How to hire for less known startups ?

Kishen Das
6 min readJul 26, 2021

Companies like Google and Facebook get thousands of resumes everyday and hiring managers get to choose from hundreds of highly qualified candidates.

This is also the case for hot pre-IPO startups, where you can make it big, if you join at the right time.

But how about new startups that are still in pre-seed, seed, or even series A stage which not many people know.

Below are some of the things that you can try, to attract talent.

  1. Keep social media platforms like Glassdoor and Blind clean for better optics. If there are few negative comments about the leadership it’s understandable. But if there are specific detailed stories and lot of negative comments with many upvotes and bad overall rating, it would become hard to attract new talent. Also, please don’t have artificially written reviews. It’s very easy to distinguish the authentic ones from the fake. Many times all the positive reviews will use same set of keywords, similar writing style, and sometimes a bunch of them get posted on the same day !
  2. Almost all the new companies do blogging, but make sure it’s consistent, crisp, interesting, and easily readable. Make sure candidates can easily find articles about mission, values, tech, and company culture. Also, write an article on why someone should join your company.
  3. Once you have few early customers, you can also think about starting your own conference. Conferences are mostly helpful for building networks and making your company more popular. Inviting celebrities to the conference will definitely help.
  4. If you are using any popular open source projects, make sure to present your work at tech conferences.
  5. Keep inviting industry experts to come and present various topics at your startup.
  6. Don’t be smug during the interview process. You need the candidates and not the other way around.
  7. Try to avoid giving offline 8–12 hours of assignments to good candidates.
  8. Make sure hiring decisions are made quickly and decision is communicated clearly and in timely fashion to the candidate. How you treat them during the interview process speaks a ton about the company culture. It also get reflected in interview feedback on Glassdoor and in Blind threads.

Below are some of the categories of candidates that you can choose from.