One of the biggest frustrations that tech startups face when looking to grow, is talent acquisition. Until you hit circa 30 staff, most startups don't employ a full time internal specialist and therefore have to rely on networking, referrals and other external resources.
Competing with the larger, more established tech companies has been a major hurdle as they are generally able to offer higher remunerations. However, there may just be an opportunity for these younger companies to take the lead.
COVID-19 has proved that we can move from a traditional office environment to a WFH solution in a short space of time. We have seen companies sharing weekly team meetings, pub quizzes online, where co-workers can still get together and collaborate, albeit via online sources. Whilst building a culture is high up on the list when it comes to growing your business, having a more flexible approach to working may just enable you to get one step ahead of these giants. How?
Larger tech clients will have a commitment to office space and will have invested money in the workspace itself. Whilst we will see a shift in allowing more flexibility, it will perhaps take longer to introduce given the investment already made and the associated changes in relation to working policies. It will also be a major shift in the company ethos. As a startup, you have the ability to make WFH and remote working, one of your key selling points. It enables you to widen your candidate pool rather than restricting your search to those who can travel to your offices on a daily basis. A recent report by GitLab (3000 surveyed up until Feb 2020) showed 38% of remote workers saw lack of commute as a top benefit. This time was used instead to exercise, rest and share valuable time with family. 52% also offered overall higher levels of productivity as a plus point.
One of the most interesting statistics, in my opinion, is that 62% of respondents said that they would leave a co-located company for a remote position. Consider that alone when you are looking to attract high level tech candidates to your business.
Concerned about how you would build a collaborative team without face to face contact? Here are just a few of our ideas:
Daily meetings (via Zoom, Google Hangouts etc) - give each member of the team a chance to share their plan for the day. Enable individuals to ask questions, share ideas and solve problems together
Follow up with a Friday closing meeting to reflect on the week and to celebrate success or to highlight issues raised and plan action
Schedule 1-1 meetings. This time is still important for individuals alongside the team time, it enables you to manage from a distance
Use a tool such as slack, whereby team members can update on their status and make others aware of when they are or are not around
I have read some really interesting stories on how individuals have been interviewed, hired and onboarded all remotely! Our views regarding traditional recruitment practices have changed.
If you are looking to grow your tech startup and would like advice on hiring staff, the process or onboarding we would love to help.