4 Ways Startups Can Compete for IT Talent Today

Every successful startup that you hear about is made up of a team of talented, motivated, and passionate individuals. But putting a team of talented individuals together isn’t an easy task. Most owners of startups are usually left wondering how they can get the most talented people out there to help.

Although it can be difficult, it’s not an impossible undertaking. Sure there are some obvious ways to do it like competitive salaries, job titles, equity, and highly collaborative environments. But there’s a lot more to it than just that.

So how do you go about attracting the best talent? Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Embody Business Values in Every Aspect of your Business

If you want to attract talent with integrity, you will need to embody your values in all aspects of your business. If your business values are hollow, you’ll get found out pretty quickly.

If the talent identifies with your message, it will resonate with them. One way to do this is to embrace transparent blogging to share the internal workings of your startup.

Companies that have had success doing this are as follows:

  • Buffer
  • Moz
  • Unbounce

Sharing the overall vision of your business is salient, but admitting the negatives is just as important. Transparency is a major aspect of company culture but it’s often overlooked by entrepreneurs.

If your startup is committed to clear communication and transparency, you can significantly boost morale. This is because employees are more invested in the “cause” and the team they’re part of.

This will also enhance productivity and attract new talent that appreciates this type of a working environment.

2. Embrace Personalization

The age of traditional 9-5 is dying out. Everyone wants to work with a company that accommodates their needs, interests, and strengths. So it’s a good idea to mold your expectations than that of your employees to fit your needs.

Job personalization is a great HR marketing tactic that can entice the best in the business. Personalization can be anything like being allowed to decorate personal office space, location independence (remote working), and flexible hours.

If you’re unable to offer full-time remote work, you can offer mini-remote opportunities. This can be an option once or twice a week or even a full month every year to work from anywhere in the world.

Further, this could be a great way to attract talent from around the country or around the world.

3. Search for IT Talent Globally

This perceived shortage of IT talent isn’t just an American problem, it’s a global one. H1B visas and other types of visa can help, but they usually come with a 3 year expiry date.

Hiring people and letting them work from wherever they are can solve this problem. There are pockets of talent in Eastern European countries like Romania and Ukraine that are closer to your timezone. As a result, hiring globally and embracing telecommuting can be a huge benefit for startups on a tight budget.

Sourcing and hiring from around the world can help fill the skills gap. In the long term, an emphasis on training and professional development can grow that talent.

Read more about the benefits of software outsourcing for startups in our previous article.

4. Get Creative with Employee Benefits

For most job seekers, it’s employee benefits that draw them in. But if you’re on a tight budget like most startups, offering healthcare benefits may not be possible during the early stages.

If you’re right at the starting line, it’s best not to worry about healthcare at this stage. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made healthcare more accessible and more affordable than ever before. So if you have less than 51 employees, you’re not required by law to provide group health coverage.

But there is room to get creative as a lot of physicians are breaking away from private insurance to offer low-cost healthcare options directly to patients. These doctors often charge by the hour or by the procedure. Some even offer an annual patient membership plan.

As a result, there is room for startups to work with primary care physicians to offer employees health care coverage. Further, discount dental plans also cost a lot less than traditional health insurance. So there are options to explore if you want to offer benefits to attract talent on a strict budget.

I am not saying that all these ideas will work for every startup. Rather it will be relative to the specific characteristics and needs of your startup.

How else would you go about attracting the best in the business? 

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Andrew Zola is a freelance writer, designer, and artist working in branding and marketing for over ten years. He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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