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I often talk to Founders who have just secured funding to enable them to continue on their startup journey. This is a major milestone for any startup, and whilst it’s probably the most exciting stage, it also often presents additional challenges and headaches. These are often focussed around hiring. As a tech recruiter that specializes in working with startups, I’ve seen first-hand how the influx of capital create both opportunities and obstacles. In this blog post, we’ll explore some key considerations for founders looking to grow their teams wisely and ensure long-term success.

  • Strategic Planning and Scaling:
    • Looking at the longer term company vision and the immediate needs of your startup will help to determine where your investment in talent will have the greatest impact.
  • Building a Core Team:
    • We always advocate for hiring individuals who not only have the right technical skills, but who also fit the company culture and share your vision.
  • Specialist Roles Vs. Generalists:
    • Hiring individuals who are generalists and can wear multiple hats is key at this early stage. As you grow, you can start to separate out more specific roles to cater for growing needs. It’s tempting to hire deeply focused engineers for example, but you also need someone who is open minded enough to jump into a different tech stack if needed.
  • Competitive Compensation:
    • Whilst everyone assumes that large funding rounds enable you to offer the highest salary levels, in truth this isn’t always the case. We advise that you look at balancing attractive salaries with equity options or potential bonus schemes in order to attract candidates and to compete with some of the well known bigger players.
  • Equity Distribution:
    • Take time to decide how your equity will be distributed amongst early employees. It’s a very powerful tool for attracting top talent and often candidates will forego base salary for a higher potential chunk of the pie.
  • Talent Acquisition Strategy:
    • At the early stages of growth, considering hiring your own in-house recruitment team can seem premature, depending upon your expected hiring levels over the first 6-12 months. Partnering with an external agency can often bring a broader reach and working on a contingency basis will keep your costs down through the searching phase.
  • Diversity and Inclusion:
    • Make a commitment to diversity and inclusion from the outset as this will promote a more innovative workforce and will enable you to appeal to a broader talent pool. Establishing policies and practices early on and making a commitment to an inclusive hiring policy will most certainly set the foundations for the future.
  • Company Culture and Values:
    • As you grow, maintaining the culture becomes more challenging. From the outset, articulate clear company values and ensure that your hiring aligns. Having a strong company culture can be a significant competitive advantage.
  • Employee Engagement:
    • Establishing programs or initiatives to keep employees engaged and motivated can help retain top talent. This can include regular communication channels for feedback and updates, recognition programs for outstanding performance, team-building activities to foster camaraderie among team members. Be active in this as opposed to thinking it will ‘just happen’.
  • Professional Development and Growth Opportunities:
    • Top talent will be looking for opportunities to grow and to advance their careers. Set out clear pathways for professional development to enable you to elevate your attractiveness as an employer.
  • Legal and Compliance Considerations:
    • Ensure that you comply with employment laws and regulations. Without an internal HR or Talent Advisor, it’s wise to seek external guidance and support to ensure that you don’t make any costly errors.
  • Remove Vs. On-site Work:
    • The tech industry has always been known for it’s remote working policy, even more so now since Covid. Operating a remote working policy absolutely broadens your talent pool but does mean that you have to ensure that you have processes in place to make staff feel welcome and part of the team. Onsite working can help to build your company culture, particularly in these early stages, but we would advise against full time in-person as this limits available candidates and can mean your search for critical hires can take longer.
  • International Hiring:
    • If you are looking at hiring talent from outside of your startup’s home country, there are many rules and regulations to consider. We strongly advise partnering with a reputable Employer of Record, who can help and advise on both legal and also cultural integrations.

In summary, securing funding for your startup is a pivotal moment that brings both opportunities and challenges, especially in regards to hiring and team growth. Investing in talent, is not just about filling roles but also creating an environment where individuals thrive and contribute to the long-term success of your business. And arguably, it is the biggest and most important investment as a founder, that you will make – so it is worth careful consideration. I hope that these points help as a starting block, and if you would like to do discuss in further details, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here or on Linkedin.


I look forward to hearing from you.

Relevant article that might also be of help: Building a Strong HR Foundation: A Checklist for Tech Startups