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5 Recruitment Stages Driving Tech Startups’ Hiring Success

Quick look: Tech startups rely on experienced and productive employees to help achieve business growth and profit benchmarks. However, kickstarting the hiring process to attract and retain top talent can be its own hurdle. In this blog, learn about five stages every tech startup should integrate into their recruitment strategy.

A tech startup can’t become a unicorn without a powerhouse team. Tech founders are always ready for top talent to elevate their startup, but determining how to attract those employees can be a challenge. Setting up a comprehensive recruitment process is an excellent solution to streamline talent acquisition. While each startup has different priorities, the most successful recruiting plans cover five core stages. Read on to discover what those stages are. 

Stage 1: Job posting

Jobseekers need to know a job exists in order to apply. Whether it’s a new company position or a role needing a replacement, a good place for tech startups to kick off their recruitment efforts is the job posting stage. There are various details every job post needs, aside from the job’s title. Here are a few items to consider.

  • Company mission: Employees want to be proud of the company they work for and the work they do. Since mission-driven workers are 54% more likely to stay at a company for five years, startups can begin inspiring and educating future employees about their business venture by adding their mission statement into each job posting.
  • Location: Work commutes are prevalent factors job applicants consider when searching for their next position. That’s why it’s best to clearly provide a job’s location and any travel expectations within a job posting. For example, tech startups offering hybrid office schedules should say how many days employees work in office. It’s also smart to mention how often a role requires travel for customer meetings, conferences, or other business-related activities.
  • Role responsibilities: Listing the day-to-day duties of a job position helps startups determine what experience candidates should have. Showing these responsibilities also allows candidates to compare the work the role offers to the accomplishments they hope to achieve on their career path. 
  • Experience preferences: Numerous tech industry professions require specific skillsets. Front-end developers need HTML, Javascript, and CSS knowledge to program user-friendly websites. Data analysts rely on Structured Query Language (SQL) to properly query databases. Startups should mention any specific certifications, training, or preferred background experiences in job postings to help the right talent know their credentials match the role’s needs.
  • Pay transparency:  Dissatisfaction with pay is the reason why 57% of workers start looking for a new job. Tech startups can lower the probability of new hires having pay dissatisfaction with pay transparency, or writing a job’s salary amount or salary range in its post. Since the practice encourages fair and equal pay, pay transparency has become a mandated compliance law within certain states such as California, New York, and Connecticut. 
  • Application instructions: To avoid confusion, job posts should include any special instructions potential hires should follow. Confirm whether a cover letter or portfolio need to be submitted with their resume. Also explain which document formats, like PDF or Word Doc, and methods of contact are preferred.

After finalizing the job post, be sure to share it out into the marketplace. Tech startups can do so by publishing the post on their business’s main website or on public job boards such as LinkedIn or Indeed.

Stage 2: Talent pool assessment

Active job openings attract a variety of candidates, often achieving an average of 250 resumes per posting. However, a successful recruitment process values quality over quantity. Taking the time to assess the talent pool helps tech startups identify the applicants whose experiences align most with the available role. Vetting through resumes also improves the rest of the recruitment process, giving interviewers more flexibility to focus on the performance of ideal applicants while also meeting their core job’s project deadlines.

The chosen candidates of interest should then be sent a formal interview invitation. It’s also good etiquette to let non-selected candidates know they are no longer being considered. After all, most candidates would prefer an honest notice rather than discover they have been “ghosted” by a company. There is also an opportunity to keep the rapport between rejected candidates alive by encouraging them to share feedback on the application process and check other company openings that may better fit their qualifications.

Stage 3: Interview

The interview stage allows employers to gain a deeper understanding of a candidate’s skills, career interests, and personality. Before having that first sit-down with any applicants, tech startups should outline their desired interview format. Answering the following questions can help solidify this decision.

  • How many rounds should an interview include?
  • Should interviews be done virtually, a method used by 82% of U.S. employers?
  • What key questions should be asked to an applicant?
  • Who should interview applicants for the available role?
  • How many interviewers should be involved in the process?
  • What’s the best method for interviewers to share their feedback on applicants?
  • Should applicants complete an assignment round? If so, what type of assignment should be given?

Relay the selected format to any interviewers and candidates within the process to support the interview stage’s efficiency as it progresses.

Stage 4: Offer letter

Multiple interviews later, it’s time to officially congratulate and invite their best candidate to join the team. It’s not uncommon for this invitation to be presented in a phone or video call. However, an offer letter provides documented proof of the terms both parties agree to adhere to upon the role’s acceptance. 

The baseline details required in an initial offer letter include the job’s title, base salary, location, and expected start date. Noting high-level perks like company-observed holidays and paid time off (PTO) help the applicant visualize how the startup supports their work-life balance goals. Employers should also state any tasks a job applicant is expected to complete before or during the onboarding process. Such activities could include confirming their employment history for background checks, completing a drug test screening, or filling out any onboarding paperwork like direct deposit information and employee handbook agreements.  

Stage 5: Onboarding

Onboarding, the final recruitment stage, is all about initiating new hires into the company and their role. This stage is also the new hire’s first impression of a tech startup’s working environment and culture. Similar to how a startup begins monitoring their new worker’s performance as an active team member, workers monitor the startup’s capabilities as an employer. Companies who meet or surpass onboarding expectations are on the right track to bettering their business. After all, organizations see productivity improve over 70% when they execute a strong onboarding process. Employees who have a great onboarding experience also 69% more likely to stay with a company for three years. 

The key secret to a great onboarding program is preparation and transparency. Before executing, brainstorm what topics should be discussed with new hires. Most businesses use the start of onboarding to explain the company’s mission, goals, and different departmental functionalities. For tech startup, it’s wise to ensure their latest employees have access to the equipment, software applications, or virtual programs they need to do their job. Any mandatory employee training related to cybersecurity, certification renewals, and workplace harassment should also be acknowledged.

Based on those answers, a decision can be made on how long this procedure should take place. Though every company is different, it has become popular to use a 90-day plan to cover the business basics and help candidates get used to their role.

Master every stage with a trusted PEO partner

Implementing these recruitment stages doesn’t have to be challenging. Instead of letting recruitment become a workplace stressor, get expert assistance from an experienced professional employer organization (PEO).

ExtensisHR is a certified PEO who specializes in offering full-scale recruiting services to partners at no additional cost. While ExtensisHR manages the complex processes and paperwork behind recruitment, tech startups are free to earn seed funding from accredited investors, nurturing the turn rate of customers, and other business operations driving profit benchmarks.

Along with maintaining your recruitment plan, ExtensisHR provides additional HR services including:

  • Fortune 500-level employee benefits at rates more affordable than obtaining benefits as an individual company
  • Risk and compliance management to protect startups from regulatory misconduct and keep them up-to-date with employment laws
  • Transparent HR progress tracking within our mobile-first Work Anywhere® platform
  • Customer-first service and consultations from certified HR experts
  • Comprehensive payroll and tax administration

ExtensisHR also offers additional client-sponsored tools and solutions catered specifically for your business needs. Extra recruitment assistance is provided through our Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This advanced platform elevates the hiring process with powerful and configurable features such as integrated career portal customizations, quick open-role posting on major job boards, detailed candidate progress reporting, and much more. 

Annual performance reviews are made easier, too, thanks to our 15Five partnership. 15Five is a leading employee engagement system whose unique review features streamline team communication and encourage a healthy company culture. Best of all, the 15Five Performance Management System helps startups capture transparent employee feedback that pinpoints company successes and protects workforce productivity by addressing obstacles sooner.

Truly, choosing ExtensisHR as your PEO partner allows tech startups to acquire the high-level HR expertise they need to achieve employee success before, during, and after the recruitment process.

Contact our team today to learn how our PEO solutions can elevate your recruitment strategy.

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