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How to Hire the Right Employees for a Startup Faster and Smarter

How to Hire the Right Employees for a Startup Faster and Smarter

Hiring is usually neither short nor cheap. It normally takes 42 days to hire an employee, while the average cost per hire is $4600. For the startups aiming at launching a software product to the highly competitive market, these time and money costs are definitely crucial, but the cost of a bad hire is even more shocking and ranges between $17,000 to $240,000. For aspiring startups funded on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, wasting such a budget equals failure. 

With the goal of saving your project from costly hiring mistakes, let’s discover how to hire employees for a startup in a more effective way. 

Need an urgent solution to find the right people for your project? Ask Bridge for help

How to hire developers for a startup – tips and best practices

Hiring for a startup differs from hiring employees for mature companies. While the latter usually have a far-reaching recruitment strategy, a lot of startups are being developed in conditions of relative uncertainty. What’s more, startups are driven by the idea that their product is going to change the world, so finding and acquiring startup talent with the same mindset requires a specific approach. 

Here is how to hire a team for a startup step by step. 

Grow your brand

Startups never become famous overnight, so before attracting potential employees, you have to grow your brand and increase awareness. 

  • Showcase your project on tech events and make connections for future hirings. In addition to the opportunity to get in touch with tech-savvy people, such events are also promising for meeting potential investors. So, keep your elevator pitch ready to quickly explain the potential of your startup to VCs. 
  • Grow your following on social media and run a blog. In addition to making real-life connections, building awareness via social media is also a good tactic. Get started with LinkedIn since this is a top platform to find both employees and investors with one post, plus consider other social media. For example, Facebook offers great advertising options so that you can distribute your job ad while targeting the right user group. Also, consider running a blog to make your website more visible in organic search results in the long run. 
  • Build relations and strong corporate culture. Most prominent startups stand out with not only an innovative idea behind them, but also with the values and mission they stand for. So, start building your corporate culture right now to attract top talent who would like to belong to something unique. 

Develop a hiring strategy

When creating a recruitment strategy for startups, you still have to keep startup specifics in mind. Follow the tips below to develop a smart hiring tactic and avoid the most common mistakes both mature companies and newly created startups make when hiring tech talent. 

Struggling to Hire the Right Tech Talent? Here’s What’s Wrong With Your IT Staffing Strategy

  • Define the roles and skill sets you need. First, take a restrained look at your project development strategy and define the skill sets you need right now. For most projects, hiring one designer, one frontend and one backend developer would be enough to get started. 
  • Set KPIs and timelines for each position. For startups being created for highly competitive markets, hiring deadlines are crucial. Make sure to set realistic times-to-hire for each role, and carefully track the performance by measuring such indicators as submit to interview, interview to offer, and offer acceptance ratios. 

Hire on demand

One of the best practices to hire employees for a startup is to hire on demand. Here is how it can work for your project. 

  • Follow the LEAN approach. Always keep the core principle of the LEAN development methodology in mind – you have to test and confirm the need before investing. When it comes to hiring developers for a startup, it means that you have to carefully validate the hiring necessity before launching a recruitment campaign. 
  • Hire freelancers for small, short-time and non-critical tasks. Staying LEAN, Agile and flexible is what most startups strive for, and the recruitment process is no exception. So, consider hiring freelance specialists for one-time tasks. For example, an independent contractor can create a logo for your project, allowing you to avoid hiring a full-time designer, if you don’t need one to be a part of the team right now. 
  • Don’t hire for the roles you don’t need right now. In other words, don’t opt fro covering all the roles at once. Instead, focus on hiring key employees, but keep in mind that you can still source candidates for the future to avoid overhead costs of hiring for the upcoming positions. More on this idea in the next section.  

Source candidates proactively

Hiring for startups means filling crucial positions gradually, instead of hiring them all at once. However, don’t skip potentially suitable candidates with decent backgrounds. Source them and build a talent pool for future hires. Here is how.

What Is Candidate Sourcing and Why It Needs to Be Part of Your Tech Talent Acquisition Strategy

  • Pitch to candidates on LinkedIn. Outreach to all specialists, whose experience, skills and knowledge seem to be valuable for your project. This is also an opportunity to raise your brand awareness, meet like-minded people and spread the word of mouth. 
  • Post job ads and gather a pool of applicants. Having a pool of great specialists is a treasure for startups, especially those on a budget and tight deadlines. Refer to it when having an upcoming job opening and most likely, you will be able to save time and money. 

Create a rigorous vetting process

Thorough vetting is equally important for both startups and mature companies. The only difference is that you will also have to always keep the cultural fit in mind, more on this later in the next section. For now, let’s find out how to validate the candidate and get closer to the right hiring decision. 

  • Review the resumes, but don’t be driven by them only. Hiring for a startup requires taking an all-inclusive look and being flexible with hiring decisions. For example, in many cases hiring a less qualified person who sincerely shares your startup values would be wiser than hiring an overqualified candidate with no personal match. 
  • Have a technical consultant for careful candidate assessment. If you have no technical background, hiring a tech consultant will be the right decision. At this point, you have to pay for the opportunity to avoid a mistake that will ultimately cost more in the future. So, attract a consultant at the interview and technical assessment stage to make sure the candidate’s technical expertise matches your development strategy and requirements.
  • Pay attention to soft skills. The most necessary ones startup initiators should look for in job seekers are flexibility, communication, creative and analytical thinking, and the ability to find non-standard solutions. So, consider adding some creative or gaming tasks to the interview process to make sure the candidate has the soft skills you are looking for. 

Look for people who share your values

While cultural fit shouldn’t be the #1 priority for large companies, in the case of startups, it becomes as important as the technical background of the candidate. The matter is that startups are the projects requiring personal and sincere contribution of all team members. They should share your values and be ready to go the extra mile, so consider running personal interviews or better to say, semi-friendly discussions, to make sure a candidate is actually ready to contribute to your idea development and project growth. 

3 ways to hire the right people for your startup risk-free

So, hiring the right employees for a startup can be challenging, especially when you don’t have any technical and hiring experience. But Bridge would be happy to help you. Our tech-savvy talent sourcers can find the right people for your project across three continents, following a data-driven approach and carefully selecting pre-vetted candidates. Here is how it can work depending on your startup development stage and course.  


Most small, but promising startups need to hire fast and at a lower cost, compared to running full-scaled hiring campaigns in-house. Sourcing-as-a-service is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, speeding up candidates’ outreach up to five times and decreasing recruitment costs by up to 60%.

We at Bridge source engineering talent using a data-first and AI-powered engine created for hiring tech talent specifically. It allows us to find up to 15-30 candidates per month at no overhead costs – the service comes with a fixed price, which is several times more cost-effective compared to hiring an HR manager in-house or partnering with a recruitment agency with no data-driven technology embedded into the recruitment process.

Hire top tech candidates in a flash with our tech-enabled sourcing as a service. Ask us for help now for better time and costs for hire! 

IT recruitment

For growing startups who need a full-fledged tech team, IT recruitment services can be a good way to go. With the help of our customer-only platform, you can create multiple job requisitions, and start getting the first candidates within several days. Next, you can proceed with interviewing them and managing your talent pipeline using our solution. IT recruitment is also great when you have to close hard-to-fill positions, or the talent you need is pretty rare. While we will take care of payrolls, you are welcome to review the candidates and attract the best ones to make great things happen.

Give startup hiring an easy way with IT recruitment. Bridge team is here to help you with gathering a full-fledged tech team and making your project run! 

IT augmentation

If your startup already has in-house engineers, but it grows so quickly that you urgently need additional hands and minds, consider extending your team with remote developers. IT staffing is an opportunity to keep your project running and effectively respond to the growing workload by assigning some of the tasks to a remote development team. Bridge sourcers can help you with finding the right talent in Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America and the US to ensure a cultural fit and time zone alignment, in addition to carefully matching the developers’ skillsets with your project requirements.

Switch to more effective remote project development with IT staff augmentation services. Drop us a line to scale your team risk-free! 

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