The Hiring Guide for Startup Rocketship Growth
A practical guide to hiring superstars for your startup from 0–100+
Recruiting for a tech startup is a whole other beast. We’ve all heard the expression that “your people are your product,” but this hits differently in tech. Unlike hiring for just any odd company, every person you bring on board becomes a high-stakes decision, whether it’s your first hire or your hundredth.
That’s because tech startups are defined by their ability to scale quickly into new markets. Not only should your team live and breathe your vision to fly, but they need to have the ability to jump from one seat to the next at hardly a moment’s notice and with little to no hesitation.
When you hire the right crew, they’ll go to extraordinary lengths to move your company in the right direction. But the problem is the talent pool is incredibly competitive, and founders don’t have the budgets or the time to hire expensive recruiters or DIY the process.
To make things easier, the experts at Harvest Builders have put together a list of vetted resources and pro tips on how to hire superstars for your startup from the onset to when you take off and scale.
This repeatable guide covers everything from what your hiring roadmap should look like and defining company culture to the ideal onboarding process and employee retention. We’ve also thrown in a few real-life examples from companies to take a page from.
Play your cards right, and you’ll know how to hire the right people at the right time to set your business up to flourish. Let’s dive in!
- Pre-Hiring Checklist
- First, build an attractive company—employer branding insights from Katie Belding, Partner and Marketing Director at Norwest Venture Partners.
- Develop a hiring roadmap and run through your next steps
- The kind of hiring rapid-growth startups should do
- How establishing a strong EVP (Employee Value Proposition) can get the right people through your door
- 11 of the most valuable traits to check off your list as you add members to your team, brought to you by Elisa All Schmitz, Founder & CEO of 30Seconds.
- How to calculate recruitment costs and budget for salaries
- What does it really cost to win at hiring?
- The first 8 people you should hire for your tech startup
- The Slippery Slope of Cultural Fit
- How to define company culture
- Why you should hire for cultural impact instead of evaluating cultural fit
- Qualities to look for in the ideal candidate that aren’t shown on paper
- Love at first sight: how to write a seductive job description. Workable shares 6 tips to get qualified applicants your way.
- The recruitment tools and technology to use from start to finish for finding your best matches
- Uber’s hiring best practices in the sharing economy
- Inside the recruitment process of 3 tech giants. Strategies to borrow from Google, Facebook, and SpaceX.
- Where to Find Talent
- Which job boards are right for you? Not your usual suspects like Glassdoor.
- How to nurture a talent pipeline, so you don’t need to search from scratch
- Recruiting on Reddit: the passive candidate hotspot
- Think outside the cubicle: how to use GitHub to attract Canada’s top tech stars, engineers, and devs.
- Tips to elevate your startup recruitment strategy on LinkedIn
- How to use Instagram to attract talent. Matthew Loughran shares tips on blending your recruitment strategy with your social media marketing.
- 5 companies that have mastered the future of social recruiting
- The art of headhunting: how to hire someone for a job they didn’t know that wanted. Former Chief of Staff at Dropbox gives the rundown on sourcing passive candidates.
- The best hires are right under your nose. First Round Review reveals how to leverage referral programs to scale your team.
- Create an Interview Process
- Why you need an applicant tracking system (ATS)
- How to make a phone screen interview worthwhile
- Behavioural questions that all startups should ask when determining your first hires
- 5 non-coding tests you must give to really understand your candidates
- Everything you need to know about skills testing. Vervoe includes templates and explores how they work, if they’re valid, and the benefits.
- An overview of Airbnb’s data science interview process
- The cultural add test. Rise reveals how to shift your interview questions to attract the top talent.
- Airbnb’s makeover of the candidate experience and how they eliminate bias from its interviews
- How to collect references that are actually useful
- The founder’s POV in an interview. Caren Maio, Founder and CEO of Nestio, shares the 6 things she looks for in candidates before joining her team.
- Seal the Deal
- How to make an offer that people sign. Hacker Noon discloses timing, offer types, and delivery.
- Things to include in a job offer and the best startup offer letter you’ve ever seen
- How to determine workplace salary, compensation, and perks
- 5 benefits all startups should offer
- What effective onboarding looks like for a startup. The Hub details plans for the first day, week, and month after hire.
- The checklist for onboarding remote employees by Remo
- The best software and tools you need for onboarding
- 7 ways to improve employee retention
- What truly keeps your startup team happy and productive
Recruitment today isn’t what it used to be, especially in the startup world. Hiring strategies, practices, and channels are rapidly changing, but if there’s one thing you’re good at as a startup, it’s knowing how to adapt.
To snatch the top talent and stand out from your competitors, you need to shape up your employer brand, develop a strong culture, and look in all the right places. Go where your ideal candidates hang out, speak their lingo, and hire obsessively.
Now that you’re up to speed with the right recruitment tools and strategies, you can focus on scaling (and staffing) up big time.