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Start Ups: How to Stand Out and Attract the Best Developers

Jun 21, 2022
Start Ups: How to Stand Out and Attract the Best Developers

So, you’ve just launched a startup. Chances are you have a great idea, you’re passionate, and you can’t wait to get the ball rolling by hiring into your team. Then, you’ll be ready to take the world by storm!

Since these early-stage hires are going to have a tremendous influence on the growth and character of your business, you want to make sure you’re getting the best of the bunch.

As Hire.Trackstar highlighted ‘Whether you’re a first-time business owner or an experienced entrepreneur, passionate people can be the key to your successful startup.’

Finding the cream of the crop is easier said than done, so let’s explore a few hacks to attract the best developers.

Don’t just focus on looking cool.

You need to show the world who you are and why they should work for you. That shouldn’t be hard, right? You're an innovative, super cool, radical, pioneering, visionary company, looking to hire super wizard ninja coders…

But what does that actually mean?

It's important not to get too caught up in projecting your brand as a ‘super cool company’. This on its own won’t ensure that the best talent chooses you.

It can actually be unclear, and even appear repetitive. You don’t want great developers dismissing your opportunity because they’ve ‘heard it all before.’

Startups are thought of as exciting, sure, but brand reputation takes time to build. As a new company, you can’t compete on this front with more established and well-known organisations.

This means you have to really hone in on how your business is unique, and be truthful as well as enthusiastic.

Be specific in your job spec.

As we established above, job specs shouldn't be filled with buzzwords that are just there to look good.

When sourcing, recruiters need to look at what the business can offer to prospective talent, in terms of the role, the company culture, and the future.

Orbis recruiter Aaron Shakeshaft advises, ‘avoid the trap of including a long list of requirements and a vague description of how you are going to revolutionise a certain space.’ 

This can alienate and confuse talent.

Instead, be real. Explain what you intend to do and how. 

That means outlining the problem that your business or product will solve, as well as why your solution is the best. This will pique your readers’ interest in the company.

Then, it’s time to introduce the opportunity to join your team. Talent will already be intrigued, and if you’ve established their faith in your solution, they’ll be much more receptive to the idea of joining your ranks.

You also need to paint a picture of what it will be like to work for your brand. According to Aaron, you need to ‘describe exactly where each new hire will fit into your team, and how their contributions will help you solve the problem that your start-up wants to fix.’

This way, you can help dream candidates to visualise themselves within your team as well as demonstrate how you can help them to grow and excel in an innovative environment, with a company mission that they connect with.

Don’t always lead with product ownership.

The first thing that comes to mind when you begin to list the selling points of your startup, might be that ‘here, engineers will own their own product’.

That’s great; it’s attractive to talent and should certainly be emphasized. But it’s just one box, and unfortunately, it’s one that many other startups looking to hire from the same pool are already ticking. It won’t set you apart.

There are alternative ‘selling points’ you can focus on. These include the specific opportunities that are available within the position you are offering, such as further training or spearheading a project.

To summarise, it’s essential to remember who it is that you’re looking to attract: not just great developers, but real people with unique motivations.

When selling the idea of your company, it’s easy just to talk about how great your startup is. But this is a two-way relationship. Talk about what makes the right fit for your team as well.

The talent you acquire, especially in the early stages, will be a huge asset in your journey to success and in turn, you could be their ticket to career advancement and fulfilment. So make sure you’re authentic about who you are and what you can offer.

This way, you’ll build a team who are not only highly skilled but also aligned with your vision.

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