Recruitment and Staffing Advice for Tech Start-ups

How do you recruit people for a start up?

Building your team at the beginning of your business journey can be one of the most challenging aspects of growing a start-up. How do you find potential employees? What’s the best hiring process? There are plenty of questions which may feel overwhelming - but don’t worry! We’re here to help.

The Candidate are proud sponsors of the Prolific North ‘Tech 25 Ones to Watch’ List, highlighting some of the most exciting start-ups in Manchester and the North. As part of this, several prestigious and experienced figures in the Tech industry shared their best advice when it comes to building a successful start-up. Keep reading to find their top tips for recruitment and staffing for start-ups and SME’s, as well as some insights from The Candidate’s experienced Data & Tech recruitment team.


Don't Limit Your Search by Geography

The North has experienced a tech boom, with some huge companies choosing Manchester as their HQ. Therefore, it makes sense to open up your search beyond the traditional confines of the capital.

A brilliant whitepaper by Praetura Ventures about The Northern Scale Up Landscape found that the North was a hive of activity for investment, in fact it was found that 44% of London & South East founders would consider opening an office in the North if they had the opportunity. The North was 40% more popular than the second choice, London & South East. This shows that companies are widening their nets and seeking talented candidates in the North – a great tip when it comes to recruiting for your start up.

Liz Scott - Client Engagement Director at Tech Nation, works with start-ups and SME’s every day, and she especially champions Northern investment and talent, even outside of the main cities such as Manchester or Leeds. Expand your search area!

Offer Flexibility and Benefits

Offering a flush benefits package may be almost impossible for some start-ups, however ensuring that staff are offered the flexibility that is now standard practice ‘post-covid’ is vital. “I would say the best bit of advice I would give to tech start-up would be that when putting together your company allow it possess the traits of a modern business” says Louis Seaton, our Data & Tech Recruitment Executive, “Work life balance, attention to diversity, cultural benefits, flexible hybrid working etc. - these qualities attract quality candidates.”. Another member of our Data & Tech team, Recruitment Consultant Ellie Martin, adds that flexibility and remote working is what most candidates are looking for – “In my experience, most developers won’t look at offers from start-ups or small businesses that ask for 2+ days in the office a week- so the option for remote, flexible, working really is the bare minimum when it comes to benefits packages!”.

Also, ensuring that staff are able to access training opportunities to stay up to date in the rapidly changing tech landscape is also really important. Alice Moore, our Data & Tech Recruitment Consultant, says “my top tip would be to offer a strong training programme - candidates want to stay up to date with the new systems as well as learning new ones to increase their stack. When companies have training plans or budgets etc. it is more inviting for the candidate as they know it will strengthen their career path as well as showing that the company wants them to succeed and grow”.

Have a Bold Vision

Finally – “dream big!” as Ed Thompson puts it. Ignore the ‘typical British culture’ of being reserved and get passionate and enthusiastic! This is true for your business vision in general, and when it comes to building your team. Having an exciting and clear business mission will inspire commitment from candidates, which is important for small businesses. Our Associate Director Elliot adds that candidates are taking a risk leaving a large, stable company, and joining a start-up. However, if you emphasise the company vision and goals, and the opportunities for progression, this will motivate top talent to join your team. “I’ve always found that the best start-ups hire leaders from a varied background and they usually have an absolute passion for what the start-up is trying to achieve” says Phil from our Data & Tech team, “you could hire an experienced ‘Head of Product’, but if they don’t have a passion for the business, they won’t have the drive to get out of bed for their job each day”.

If you would like any advice when it comes to recruitment and staffing for your business, then get in touch with our experienced team today! You can contact us here.


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