How to recruit and hire people in the early stage tech company without hiring recruiters

The war for talent is real. Just look at these stats.

Aside from grim statistics, we can all agree that companies that retain talent in today’s condition offer ridiculously great benefits and compensation packages. It’s getting harder and harder for recruiters to even persuade people from other tech companies to at least come to an interview and consider switching jobs.

So what can tech founders hope for when looking to bring in their first employees? We might have found a solution to that.

Simplify the recruitment process as much as possible

The conventional wisdom tells us the recruitment process in a tech company depends on 2 conditions:

  • How many people need to be hired, and 
  • how many resources are available?

For example, if we need 2 engineers just to get things off the ground fast and we have a limited budget, we have to do the hiring by ourselves, with no external help from recruitment agencies. 

More hires = more processes = bigger budgets.

When we were hiring first employees, we wanted to keep things simple and as minimal as possible.

Our CEO posted the job ads on his personal Linkedin profile. Being connected to the local community allowed him to reach the right amount of tech talent.

The whole process involved a CV screening, casual 30-minute talk with the CEO, 30-minute technical task, and a final interview to discuss the offer. In our case, the whole process lasted for a few hours per candidate.

Let’s connect on Linkedin.

Reach out personally as a CEO

Aside from posting a simple Linkedin post and simplifying our recruitment procedure, our CEO reached out directly to potential candidates after having screened their social media profiles. This has proven to be a powerful tactic because the response rate was 100%.

  • People felt they were picked out from the crowd
  • They could ask directly about the company’s future
  • If hired, they would get an opportunity to influence the company’s direction from the start

The result? We hired, interviewed, and hired 4 software engineers in 2 months.

Communicate culture and vision

Based on our conversation with the employees, we’re 100% confident that culture and vision attract strong talent. Sure, great compensation packages are the first condition people look at. However, that’s the arena where early stage tech companies can’t compete easily. 

We had to play the culture and vision card to our advantage. While we don’t claim that industry giants don’t have great internal culture, in a corporate setting, more often than not you’re just a cog in the wheel.

We defined our organization’s goals, KPIs, and values. We made sure we live by them. Candidates felt they can keep us accountable – and actually influence the company’s direction from the inside.

It meant they weren’t just another employee. Our values were the tipping point for these 4 candidates to choose us.

Candidates love authenticity

We all use the same tactics to hire and retain people. We offer benefits packages, increase the salaries, compete with challenging projects and growth opportunities… 

However, there’s a trap of potential blending into the crowd. To cut through the noise, especially if you’ve just launched your tech company, sometimes you just need pure authenticity – such as reaching out from your personal C-level Linkedin profile.

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