Insider Tips for Tech Startups

It’s hard to know where to begin when starting your own company; from establishing an idea and budget, all the way through to finding investors and funding, recruiting your first employees and sorting out your tax and legal obligations. With so much to get right, it’s no wonder many tech startups struggle to get off the ground.

Though it’s not for the faint of heart, starting a business can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. And you don’t have to face this venture alone. Our Insider Tips for Tech Startups blog series is here to provide you with all the advice you need when building your company.

Recruiting Tips for IT Startups


If you’re thinking about starting your own business, you’re not alone. In fact, you would be joining 487,000 other small to medium enterprises, representing 97% of all New Zealand businesses.

Having a successful business however, means having a team of hard-working, trusted and dedicated employees sharing the same goal: to grow. Nine out of ten startups around the world fail within their first three years. So it’s imperative that founders identify how quickly (or slowly) their business needs to grow to avoid becoming a statistic.

During the startup period, recruiting can be a challenging, time consuming and costly process. Small startups have to compete with the strong marketing campaigns and well-trained Recruiters of larger corporations. That being said, there’s still plenty you can do to hook the best candidates, reel them in and obtain that important competitive edge.

Building a Plan


Effective recruitment takes planning. In order to build that perfect team, you will need a strategy. Hiring for the first time, or even the first ten times can be daunting and startups often wait until the work becomes too much.

Often referred to as ‘reactive hiring’, Hiring Managers can fall into the trap of shaping a new role around someone’s skills and knowledge. Instead, they should be ensuring the role suits the needs of the business. Managing these needs and subsequent growth can be a major problem. Growing too slowly could cause a decline in the quality of work and company culture. Whilst growing too quickly could prove too costly to maintain.

Identifying what you need to begin building a solid team starts with having a clearly defined mission. Start with finding the gaps in your operation and decide what skills and expertise are needed to fill them. Armed with this knowledge, you can work out the type of candidates the business needs.

Once you have found a suitably skilled candidate, don’t dismiss their character and attitude over the need of an extra pair of hands. A person’s character should be equally as important as their skill and education, so always aim to hire reliable, trustworthy and effective people that won’t require additional and extensive management.

Standing Out


Today, 94% of job seekers are more likely to apply to a job if the employer has an active online brand. Three quarters want to know what makes a company an attractive place to work. An employer’s career page is still the number one way candidates find these answers, so it’s crucial for your website and brand to stand out for the right reasons.

Your company website should be able to offer an answer to any question your candidate could pose during an interview. This includes where your company is headed and what kind of people work there, as well as basic information like what you and your business do.

Your company’s reputation will help convince the best candidates to join your enterprise and will be what sets you aside from your competitors. Your mission shouldn’t just explain what you do, but why and what drives you and your employees.

For your mission to be heard you will need a strong employer brand that showcases your company culture. Building your company’s brand takes time and dedication but a great place to start is with the following four tips:


Search and Procure


After you have identified what you need from a candidate, you’re ready to begin your hunt. Every active vacancy should be listed on your career website, even if you plan to post it elsewhere. Utilise every network, every platform and every employee.

When budget is an issue, referral reward schemes can provide benefits for your employees who successfully refer a candidate to you. In turn this saves you time and increases the quality of potential candidates.

Don’t allow your employees to have too much involvement in the recruitment process as a whole. Have a small number of people who understand the needs and objectives of the business interview a candidate. This will keep the end-to-end recruitment process quick and simple. Once you have made a decision, make your move.

Convincing the Candidate


Sometimes, your company’s mission, reputation and objectives won’t be enough to convince a potential candidate to work for you. You need to listen out for what’s important to the candidate during the interview and respond to them. Try to ensure they get excited about working for you.

Whilst it’s going to be important to the candidate, avoid focusing on the monetary aspect of the role. Highlight and follow through on other elements such as company culture and events, or more flexible working hours. When surveyed, three out of five candidates said they would compromise on salary for a better hiring experience. So if you have any other benefits such as medical or dental, make sure you mention them during the interview as well.


Small to medium enterprises have it tough when competing against larger corporations with bigger recruitment budgets. This is reflected in the fact that 44% of smaller New Zealand businesses that started in 2010 ceased to exist 5 years later, compared to the 32% of larger enterprises.

You’re not doomed to fail though. With a good recruitment strategy and employer brand, even the smallest of companies can be some of the most sought after employers to work for. However, one of your biggest challenges is managing the needs of your business and its growth.

Our team of experienced Recruitment Specialists has made RWA the IT recruitment agency of choice for IT job seekers here in New Zealand. If you’re a startup IT enterprise in need of assistance in finding the best talent to match the needs of your business, then feel free to get in touch with us today.

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