Published on September 10th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi


3 Hiring Tips for Early-Stage Tech Start-ups

Start-ups typically stand on shaky ground. Firstly, owners, whether backed by investors or using their own capital, have much to lose and little to gain in the short term.

Next, many tech start-ups are saturating today’s era and environment, providing a constant torrent of competition for newer companies. Some may already have found success and have grown big.

And third, a start-up comes with an uncertainty of the success of their goals.

So apart from a good business model, what’s one crucial aspect that can make or break a start-up? It’s pioneers—the people who make up your initial team of dreamers who want to succeed in a start-up, who want to make your start-up successful to realize their dreams.

Therefore, pick the best people through the job test to join you on board your flagship. Smooth sailing through uncertain seas requires capable hands. Follow these three hiring tips to find the right hire for your early-stage tech start-up.

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Attitude above All

While skills are important, attitude has more weight in any organization, even more so for a start-up.

For example, in a big corporation, the number of workers can cover for slackers. A start-up doesn’t have that luxury and, thus, must rely on that one guy to get the job done.

On the other end of the spectrum, a diligent individual’s achievements in a corporation may appear muted, inconsequential to the overall operations of a large workforce. In a start-up, not only will that same individual thrive, but their contributions will also boost their company’s success.

Skills can always be trained and gained within months, but attitude needs to be cultivated for years—some people may even take decades to change their attitude, if at all—which is time you may not have in your start-up.

Thus, place heavier consideration on an applicant’s attitude. When interviewing them, ask situational questions and scrutinize how they respond to them. Always do background checks and call their previous employers (if any), particularly their direct superiors or the people who they’ve listed as their character references.

Give Second Chances

It’s typically required and recommended for candidates to undergo preemployment screenings, to pass workplace drug tests, for example.

But what happens if a prospect with good potential and good attitude fails a drug test? Do you decline their application outright? Perhaps you may want to give them a second chance.

Everyone deserves a second chance, after all, even those dependent on substances. Furthermore, trusting people despite their flaws often inspires them to become better.

Of course, depending on your local laws, you may get sued for prying too much on a candidate’s medical history. Illegal questions include asking about their disabilities or even if they’re taking prescription drugs, which may appear positive in any drug test.

Therefore, the best question to ask is if they are fit for the job. If what they’re taking does affect their performance, you may suggest to them to use one-day detox kits during their working hours. Detox can purge the body of chemicals and their side effects, restoring one’s state of mind back to sobriety. A perfect solution to a delicate predicament.

Be Transparent in Interviews

Many established companies don’t go into detail about the state of their business. Mentioning a few issues may scare away applicants. However, for start-ups, it’s the other way around.

A recently launched business will always face challenges right from the get-go. People who want to work in a start-up understand that, and often, applicants will ask questions about pertaining to employee benefits, which may likely be lacking in a new company.

In such a scenario, it’s better to be upfront. Let them know what’s in the pipeline and what the priorities are. A start-up that promises a lot may appear too good to be true and may alert

In addition, considering that start-ups are unstable by nature, you should also be frank about what your company needs. If you think that your objectives may change (and it probably will), then don’t be afraid to inform candidates that their position may require flexibility in terms of responsibilities.

Setting that expectation will go a long way. For one, if you do hire an applicant, sudden changes won’t catch them off guard. They’ll be prepared for it. They won’t become overwhelmed, be swept away by the abrupt turn of events, or abandon ship for more stable lands.


The hiring process may just be one of the first steps of a start-up, but it’s a stride that can advance the position of your company. Make sure that direction is the right one by hiring the right employee. These three tips will make it more likely that you’ll find that person.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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