Hiring technical talent has always been a huge challenge for early-stage startups, but in this current market, nothing is more difficult or more potentially impactful. Getting the right hires will allow you to set the right early technical and product direction, and in turn, your business will be primed to scale and succeed. Hiring the wrong people (or not hitting your hiring, and thereby your product development goals), can allow competitors to swoop in and take market share. The first five to ten hires are critical indicators of future success. 

There’s been a change in the world over my last decade in recruiting. When I started in Talent, early-stage startups with “big challenges and high potential upside” were the target move for candidates of all levels. Several market forces have made it more competitive to recruit at the Seed or A rounds. 

First, there is more VC money being pumped into the ecosystem and in turn, the competition is steeper. With more early-stage startups on the scene, the harder it becomes to differentiate your talent brand and story. Second, the tides have changed with COVID and candidates’ motivations are different – people want flexibility, security, and liquid cash…  

How do you tackle these inevitable problems when you still need to build an all-star team with your first few rounds of funding? You need to create a system where you can diagnose what problems are happening in your pipeline from top of funnel/ sourcing all the way through closing. You must be ruthless about understanding candidates’ driving forces and selling effectively to those motivators. You need to find a unique way to showcase your brand and market potential. 

We are going to teach you how to do it all! At Amplify, we believe employees are the single most valuable investment you will make in your company and I’m here to show you how to win. 

Today we’re excited to launch Technical Recruiting Playbooks, a monologue style podcast (with potentially a few surprise guests along the way!) by me, Natasha Katoni, Amplify’s Head of Talent. We’ll start out with the basics of setting up a successful recruiting system that’s ripe for problem-solving. From there, we’ll dive deeper into higher-level strategic plays. 

Our first episode covers the essential recruiting tools for startups. Listen on Spotify or Apple, and enjoy! Sign up for our newsletter Technical Domain to get this podcast and more company-building advice delivered directly to your inbox.

Episode #1: Essential Recruiting Tools for Startups (Link to Listen >>)

Recruiting is a time-intensive process. If you are an early-stage startup, investing in these recruiting tools at the start may sound like a lot of effort upfront, but if you spend time and resources earlier on, you’ll be more successful in the long term. 

Many early-stage companies will dive into the recruiting process without thinking or planning. If you look at how engineers build software or product, they will build a system that they can debug easily when something isn’t working. Similarly, recruiting tools allow you to approach the recruiting process in a data-driven way, i.e., you can identify problems quickly and pivot. 

In the first episode of the Technical Recruiting Playbooks, Natasha Katoni, the Head of Talent at Amplify Partners, talks about the essential recruiting tools that can be used to build a successful recruiting strategy and foundation. She provides four essential recruiting tools that all early-stage companies should use. These include an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), Compensation Data Tools, Sourcing and Outbounding Tools, and Active Marketplaces:

  • Your ATS is a database that stores and organizes candidate pipelines. It allows you to track your interview feedback, stay on top of your candidate flow, and make sure that you’re following up with people. Most importantly – it allows you to collect data on conversion rates; info that will help you diagnose if something is off in your process. 
  • Compensation Data Sources allow you to give attractive and compelling offers to your candidates. Using market data will allow you to stay competitive on cash and equity. 
  • Sourcing/ outbound messaging tools allow you to contact candidates quickly and seamlessly. These messages can be automated and personalized, and you can track data to see what is working. 
  • Active marketplaces allow you to interact with candidates who are already looking for their next move. These marketplaces are a necessary pairing to cold sourcing tools so that you have a mix of top of funnel resources. 

The combination of these four recruiting tools will give you a strong foothold in the recruiting market.

Topics For Discussion:

  • Recruiting tools for early-stage startups (1:25)
  • Benefits of an Applicant Tracking System (2:25)
  • How to remain competitive while compensating your employees (4:51)
  • How to reach out and engage potential candidates (9:52)
  • Using active marketplaces for recruiting (13:16)