How to Attract Candidates for Your Startup

How to attract candidates for your startup – Attracting /Sourcing Candidates

Yes, of course, you’re on an exciting journey that will transform the world – or at least put a severe dent, in reality, the CEO brings home baked cookies every Tuesday, the office is welcoming etc. – but do candidates have that information? Have you given any thought as to how you attract candidates?

This is what recruitment companies sometimes call “Search and Selection” – you either source and reach out to relevant candidates, or you post your job somewhere and hope the right candidates choose to apply. Both can be the right choice – sometimes combined, sometimes on their own or during different phases. 

Here’s an overview:

Search / outbound hiring strategy

Search/sourcing candidates is great for when you know, that you are in a competitive market.

It’s the goto for most founders out there, when they start building the initial team, and a great way of getting the first hires on board.

Most founders worked in one or more startups / companies before they decided to found their own startup. They have met and / or worked with some very skilled individuals in the past, and they often have a strong understanding of the potential chemistry and culture fit of those individuals. 

I highly recommend that you start there – map your network, reach out to skilled and high performing individuals and get some of these individuals on board to build your core team. It’s fast, efficient and low cost. 

However – sooner or later you will have depleted your immediate network, which means you will most likely have to spend a lot more time (and money) on sourcing candidates on Linkedin, Github, meetups etc. Time you could have (and maybe even should have) spent on building your product, selling your product or getting funding.

A great recruitment agency which specializes in startups might be able to help you hire the candidates you need to reach your objectives – build your product, sell your product, expand into a new market, manage your engineering team or your finances. (Hint – we specialize in startups, scaleups and transformational teams).

The narrative you or your recruitment agency share will make a huge difference here – is it bland and generic, or is it strong enough to attract kick ass candidates to your team?

Selection / inbound hiring strategy

Another goto for most startup founders is an inbound hiring strategy posting jobs on their own site or on sites like thehub.

It’s a great way of doing employer branding and getting you and your vacancies out there, but it is rarely strong enough as a channel to stand alone. But if you can cover 10-25 % of your hires using low cost options, that’s a great start.

(Funded) startups and great job opportunities are abundant right now, and skilled candidates mostly have lots of options. If you plan on using an inbound hiring strategy to cover a large portion of your hires, you should be prepared to use multiple channels and platforms.

You should also ask yourself questions like:

Is it feasible to only hire locally?

Can you find global candidates you can relocate? Where? And what would be cost involved?

Should you consider remote ressources?

Or consider creating a new location in the same time zone, where it’s easier (and perhaps cheaper) to hire an engineering team?

If you’re looking into establishing yourself in a new market with a sales team – or build a secondary engineering location, we can help you understand how feasible it is to build that team. We can deliver a full report covering compensation levels, labour market terms and restrictions as well as realistic time-to-hire, so you can choose the optimal location.

If you need input on creating a hiring strategy, or want to launch the next phases of your startup we’re always up for a coffee.