Hiring Beyond Series A: What Should Founders Prioritise? 

Gaining funding is an exciting milestone for any startup. It’s a clear sign to the world that investors share your vision, that the world is enthusiastic for your product, and that your business has the potential to make a significant impact. Although raising capital might feel like the climax of a long journey, in reality, the work has only just begun. Now you have the funds, it’s time to execute your long-term vision – a step you can only take with the right team by your side. With this in mind, in this article, we’ll be delving into the most crucial considerations for startups when hiring through Series A funding and beyond. 

1. Refine your employer branding 

Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is more important now than ever. This is the foundation upon which all your talent attraction efforts are built; it encompasses who you are as a company, and why candidates should want to work for you over your competitors. It encompasses not only tangible things like salary, benefits, and perks, but also more abstract things like values and aspirations. You no doubt spent some time considering this back when your startup was initially founded, but now, it’s time to get serious. In tech recruitment, this is especially important – from Google’s dog-friendly offices to Adobe’s $10,000 education reimbursement scheme, candidates have come to expect a lot from the industry. That’s not to say you’re EVP needs to cost an arm and a leg, though. All employer branding efforts should start with solid research. What’s most important to your current employees? Thinking about your ideal candidate persona, what would attract them to come to work for you? If you want to attract more women to your startup, for example, it’s a great idea to look into creating an enhanced maternity scheme and ensuring work is truly flexible. It’s also wise to invest some of your newly-raised capital into ensuring your recruitment marketing efforts are as solid as possible, for example, creating a standout careers section on your website, or investing in video content that shows potential employees exactly what it’s like to work for you. 

2. Start hiring specialists 

No doubt your small yet insanely productive team has achieved an incredible amount thus far, but it’s almost certain you have a lot of multi-taskers on your team. In the early days of a startup, team members often need to wear many hats, swinging from project manager to tech trouble-shooter as the need arises. Now though, it’s time to take the strain off your team and hire specialists with clearly defined roles. For example, this might be when you choose to bring in specialist developers, an analytics team, or product professionals. By doing so, you’ll be able to streamline your operations, enhance efficiency, and ensure that each aspect of your business receives the focused attention it deserves. Specialised roles allow team members to delve deeper into their areas of expertise, leading to higher quality work and faster project completion. Don’t neglect your founding team in the process, though – now might be the time to reward them with promotions into management positions, or to start allowing them to focus on the area of the business they’re most passionate about. 

3. Invest in marketing

‘Marketing’ is more than just a slick website or a great Facebook ad. It’s a discipline that should be baked into your startup’s processes from the inside out. Some startups make the mistake of simply relying on the quality of their product to speak for itself, but such an approach is almost always doomed to failure. While a remarkable product is undoubtedly a strong foundation, effective marketing serves as the bridge that connects your innovation with your target audience. It’s about conveying the unique value proposition, addressing pain points, and creating an emotional connection that resonates deeply with potential customers. Up until now, you’re probably had one or two people managing most of your company’s marketing functions – but now it’s time to think bigger. For example, you’re probably going to need SEO specialists to help attract the right audience to your website, copywriters to help convey your USP to the masses, and designers to make sure your branding is on point. If your company creates tools, APIs or services aimed at software developers, you’re probably going to also want to consider hiring a DevRel specialist to ensure the community you’re serving is on board with your product.

4. Make a recruitment roadmap 

Now you have a decent amount of capital behind you, you may well feel pressure to hire people as quickly as possible. You might also get carried away and start making offers after an initial chat just to get people through the door and though an eagerness to close one open position and move on to the next. Hiring people is tiring. It takes time and a lot of effort, and is more than reading CVs and doing a few interviews, it’s a science – believe us, we should know. You may need to step back and consider which roles must be prioritised, and which can be temporarily managed by the founders and the current team. This will help you a devise a realistic – and not overly stressful – timeline as to when all positions should be filled. Finally, we can’t overstate the advantage of teaming up with a skilled tech recruitment team. They will take all the weight off your shoulders, and leverage their contacts and expertise to help find the right people for the job. It’s worth understanding that different recruitment models exist, too, and that some might be more suitable for your needs than others. Ad-hoc hiring might be performed on a contingent basis, whereas for hiring a whole department, embedded recruitment might be a sensible option – this model allows a recruitment team to fully devote their time and resources to your business, often reducing the time-to-hire and making the process more seamless. 

New to startup recruiting? Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate startup recruitment guide. It covers everything, from why startups fail, to what your recruitment considerations should be throughout every stage of funding. If you want to skip the reading and start making high-impact hires for your business, get in touch with a member of our specialist team today. 

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