Hi, We are a tech startup located in a small city with limited pool of talent and a mid-size university. We are looking to hire a new tech member in a few months, but we don't know where to start, who and how to hire. Remote vs. on-site? Experienced vs. recent grads? How do we vet? What type of person to look for? Please provide your input and I'd be happy to set up a call to discuss in details.

Great question.

The answer to this may depend on what exactly you mean "technical talent" - My guess is that, given the context, you are referencing software development/programming in some capacity. In which case, the first thing I would ask yourself (before "how do I hire someone locally in a small city?") is "how do I find the right technical talent I need now, regardless of where they are?"

A virtualized/telecommuting workforce for programming is not only common these days, it is (to some extent in certain situations) expected. The life of a programmer usually requires keeping random hours with late night sprints on occasion. So, most programmers (particularly younger ones) may look for opportunities to have partial or total flexibility in terms of working remotely. In this case, hiring locally doesn't become an issue and you can look to recruit in other more dense technical recruiting markets (though that in and of itself carries its own issues/risks). Even if you recruit outside of your city with the intention of requiring that full-time person to work in your office, the expectation can be set that after a period of time (perhaps 60-90 days) the person will be expected to move to your city so they can be integrated with the rest of your team in person.

So, putting aside the "where" of the question, now we get to focus on the more direct part of the equation: the "who". there are a lot of questions you need to explore so you an scope the candidate profile you are looking for, but also your method/means of recruiting, vetting and attracting them (not the least of which is cost/budgeting).

- What platform(s) are they working on?
- Are they backend or frontend focused?
- What stage of development is your product currently in?
- What are the practices and principles you currently utilize that may impact the validity of a candidate (code repos, project management software etc)
- Will you now, or in the near-future, ask this person to manage other directly reporting team members or vendors?
- To what extent, if any, will they interact with end-users/clients?
- What is your budget/plan for compensation packages?
- Will equity be a part of that compensation package?

Those are just a few of the questions/areas that need to be assessed. the good news is that once organized, it can be a fairly simple (not necessarily easy though) process. they key is organizing all of your requirements and considerations up front so you don't waste time recruiting or considering the wrong resource (let's remember, you do have a business to run during this whole recruitment process!)

I'd be happy to hop on a call and help walk you through the quick process of organizing your thoughts - feel free to reach out and best of luck!

Answered 7 years ago

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