As an Entrepreneur, you need to add more members to your team as employees, interns or volunteers. You need more hours and if the quality of these hours are high, you enjoy tremendous improvement in reaching your startup’s milestones.
However, the people contributing these hours are not always as valuable. They usually do not have the required skills they need to contribute immediately. What happens next? You spend several hours training them? Usually they have just a few months to contribute; by the time your give them the skills they need to make any useful contribution, they have to leave and continue with school or get a better paid job. Other times you just imagine how frustrating their presence in your startup can be and you say NO!
What if there is a way out to ensure you have new members with the right skills they need from the very first day of their contribution either as interns, volunteers or employees. What if we have policies as entrepreneurs that make sure that people come to our startups and make relevant contribution. What if these policies make sure that these people are the right persons who can contribute without draining our energies?
Today, I have some proposals for you that can help you do two things:
1. You can get noticed by relevant talent – you make sure that a good number of persons join your organization every year to make relevant contribution.
2. Only relevant talents request to contribute to your organization – you become part of a system where before an individual requests to make contribution, he/ she must have proven himself qualified based on your terms, not based on university certificates.
How are we going to achieve these?
1. Train people who belong to a platform of recognized prerequisite learning to acquire the skills your organization needs far before they want to contribute to your organization.
Students need to gain more talents. They also need to be recognized by organizations before they start going out for job hunting. What does this mean for you? It means:
– If your startup proposes to train students, they will notice you. This gives you a higher competitive advantage on talent acquisition over competing startups.
– Students want to work in startups, and they know they need required skills to do that. If you tell them what skills they want and that you can offer a training that can help them acquire those skills, they will love to take it.
These mean that if you offer a training on skills needed to work in your organization to students with prerequisite knowledge, they will notice your startup and might like to work in it, and they will like to take your training because it will give them an advantage to join your company later.
(e.g. offer training on web development with Spring Framework to Software, Computer and Web Engineering students that have taken Java courses in school)
2. Create a policy that prefers persons who have taken a training from your startup or a related organization when people come in for internship or as volunteers.
You have created a training program and attracted students and other interested persons to take this program. You’ve gained some exposure to talents and people now want internship, volunteering and job opportunities in your startup.
On the other hand, although you have a social responsibility to help create jobs and other work opportunities, you also have work to get done, so it make sense to take in only those who will provide optimum value to your company in exchange for your time and money. You don’t want to spend training interns only for them to disappear when they have close enough skills to contribute. You want to add value to them while they add value to your organization. It therefore makes perfect sense to focus on taking in only persons who have undergone training under your organization based on technologies you use or trained under a related organization.
To make sure these energy draining situations do not come up, it is advisable to create a policy around internships wherein only persons who have undergone your training in that field through your organization can be taken in as interns or employees.
Creating these trainings and creating this policy will be a time saver for your startup’s Human Resource department. But how do you go ahead in this. I propose you either do onsite trainings or online mentored trainings.
With onsite trainings, there is a clear start date and a clear end date with training hours and physical trainers training on a specified venue. This will usually cost you money for logistical and training material. It makes perfect sense to charge a fee that will cover for such trainings.
Online mentored trainings do not need venues and training hours. However, it makes sense to create constraints for hard work with a clear start date and an end date, and an evaluation method. If trainees are in the same town as trainer, it is important to invite trainees to the office premises once in a while especially when they face problems with exercises. Online mentored trainings could easily be given for free. However it makes perfect sense to charge a fee to trainees.
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