Even for well-established companies, tech recruiting can be a major challenge. So if you’re just starting out and no one has even heard of you, recruiting top tech talent can quickly turn into a nightmare.
The skills shortage is quickly becoming a part of the fabric in the digital age and one might be quick to think that only tech giants will be successful in attracting the best in the business. But every tech giant was once a small company trying to make it big and there will be thousands more in the years to come.
This means that regardless of the challenges (both skills and available finances), everyone has to start somewhere. This scenario has inspired many over the years to come up with creative ways of putting together their development team and retaining them.
So how do growing startups attract (and retain) top tech talent? Whether you’re hiring data scientists or software engineers, it can be done if you focus on building a company where people want to work.
Below are some successful strategies employed by a number of startups who managed to overcome the problem of recruiting top tech talent.
Develop a Great Company Culture
Culture is what defines your company and its values and mission, as a result, founders have to focus on cultivating the right type of atmosphere from day one. When it comes to technical recruiting, the whole process can be much easier if your startup is an engaging, fun, and challenging environment.
Early stage startups have a better chance at engaging in successful tech recruiting exercises when they have a solid mission and vision that can excite potential candidates. When you don’t have the resources to compete with established enterprises, it’s the culture that will make the difference.
A great example of a company doing this right is Salesforce who continue to top the list of the best tech companies to work for. They lead the pack as they’ve successfully built a welcoming culture with flexible scheduling options, philanthropy, and loyalty.
At the same time, the business should also be a place where there are plenty of opportunities for career growth. This should be easily communicated when building a strong employer brand.
Offer Employee Stock Options
Offering stock options at the ground level can also be a huge attraction if the company already has the right culture. This is because shares for full-time employees can turn into a massive payday if the startup is acquired through an IPO.
Stock options for the development team can also motivate them to work harder because they now have more ownership of the company and its destiny. For the technical recruiting team, offering shares in the company can be the dangling carrot that gets potential candidates in through the door.
Embrace Remote Workers
If the startup’s tech recruiting exercises aren’t going anywhere in the local area, the next best option is to look nearshore or offshore. This approach will enable access to a planet full of talented candidates that can make or break your startup.
Remote workers also don’t have to be based in another country, they can be tech talent that prefers to work from co-working spaces or from home (even if they’re based in the same city). This approach can help attract those who are seeking a better work-life balance, so it’s something that should be highlighted when engaging in technical recruiting.
If remote working is not an option for your startup, the next best thing is to take advantage of Canada’s immigration program that can help attract the best minds from around the world.
Stand out from the Crowd
The startup’s tech recruiting cycles will be futile if the company itself doesn’t stand out from the crowd. When competing with larger companies with significantly deeper pockets, growing startups will have to find creative ways to communicate the benefits of working for the company.
So while the business may have a great culture, stock options, work-life balance, it will be pointless if no one knows about it. One way to do this is to regularly maintain a company blog that communicates these benefits. This can also be part of the overall brand strategy to drive traffic to the company website.
Including a blurb about the company can also help let potential candidates know what you stand for and what you’re trying to achieve. This approach can go a long way to help make that connection and generate interest in the startup and the employer brand.