Brand Your Startup Organization
The first step to finding the perfect people for your startup team is to know who you are, and why someone would want to join your organization. Effectively managing your brand perception across both online and traditional mediums can be the catalyst to attract great talent.
Strong Social Media Presence
Candidates often search for your company information on social media as it is the easiest way of evaluating your brand. A strong social footprint showcases an active startup culture, and it is an indicator that you value the people you work with and the daily milestones that they achieve
Employees as Brand Advocates
Your current employees are your biggest assets when it comes to positively expanding your brand perception. A good way to get the most out of your employee network is encouraging them to share their daily experiences on social media in real-time, hence supporting the claim that you have a great startup culture. Educate your team on how they can post engaging content that echoes your brand personality. Developing your employees into tech evangelists not only leads to higher retention rates, it also ensures that your startup attracts the top upcoming talent.
2. Utilize Referrals
Hiring through referrals is still one of the most effective ways to get the right kind of talent in the least amount of time. Employees that are hired on referrals generally start working sooner than those hired independently, as hiring managers are able to assess whether they are suited for the position a lot faster without going through extensive interviews and background checks.
Founder Referral Network
For a startup founder, building a stellar network is key to growing your startup idea into a multi-million dollar firm. Not only that, it can lead to getting excellent talent referrals from the startup community. Founders must go out and frequent networking events, get to know the influences in their niche, and seek out their referrals for not only startup growth but also for growing their team.
Employee Referral Programs
Fifteen employees with 300 friends or followers on social networks totals 4,500 contacts alone. And since there’s a high probability that your employees have a network with people in their area of expertise, your next great talent acquisition is just an employee referral away. Having an employee referral program in place makes sure that your current team has a vested interest in the recruitment drive for technical talent.
3. Recruit Disruptively
A startup culture revolves around disrupting the conventional norms of business, and that can be applied to your recruitment strategy as well. Hiring in an unconventional manner shows candidates that you are an innovation focused startup, and ultimately a great place to work. A multi-level recruiting strategy that utilizes multiple channels of attracting talent can increase your chances of finding the right candidates for your startup much faster, even when you are seeking talent with very specific skill stacks.
Attending or organizing a hackathon in your area is one of the best and most innovative ways of networking with the top technical talent available. These software collaboration events are a beehive for the finest software developers, interface designers and project managers, and should be a top priority on every startup CTO’s itinerary.
Engaging Upcoming Talent
For talent seeking to be tomorrow’s leaders, an active social presence begins very early in their academic life. These aspiring innovators are best engaged early on, through recruitment drives at their college or university campuses, or at startup institutes that offer immersive learning programs for fresh graduates.
4. Embrace Offshore Staffing
With the current shortfall of talent in U.S., offshore staffing has emerged as an alternative to hiring in-house resources. No matter what your philosophy is on offshoring, you have to accept it as a very viable alternative if applied correctly. Many startups employ dispersed teams, where an onsite project manager communicates daily with remote staff in other parts of the world. Part-time or full-time virtual teams have many proven benefits such as faster product development, reduced costs, and vast scalability options. By hiring the right talent in a remote setting, you can utilize experience and specialties not available locally.
Establish a System for Offshore Teams
Software firms opt for outsourcing their projects to offshore service providers, but that is not the right approach for a startup venture. Startups can have more control over the offshore resources if they opt for staff augmentation through a hybrid staffing firm instead, having an extended offshore team working directly alongside the founding team on product development. As a project owner this allows you full control over which developers are selected for your team, right down to how they are managed. It also ensures that the product vision is still translated into the development process, and the startup culture remains intact.
Create a List of Must-Have Traits for Your Remote Employees
Your offshore teams must be organized in such a way that they are productive towards your startup environment on their own. You or your offshore staffing partner must make sure that your extended team has all the right skills and tools to bring value to your product venture. Here are some of the top traits to look for in offshore development teams.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Self-management and the ability to work on deadlines
Required tool set to perform the assigned tasks and a reliable internet connection
Commitment to overall product goals
Ability to absorb new knowledge and apply learning quickly