3 Ways to De-risk Recruitment to Grow your Tech Startup

Post covid, the market is hot and competition for talent is fierce. 87% of companies are anticipating hiring in quarter 3. As a startup, hiring the right people will be daunting, but with the right plan and best practice delivery, your new hires will soon be joining your growing team. It’s time to cast your line and secure the right talent for your business.

Optimise Your Job Advertisement

The Job Advert

A clear-cut job advert will generate interest, but a clear-cut job advert posted in the right place, will generate results.

The most effective job adverts are simple and speak directly to the right people. A candidate should be able to look at your company and not just see what you do, but why you do it.

A job description is needed to create a good job advert. However, many companies get the two mixed up and end up using the job description as an advert. This won’t help you attract the right people.

Your passion for your company needs to translate to your job advert. If you read it and aren’t excited about the role, then why will someone else be? Injecting passion into your startup is key to getting the right people on board who share your vision. Ensuring the job is portrayed accurately lessens the risk of future dropouts; You don’t want to be sold a pipe dream and neither do they.


Don’t use gendered language that unconsciously dissuades potential hires. Job posts with gender-neutral wording get 42% more responses than those that contained gendered language. Online tools such as Textio help eliminate any unconscious bias.

90% of job seekers now use a mobile device when looking for a new job opportunity. As offices open and commutes return, bear in mind the benefit of an advert that is accessible to both desktop and mobile traffic.


When it comes to salary, be prepared to be flexible. It is important to be upfront and honest about your salary range right from the initial job advert. Withholding salary information only adds to the perpetuation of the pay gap. It is so important to good culture and longevity of your company to get this right from the start.

 If you are unable to offer competitive compensation at this stage of your development, look at other perks you can offer alongside. Equity in the business or unlimited holiday are a couple of things that startups are including in their package.

It is worth having a look at what is offered by your direct competitors. What will set you apart? Alternatively, have a chat to your current team to figure out what they want from you in terms of creating a supportive work environment. How can you factor that into your benefits package?

Whether it’s knowing the typical salary for developers or understanding what levels of equity are appropriate for early hires, we can help you understand trends and levels in the market.

Cut-Down Your Interview Process

If covid has taught us anything, it is that flexibility is not a weakness. 62% of people now expect their employers to allow them to work remotely moving forward, with as much as 83% saying they are more productive from home. This flexibility should also extend to your hiring process, the ability to hop on a zoom call during a lunch break or arrange an afterwork call has caused the average interviewing time to fall from 6 weeks down to 4, and with the right process you can be better than average!

With the increase in virtual interviews and the assimilation of remote working, this is an opportune time to streamline your process.

Your interview process needs to start before you even post your first job advert. You should know the step-by-step process, the hiring criteria and who your decision maker is. After applying to a job ad, 66% of job seekers will move on if you haven’t responded within two weeks. We would argue in today’s market that is extremely generous!

 If you have multiple steps in your interview process, consider cutting it down to beat your competitors to the hottest talent. Delays in any stage of your interview process will lose you valuable talent; your competitors will be acting fast, snapping up that candidate whilst you deliberate.

Keeping in regular contact is key to maintaining a good relationship. The interview shouldn’t just be a way for you to assess the candidate, but also a way for the candidate to see if your company is right for them. In order to make the transition from interview to offer seamless, it is important that your decision maker is available now and not in three weeks’ time.

Investing in a new candidate is daunting. The need to be sure you are hiring the right candidate is important but waiting around to see if anyone better will come along may ultimately leave you at a loss. Go with your gut if you’ve got your planning right before you start your recruitment activities. 

Know what you need and want, and importantly why.

Invest in a Recruitment Company 

50% of all applicants come from job boards but less than 1% of candidates who apply through job boards are offered the job. This is where knowing your audience comes into play. Investing in a recruitment company will open doors to an exclusive talent pool.  

The best recruiters should help you find the best people in the market, not just those on the market. A good recruiter has an existing talent pipeline with candidates they have engaged with over time. They will understand who is looking for what, and who might be really keen on what you’re offering. This running start can save you significant time in your hiring process, reducing the number of unsuccessful applicants and allowing you to make considered decisions.

As a startup, your first hires are going to be critical to your success. You need to be clear on what you’re looking for. A good recruiter should consult with you to clarify the scope of the role, and type of personality you need to bring into your team. They should help you prioritise the traits and experience that are essential or nice to have’.  Your recruiter should advise you on your interview and onboarding process – if it’s not up to scratch in today’s market, it will cost you.

Working with a recruiter may offer unique benefits. Recruiters with experience of working with startups are well placed to offset hesitations candidates may have of joining a newer unknown company and can highlight the many advantages of a growth focused enterprise. Sometimes it is important for this information to come from outside of your company. In fact, 89% of talent say that they accept a job offer faster when contacted by a recruiter. 

Ideally the transition from applying to onboarding should be seamless. Simply speeding up your hiring process is not enough; you need to streamline the experience whilst bringing your opportunity and company to life. Here at ISL, we specialise in recruiting for tech startups; we understand the unique challenges you face and the importance of finding the right people to help your business succeed.

Our Director Alan Furley has years of experience working with founders and helping their businesses grow. Whether you’d like advice on starting your first recruitment drive, or you’re interested in considering the benefits of a partnership with a recruitment company, we’re happy to help.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch: 01174 280600 or email alan@isluk.co.uk

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