Five key mistakes to avoid when hiring in a tech startup

Five key mistakes to avoid when hiring in a tech startup

Hiring the right talent is crucial to the success of any startup. Yet it's common for startups to make costly recruitment mistakes. Here’s how to avoid the five most common mistakes we see.

Mistake 1- Assuming your reward package is clear and understood

70% of employers say they face challenges in communicating the value of their reward package. This is especially true in startups, where equity and shares can add complexity.

At a time when top talent is tight, this is a real problem. Companies may be losing excellent talent because they don’t understand the package on offer and simply see competitors as offering more.

To combat this, present the total reward in simple, visually engaging formats, avoiding jargon. Despite living in a visual world, more than 20% of companies still write their reward package on paper. Get creative, think visually.

In the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Make sure to apply this to how you communicate your offer.


Mistake 2-Letting your cost per hire skyrocket

Restricting your search to active job seekers prolongs the time to hire and ultimately acts as a drag on business growth. And relying on using traditional recruiters with high fees to find that talent can further inflate costs.

Using a company like FOUND that matches you with talent that are not applying via other hiring channels (and with a flat rate success fee, regardless of salary) can expediate hiring and keep your hiring costs low.


Mistake 3- Ignoring skills-based hiring

LinkedIn research reveals that employers who prioritise skills in their hiring process are 60%more likely to achieve successful hires compared to those who don't. Whilst McKinsey found that hiring for skills is five times more predictive of job performance than solely considering educational qualifications and twice as much as work experience.

Assessing skills in the hiring process makes it faster, less biased, and with a bad hire costing more than three times the salary, more cost effective too.

Read more on the rise of skills-based hiring and what’s blocking it here.

Mistake 4 -Keep interviewing until you get everyone to agree with a talent being hired

It’s easy to forget that the goal of an interview team is to gain different perspectives and decrease biases in the process, not to find a talent that everyone is happy with. Rather than seeking a talent everyone agrees on, have your team rate the overall interviews based on a scale from a 'strong yes' to 'strong no,' with 'strong' ratings used sparingly for exceptional cases.


Mistake 5 – Being led by primacy and recency bias

Primacy bias refers to the tendency to better remember the initial information compared to information presented later on. It serves as a cognitive shortcut for efficient information processing but is not always correct. Recency bias is focused on the most recent information available, stored in your short-term memory. Both can be influential in interviews. You could remember candidates who were interviewed first and last better than the candidates in the middle due to these biases. As with any biases, this increases the chance of the “best” talent not being hired. Being aware of the existence of this bias and systemically evaluating different aspects of a talent’s qualifications rather than forming a hasty judgement based solely on initial impressions, can reduce the impact of primacy and recency bias.

Read more on primacy and recency bias and the impact on hiring here.