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A firm's biggest asset is the people behind their product or service. Great employees are the foundation of a competitive organization and the best companies go to great lengths to locate and procure these individuals.

For startups, recruiting top talent is easier said than done. Potential employees want stability and high compensation packages – variables that not every entrepreneur can provide.

Recruiting the right people is a task too important to be overlooked or not taken with the utmost priority. Effective staffing comes with experience, and everyone makes mistakes; however, it's never too late to improve your recruiting skills.

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We've based the below five tips on some great hiring insight from Jenn Hanley, who is the chief operating officer and co-creator of Fizziology, which has brilliantly correlated social media interaction to determine real-world human behaviour. Ms. Hanley and her partner are proof that a great product, intelligent people and a passionate environment, regardless of size, wins the best talent.

Here are five steps to staying competitive in entrepreneurial recruiting, even for the one-person company:

1. Start to market your company in a better light

There are only so many desirable employees who exist. Since every company wants to hire these individuals, you must formulate a compelling reason as to why your organization is special.

Think in terms of the benefits that the job seeker will receive by being employed at your firm and what type of future they should expect.

Remain ethical. Don't promise things that you can't deliver. However, make sure that you are set up to provide: employment stability, competitive benefits, an enjoyable working environment and career potential.

2. Making requirements more flexible

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The No. 1 that prevents companies from procuring the most talented people is overly stringent requirements. The more specific the needs of an employer, the less applicant choices they're going to have, the more expensive the employee is going to be and the longer the job search is take.

No employee is ever going to be perfect and the ones who appear so on paper can be far from ideal.

Rather than knowledge, focus on personality and future potential first. As the owner of the business, be confident in your ability to lead and train the employee, rather then rely on the employee to change your company.

3. Adjust compensation rates  and don't rely on equity

The most effective way for a small company to be competitive in recruiting experienced talent is to pay the right amount and offer great benefits.

In a rush to obtain employees, many entrepreneurial companies attempt to bypass a competitive salary, benefits and bonus package, and instead offer company equity. While stock is alluring to some employees, it will not be at the forefront of their priorities.

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Recognize that employees are not entrepreneurs. They don't want to own a business; rather, they want to be paid by one and, the higher the pay, the more demand for that position.

4. Use additional avenues to find employees

Often, job postings come up empty; they are overly passive ways to staffing and, if your firm doesn't have a reputable name in your industry, it could prove to be a waste of $500 plus.

To get the word out that you're hiring and express exactly what you're looking for, supplement this by subscribing to résumé databases, using LinkedIn and other social media avenues, posting the open position on your blog, listing it on your website and turning to local universities for typically free or highly discounted posting abilities.

Like I said, recruiting takes work.

5. Confidence when interviewing

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Remember, when you narrow down the people whom you want to interview, be confident in your abilities to interview these individuals and to do your due hiring diligence. Don't hire someone simply because they are interested; hire based on mutual respect and passion.

Know that you deserve great talent and let that confidence come through when both pitching the job and asking the questions to obtain the information you need to in order to procure the right person.

Practice your pitch; know what you're going to say and constantly fine-tune your message until it shouts benefits, confidence and future ambitions. If you don't believe in your product or service, don't expect others to.

In the end

As an entrepreneurial company, each hire you make is going to impact your firm either positively or negatively more than it would a larger organization. One rotten apple can make or break your fiscal goals while one motivated employee can exceed all your expectations.

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