more than one company A valuable asset is people, especially for organizations still in their infancy. A startup’s founding team can be the difference between an industry-changing unicorn and just another failed venture, making early recruitment one of the most critical processes in a company’s first year.
But the war for tech talent has rarely been so brutal. Big tech companies are growing at incredible rates and startup funding is on the rise. Great candidates have more options than ever before, and hiring them is harder than ever.
By taking a unique approach, we achieved an acceptance rate of nearly 100% with nearly 100 employees while in stealth mode. With the right strategy, founders can find and hire people whose passion aligns with their vision.
Recruiting in stealth mode
Humility is an invaluable trait when you’re hiring a founding team or promoting company culture.
Working in stealth mode for over a year required me and co-founder Dan Amiga to take a highly personalized approach to recruiting. Similar to a football draft, we listed everyone in our network that we thought was absolute rock stars. Some of these people had startup experience, but we didn’t let that limit our search.
We were looking for nothing less than the best—people we knew personally or who came from trusted third-party referrals. Our targets included people we couldn’t wait to work with again or couldn’t believe we hadn’t worked already. We knew that a list based on our own network would always outperform individuals found through a blind recruitment process.
We also consider each candidate’s personal journey. Would our company be a good fit for them? Did the timing, lifestyle requirements, and early stage of the organization make sense? Based on this pool, we identify the skills that we consider essential to the success of our company. Then we cross these two lists. That final number of employees gave us a good list of “prospect projects” to start our recruitment process with.
In the early stages of our company, we had to find a way to turn interviewees into believers without actually disclosing the details of what we were working on until the last minute, which means most of the interview process happened without sharing a glimpse or description. of product . However, we have achieved an acceptance rate close to 100%.
Instead of relying on a demo to attract recruits, we sold them the leadership team we were building, the investors we had already hired, and the opportunity to build a new category of software. We emphasize the goal: to change the industry and make a real impression, not just another version of an existing solution.