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How to recruit the best talent for your startup

- October 10, 2022 3 MIN READ
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Photo: AdobeStock
The Albanese government promisingly used the recent Jobs and Skills Summit to commit to tackling the job and talent crisis head on.

One aspect of this included offering 6,800 extra permanent migration places for tech sector workers as a part of a promised 20% increase to this year’s permanent migration intake overall.

This is excellent news for the technology sector, and will go a long way towards addressing the skills shortage that has plagued the industry for many years.

But while the tech and startup communities wait for the benefits of these measures to kick in, there’s still talent to find and vacancies to fill in the short term: unemployment rates are dropping and job vacancies have risen by 13.8% since February 2022.

So how can tech startups find talent now, despite the current staffing crunch? The answer should be obvious to the tech sector: utilise technology.

Step 1: Expand your talent pool

The most effective way to boost your chances of finding great staff is by expanding your talent pool, which includes all possible candidates with the ability to meet your organisation’s current and long-term needs.

But expanding this database of potential new employees requires thinking outside the box – and using data strategically.

As an example, most companies lose track of past unsuccessful candidates, candidates who were offered roles but never signed up, and former employees who might be happy to return to the fold.

These past unsuccessful candidates or former employees can be gold in times of scarcity.

But during times of staffing abundance when certain roles may have attracted hundreds of applicants, or when staff turnover is high, it can be easy to lose track without the right technology.

On top of this, your business and available opportunities can change over time. This means you might now be the right choice for past candidates and ex-employees. It is essential you keep these groups up to date by treating them like alumni, a previous hotel guest, or a lost customer.

Using the right relationship management platform to nurture ongoing communication is essential, while keeping in touch via various social channels also adds a far richer experience for the candidate.

Step 2: Automate the heavy lifting by filtering at speed

All HR managers have been victim at some point of the old “spray and pray” approach used by some job seekers. These hopefuls apply for every job in a 100 kilometre radius regardless of if they are wildly unqualified or inappropriate, making the job of finding the right candidate just that little bit harder.

Rather than filtering through a flood of inappropriate CVs yourself, applicant tracking software can process CVs and build a digital profile of candidates. In some cases, advanced artificial intelligence can even rank skills and competences to bring the cream to the surface.

With all the time you’ve saved through automating this process, you can now step back in and excite the candidate with stories on brand mission and vision, exploring how a journey together could work for everyone.

Step 3: Get those reference (and other) checks before the competition

According to a LinkedIn study, only 30% of companies can fill a role within 30 days. Others take a discouraging 1 to 4 months, during which time the best candidates could be snapped up by other companies.

This is definitely not ideal in a marketplace where everyone is freaking out about finding talent in a tiny talent pool.

You’ve already filtered out your top contenders by obediently following my advice in the previous section. What an excellent start. But how many weeks are you about to waste by manually searching for multiple reference and other checks?

None, if you follow this next piece of advice!

This ‘checks’ part of the process can be the most confronting for the candidate, who often has no visibility or control over the progress of their references or checks. It would be devastating to lose a candidate because you took too long or didn’t keep them in the loop, despite the job and company being ideal.

Automated reference checking services can provide the requisite ID, employment, right-to-work, and criminal checks in a matter of hours or even minutes. But the more sophisticated providers out there, like Xref, extend this service further to offer additional innovative trust products that perform more sophisticated checks, such as verifying tertiary qualifications or analysing social media activity.

Getting these checks right from the start is imperative if you want to avoid repeating the hiring process in the near future after some questionable (fireable) online activity surfaces from your promising new employee.

Use technology to remove the heavy lifting, provide insight, and wow your candidate with all the extra time you’ve just created to tell your employer story and get to know the candidate properly.

Because the more technology you deploy in this process, the more time you will have to spend getting to know them as a human.

Happy talent hunting.

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