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The continued trend of acqui-hires is making it seem like there’s no talent rock left unturned in tech hubs and startup communities. In reality, this simply isn’t the case.

Hiring may seem dire at these record high levels of employment, but you don’t need to make an offer to every developer that you meet. You do however need to make recruiting a priority, and spend the time and effort learning how to do it correctly. 

Here are a few hiring pointers you need to know, and that most startups aren’t doing:

Market your career opportunities like they’re one of your products. It’s not just your SaaS software that needs to be talked up, but your open jobs need some love, too! Blog and tweet about your openings, write compelling copy, get visibility by sponsoring events, re-post your job openings, and keep your ads and website current.

Work the network of your whole company. Ask your employees for referrals. Make it easy for them. You can create an actual referral blurb that they can send out or post to their LinkedIn profiles. Ask your VC’s and board members for referrals. If they can’t send you the engineers you need, ask for a referral to a trusted recruiter who can help.

Concentrate on being genuine when talking to potential hires and describing why you need the position filled. The money is becoming less and less important for software engineers. Of course, you’ll need to pay market rate, but in this hiring market, you’re really competing on a mission, technology, and company personality. Even if you know this isn’t the right hire for you, candidates should still leave an interview wanting to work at your company. 

If you’re going to throw a million dollars at talent acquisition, be sure you have a talent retention plan in place that’s more than just golden handcuffs!


For more great startup hiring tips from TheSourcery, checkout How to Sell Your Company to a Fantastic Candidate and A Secret to Competing with Global Goliaths.

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This post was written by Jessica Stielau and Matt Abbott, and was originally published on

Your time is valuable. As a hiring manager, you only want to engage with the most qualified handful of candidates, who have already been pre-screened. The Sourcery is the industry’s best-in-class sourcing and recruiting experts. We’ve helped over 350 startups, scale ups, and enterprises hit their hiring and growth goals. Our client list and track record speaks for itself. Drop us a line, or refer us to someone you know if there’s a need for our help.

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