. To increase the likelihood of making a good recruit, these are the eight things startup leaders should know about hiring, according to Robert Walters Portugal technology division manager Fabienne Viegas.

1. Share your origin story 

Employer tagging is extremely important for new activities as they do not yet have an established reputation. The first thing a potential candidate will do is gather as much information as possible about your startup.

“Consider sharing the company's origin story, especially if it was about solving a situation that was affecting you personally”, begins by suggesting the specialist in connecting the best talent with high-growth startups.

2. Elevator pitch to candidates 

A new company can be understood as a high-risk company, but potentially with high reward and opportunity. All founders believe their product or service is the best, but convincing the best talent to come work for a startup requires more than just passion. That's why you should develop an elevator pitch, just like you did for investors, aimed at potential candidates.

3. Consider offering shares 

Offering shares can be an interesting recruitment strategy. It is important that you know that you can use it as a benefit to potential candidates. “This will be particularly important for candidates who have never worked in a startup, to develop a sense of ownership over the results”, explains Fabienne Viegas.

4. Beware of inflated fees

Positions within startups can be easily inflated. Everyone can appear to be at a "c-level" position if you don't accurately describe the level of responsibility that each person will have.

“Focus on what a candidate has achieved, rather than just looking at the titles they have won”, advises the manager of the technology division at Robert Walters Portugal.

5. Define how you will measure the success of a first hire

Don't make the mistake of hiring someone just because your investors suggested it. Instead, choose to create a talent plan based on business priorities. You can then consider the recommendations.

6. Define salary expectations 

Determine what the salary expectations will be for the roles you are hiring - make sure they're realistic too. In addition, verify the stock plans distribution. They should be distributed evenly or vary by function.

7. Search your network 

Consider, first of all, personal references and references from your current employees. Some companies even have referral programs that reward employees whose recommendation leads to a successful hire.

You can also post your open roles on job boards and social media, as well as join recruitment experts who can advise you on the job market, creating job descriptions and conducting research.

8. Think about diversity from the first moment 

"If you hire based only on people who 'remind you of when you were younger' you are creating a biased environment", warns Robert Walters. It's way trickier to first build a team of 100 people and then decide to incorporate a diversity and inclusion program. 

You must first build your team with diversity and inclusion in mind from the beginning. This way will you be able to drive engagement, employee retention, creative problem solving and profitability.