3 tips & tricks for startups that want to hire techies

In case you are recruiting techies for your startup, you’ve come to the right place for some tips & tricks on how not to waste the opportunities to nail the best talents and bring them in your team.

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1) Posting the job vacancy on your website & some recruiting platforms and waiting for applications will not get you too far.

Technical talents are scarce. There is more demand than supply when it comes to developers, engineers and designers. Hence, your potential candidates are most probably working somewhere else at the moment. It’s extremely rare that they are unemployed, actively looking for job opportunities. So if you are just waiting to receive applications, you are most probably wasting your time.

When it comes to recruiting techies, you are the one who needs to be pro-active, scout for talents, approach them. You need to do your search (online and through your network) and contact candidates.

By using splinter.me you can make your search more efficient because the platform offers an aggregation of all platforms where the potential candidates have information. Plus it offers you Splinter LookUp to ease your scouting efforts.

Note that just waiting for applications could work though if:

  • you have a very attractive startup (a.k.a. you got a big investment or you build an awesome technology that attracts all the eye-balls)
  • you are not looking for experienced techies and you are open to students and recent graduates (because they are the only ones that are free on the market and actively looking for opportunities)
  • you are lucky ;)

2) Be very specific about what you are looking for, while knowing when to be flexible and when to not underestimate some profile aspects.

One very important advice shared by experienced recruiters is to prioritize personality over competences when recruiting. In other words, look first for cultural fit. Look for specific personality and workstyle traits your future employee should have. How much risk taker, how much innovative, how much hard-working, how ambitious etc. Think of all the things that matter for the team to work out and for the fit with the job tasks.

Competences (technical skills) can be easier developed than personality traits. Besides, technologies are evolving so rapidly anyway and skills become so easily outdated, that in any case you should prefer someone with a great power and willingness to learn rather than the most experienced techie.

Another advice is to measure experience in accomplishments/ projects rather than years of experience. You might lose lots of good potential candidates with very rigid job requirements. Replace your required years of experience with other elements that make more sense for the job: types of previous projects, involvements in previous projects etc. Also think: is the experience in the industry extremely necessary?

And speaking of this, give a lot of thought to the location requirements. Since tech talents are so scarce, willing to hire only those nearby that can come and work from your office(s) might be a huge limitation. Nowadays, the trend in most companies is to enable more and more remote work. This is the future, powered by technologies that make it doable and efficient (think of all the video conferences tools, project management tools etc.) If you can extend your talent pool to a wider area than just your city, that would be great.

Last but not least, prioritize your job requirements. Define and communicate which ones are really mandatory, which ones would be great to have, which ones would be nice to have.

3) Present your startup and the work opportunity in an appealing way.

We see many job descriptions or approach messages that seem to be done in a hurry. Information about your startup should be plenty and attractive. Mention your vision, your work environment, show your media coverage, present your team and your investors, mention your achievements and present your next milestones.

With splinter.me you can present your company in a very personalized way. You can add your mission and vision, social networks, media coverages, images etc. Invest your time into making an appealing presentation for your startup as a workspace because people care a lot about company culture and achievements.

When you approach potential candidates, it was proved that the highest click rate was for messages that mentioned the investors in the title and had all the content personalized for the candidate.

Also you might want to take good care of your candidate experience. Having a fast and pleasant process could not only make you nail the best candidates, but it will also give you thumbs up as an employer in the techies communities (word of mouth) and so ensure an increase of chances for future hires.


Would be great to hear some lessons learned from the startups that are recruiting and to expand the tips & tricks list.

(Image credit: Adelina Peltea)