Start-ups, as well as established corporations, will likely agree on this: hiring is an extremely important part of your business, if not even it's most crucial.
It's the people that make OR break a company, right? You might have a stellar product in your head, but it's always your team that brings it to life and -- if chosen wisely -- makes it even better than you could imagine.

What has changed in the world of (IT) hiring?

The IT sector is specific in one thing: it's always been super difficult to find great talent that would be both available and keen on teaming up with you.

Recruiters soon noticed that and started to react accordingly. Countless online tools and platforms have been developed -- some for networking, some for hiring, some with integrated social media elements that enhance their functionality, you name it.

The way I see it, 99% of these tools solve just one or very few problems recruiters are facing these days. I'm not complaining, though. Every eliminated issue counts! However, there's no such thing yet as a one-stop shop that could make hiring the easiest job on the planet. You still have to be adroit and find your way to the minds of your perfect new team members, grab their attention and show them that their lives could never be fulfilled if they don't join forces with you, pompously told, of course.

How will you do it, then? Will you spread the word about your hiring needs on Facebook? Try to handpick several candidates on LinkedIn and reach out to them? Or launch a cool-looking microsite with funny videos, hoping it will go viral enough to be spotted by your desired audience?

What matters the most is YOU

Especially within start-ups, the founder also happens to be the recruiting manager. Not a fancy-looking “we're hiring” page on your website, not a sophisticated recruitment banner on a tech server, but YOU.

Your visions, your mindset, even your face is what represents your company in the eyes of a new team member.

What you need to do is present yourself and your company the same way you'd present it to yourself. What would make you want to work there? What the company has to offer, so you would want to work for them? Is there anything unique in your company's culture worth pointing out? What it is you love about your job and someone else should fall in love, as well?

Focus on such questions. Find answers and you'll be able to do your recruiting in the most effective way, meaning you'll attract people who have the same mindset you have, share the same values your company shares and, who knows, even people who can make you push yourself and your business beyond what you now think is possible.

Who are you really looking for?

You might find a developer who possesses the exact skills you need, and yet it just doesn't feel right. You sense something's missing.

Happen to find yourself in such a situation often? Try and ask yourself: is this really the right person to help me take our product / service / business where I want to go with it? Or is he or she seeing it as just another job that results in regular income?

If your answer is yes to the first question and no to the second one, congrats. You're close to creating that stellar team every manager wishes to have! This is applicable for anyone who's building any team, not just a technical one and not just within a startup.

How you can apply all this in real life

I'm sure all is clear and hope you see the point. So, what's the next step? Nothing other than bringing your ideas to life. Getting them out of your head so your potential team members can see them, share them, and identify with them!

There are plenty of developers out there willing to take on the opportunity you offer them, they just don't know it exists yet. And placing some basic info about it on one of those job portals or social networks likely just won't do in this case (although you might get an interesting CV or two).

Considering making updates on your “we're hiring” page? It won't hurt anyone, but neither will it have any major impact.

The one of hiring pages I helped to create was for a startup called Angelcam (in 2016, so it might be not actual by the time you are reading this article, hovewer they got the idea). However, I was limited in words and was not really allowed by UX designer and copywriter to say everything I wanted. Again, not complaining. I am sure they know much better what they are talking about than I and what user wants to see. And I respect them. But I also know that even if I could say everything I wanted, not a greater change would happen. It will not bring us more relevant CVs.

What you really want to publish and update is your vision, and you also need to sell it properly. Not through a hiring page, though. The ideal outcome? When a potential recruit comes across it and they're like: wow, man, this is exactly what I'm looking for!

An example from the heart of Europe

How sharing visions rather than facts works is quite obvious from the example that follows. It all happened in a hotel in Spyndleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic.

The hotel owner was left with a couple rooms available during the Christmas holiday, so he offered them to people who, otherwise, would be alone on Christmas eve. For free, just so they can enjoy Christmas time with others.

What followed was a social media boom. Millions of people saw the Facebook post, thousands responded through emails, dozens became interested in the hotel, even the TV and media came to make an interview. And some of them became interested in how, for a change, can help the owner.

The point is not to point out the number of people who became interested. This honourable act basically attracted the attention of people who share the same values as the owner does (it just happened it was so many of them), have the same mindset and are keen on paying back when they see a reason for it. They certainly got one here.

FYI: The hotel's name is Hromovka based in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech republic, and I am sure you will enjoy yourself there as well as we did just recently.

Let's get back to hiring

If I were to choose one thing that sums it all up, it would be this: it's YOU building a stellar team around yourself, thus your priority #1 should be letting the world know who you are, what you stand for, and what your values are. When you do it the right way, sooner or later the right people will discover you, and it won't have to be the other way around.

And think of a long term influence. People will get to know you. Juniors who can not offer the skills you need at the time and like you, will not only come back to you when ready, but will try to learn what has an additional value to your company.

What do you think of all that? Do we share this opinion or is there anything you feel differently about? Do you also believe that the hiring manager / founder is the most important aspect of the hiring process?

  • What are your experience with hiring and building the team?
  • I'll be happy to discuss the matter! Feel free to contact me :)