Recruitment for Startups - How to Compete for the Top Talent

Recruiting software developers for a tech startup is a challenge - but one we rise to!  To compete with larger corporate employers as well as with later stage startups and scale-ups for the top talent, it is vital that tech startups move quickly and offer a competitive salary.

Time to Hire

Tech startups need to be able to move fast to compete. They should be able to respond faster than the HR department of a large employer - this is where startups really do have an advantage.  Initial candidate telephone or Zoom interviews should take place within 24 hours of a potential new hire application, or, if not, as soon as the candidate is available. Delaying by only a few days or re-arranging because recruitment is not a priority will mean top candidates will go to a hungrier, more dynamic employer.

A startup that can complete the hiring process from first meeting a candidate to producing a contract for a permanent hire within 0-2 days will have an advantage over the competition.  Not least it will confirm the agility, commercial acumen and intent of this company to the candidate.

We have found startups to be more agile and more likely to be able to make a decision on the same day.

Startup Salary

Many tech startups offer equity in the form of share options and expect this - together with the unique attraction of a startup - to compensate for a lower salary.  Although potentially highly attractive, it doesn’t. 

And the plethora of startups, compared to just 10 years ago, has meant there is real competition for the top flight candidates and sadly somewhat nullified this second point. Share options may make up for a lack of other financial benefits but candidates will rarely take a pay cut to join a startup.

It is essential to research the market rates for the tech jobs you are recruiting for and be prepared to pay a competitive salary.  Ergo, it used to be the case that there were tech startup salaries (measurably lower, with the carrot of equity) and higher salaries offered by the larger businesses. This is no longer the case.

By working in partnership with Richard Wheeler Associates, tech startups have saved valuable time and made successful hires enabling their businesses to truly flourish….and in many cases dazzle!

Richard Wheeler Associates is a UK IT recruitment company specialising in Startup recruitment.