How To Recruit Top Technical Talent To Your Startup

How To Recruit Top Technical Talent To Your Startup

Ross Blog (2)  Ross Palley

We invited three B2B tech startups in the Venture Lane community to participate in our Tech Recruiting Lab. Participants worked directly with a Mentor Committee of seasoned talent acquisition leaders in Boston to identify, source, and recruit top technical talent more effectively.

On the Mentor Committee, we welcomed Mitchell Schneir (People Partner @ Google), Taylor Roa (Talent Acquisition Manager @ Wistia), Carrie Walecka (VP, Global Talent Acquisition @ Brightcove), and Katie O'Brien (Talent Acquisition Partner @ Brightcove). Check out their key takeaways below!

Top talent doesn't live on job boards…

  • Look out for thought leaders. Find candidates on LinkedIn or other channels who post viral industry content. Even if they're not interested in the role, they might be willing to tap into their large and deeply engaged network of followers. 

  • Formalize your referral program. Offer cash incentives for referring candidates that you wind up hiring, and make that incentive larger for your current team versus external folks. Top talent is more likely to learn about new opportunities from friends than job board postings.

  • Founders attract talent. The best candidates want to hear from your startup's founders - their vision for the company, values they instilled on the team, etc. Founders don't have the time to scour LinkedIn and other channels for candidates, but someone on the team can send connection requests/emails from their account/name or include video testimonials from founders as part of their own outreach.

That being said, some recruiting platforms work great…

  • Company culture is more important than ever. Remote interviewing prevents larger tech companies from wowing candidates with awesome offices and comped travel. The candidate experience is the same series of Zoom calls across the board, so inspiring candidates with your startup's mission and values is the only way to stand out. Check out and for culture first recruiting.   

  • It's unanimous, our mentors love VentureFizz. Every mentor on the committee raved about Keith Cline and VentureFizz. They especially loved Keith's podcast series, where he can bring on your startups founder(s) to talk about company vision and mission. Great opportunity to combine the 'recruit through your founders' and 'highlight company culture' tips above.

  • Again, keep seeking out referrals. Referrals a great way to add quality to your candidate pool, because someone was willing to attach their name to that candidate. Check out and for referral based recruiting.

When to bring talent acq in house…

  • 10 is the magic number. If your startup is hiring 10+ roles in the next year, it's time to hire a full-time recruiter. It's a guarantee that you'll spend less on that one person than you will on contract recruiters and associated costs for those 10+ roles.

  • But you can start them on a short term contract. That internal recruiter needs to be as effective as the founders have been in communicating the company's vision + mission + values and closing top talent. Get to know recruiters on a 3-6 month contract and hire them full-time once you know the fit is right.
  • There's more value than just dollar savings. Yes, it will cost you less to bring recruiting in house once you have a lot of roles to fill, but there are other critical points of value too. That person will run post morts to figure out why bad hires weren't a fit, identify teams/departments that need additional training on their hiring process, etc. Contractors will only source candidates.

    Want to take part in one of our upcoming Labs and get 1:1 time with Boston's best operators? Sign up for our Q2 beta of Venture Lane Connect, our newest virtual offering!

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