Tuesday, 30 January 2018

It’s no secret that the technology industry is becoming really competitive. Developers snigger at ‘innovative’ start-ups and deem them as the norm, and your product’s benefits and features may not excite potential hires as it used to. 79% of working professionals around the world are passive candidates so you need to get creative with your job adverts.

In start-ups, your teams can make or break your success, as the first 10 will shape what the next 100 are like, so it’s imperative for technology companies to shape their hiring strategy. That means a clear emphasis on finding the right people to drive your brand forward and add some differentiation from the competitors.

If there is one thing that I’ve learnt in my career, it is that dream teams aren’t formed by luck.

Companies serious about hiring top talent need to commit to building a truly unique company culture and an even stronger brand. It is important that you have a deep understanding of the traits and qualities that will complement your team and your vision for the near future. Once you have secured those candidates, you will need to work tirelessly to engage and retain the top performers.

The more hiring you do, the traits that candidates absolutely must possess become clearer. Here are the things we recommend start-ups pay attention to:

Understanding your end user

As I’m sure you know, you are more likely to succeed if your employees understand the unique needs, pain points and interests of your end users.

If your agency’s end users are paralegals and lawyers, prioritise legal experience over tech experience when reviewing applications. Whether the candidate did a summer internship with a law firm, or simply has a friend or family in the industry, being able to come into your company with an understanding of clients and a passion for helping them with smarter solutions is invaluable. As a result, helping your company to grow faster and perform better.

Today’s top tech companies aren’t solely made up of serial tech leaders who are hired based on the number of companies they’ve helped grow from Series A to sale or IPO. Although tech experience is important, it will never be as important as an intimate understanding of your end user’s pains and a drive to solve their problems.

Add equity to the candidate’s package

Today many start-ups hire talent by throwing crazy bonuses, high salaries, and heaps of benefits at them. If your business idea is truly great and you can sell a whole vision of it, there is no need for it.

By offering a modest salary, you will keep the recruit interested in the company. Then adding equity will ensure they constantly strive to move forward in the company.

Value entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial traits and thinking patterns complement high growth and innovative companies. Professionals who crave rigid systems, processes and hierarchical structures won’t thrive at most budding technology companies.

Look out for employees who are thrilled by opportunity, experimentation, ambiguity and fast iteration. Your best employees are your ride or dies- they are the ones who are willing to try, fail, improve and try again. Boundless energy, self-direction and a certain level of comfort with constant change are also must-haves.

Care about your team

Regardless of size or industry, “caring is not optional” is a rule that you must hire and fire by.

No matter the rank, status or tenure, employees must genuinely care about each other, their product, and their clients. This value should be seen in every interaction, project and exchange. To remain competitive in your industry, you should take every opportunity to wow your clients and stay ahead of the competition. Create a culture based on collaborative working and caring for each other’s projects by setting up free accounts for charities and voluntary organisations, raising awareness about societal issues, making a product suggestion or even aiding a teammate.

Have an office that people in the technology industry would want to work in

I don’t necessarily mean installing a ball pit and having office dogs but, for many, the office is an extension of their personal space. It’s their second home.

Being a start-up means you have the advantage of being able to take risks so it should also give the option to ditch the traditional office set-up.

You could have a Google or Facebook-esque office, but be sure that everyone is prepared to expect the boundaries so that productivity doesn’t plummet.

Consider outstanding remote talents

Remote workers are growing in number day by day for many start-up companies. Many of them will be totally comfortable with being part of a small organisation as a freelancer, rather than a permanent employee, which could help you in trimming overhead costs.

Remote talents and freelancers will usually be associated with multiple companies as their clients. Therefore, you need to be prepared to manage them from long distances, especially when ensuring they can meet deadlines and quotas.

Partner with a recruitment company

Most CEOs and company directors spend less than 25% of their time on hiring people; it’s totally understandable – establishing a start-up and overseeing your team’s growth is not easy. That is why many entrepreneurs team up with a recruitment consultant.

Outsourcing your search for technology candidates can free up your time from the laborious process of finding and screening talent, allowing you to focus on running your business.

A recruitment consultant also has large networks and strong relationships with potential candidates that could be a great fit for your organisation.

Consider cultural alignment

Traits like end user expertise, possessing a caring culture, and entrepreneurialism are important, however there is more to consider. A candidate could have experience that would complement your clients perfectly with a deep passion for the industry; however, if they aren’t aligned with the company culture, they aren’t the best person to hire.

Considering cultural alignment is particularly important in the tech start up space; your environment should be driven and focused, while featuring a fun and light-hearted environment at the same time.

Moments of intense focus should sometimes turn into office shenanigans, jokes and spontaneous laughter. Though it may sound extreme, unconventional traits or being a little idiosyncratic are just as important as skills and experience in your job application. People that fit into a company culture, enjoy the environment they work in and get along with their colleagues will ultimately be more likely to stay for longer than those who don’t.

As with most industries, hiring is a combination of both art and science when it comes to technology.

Of course your teams need to have tech experts and innovative thinkers, but it is equally crucial for candidates to have an extra something in their mind set that will make them settle into your company perfectly and want to stay long term.

Finding that in a pile of CVs and applications isn’t always easy, but it is definitely worth it.


Dot Net Resourcing is recognised as a leading technology recruitment firm for both start ups and blue chip companies across Europe. Our headhunting, executive search and specialist delivery capability processes are above the standard of generalist recruiters, making us a great choice for handling your hiring needs.

We share an unrivalled passion to help your business succeed by understanding your business’ goals, then sourcing and providing you with your new number one team member.

Experience the difference in our recruiting capability, and give your business a competitive advantage by contacting us today at info@dotnetresourcing.com.  

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