Pitch perfect – how startups can snare the best talent

These days, a good hire is as much about what you are looking for in a candidate, as what the candidate is looking for in your business. Businesses, including ourselves, are now finding themselves having to ‘pitch’ the job to potential candidates, as simultaneously assessing their suitability for the role.
With this said the questions begs – How do startups stay competitive in the war for talent, when there’s the perception that big businesses bring big benefits?

The never-ending hunt for talent could be seen as the ‘Hunger Games’ of the business world – only the fittest survive! We accept that we will have many different jobs as well as multiple careers in one lifetime, but the common misconception is that larger organisations boast larger opportunities, resources and career development, enticing many of the top graduates and experienced hires. However, it’s these benefits that see small businesses retreat into a mindset of the ‘have-nots’, and forget their many ‘have got’s’ they offer.

Simply with some confidence, teamed with the flexibility to make small-scale technology innovations, startups are competitive once again.
Many of the world’s most influential publications such as Fortune, Business Review Weekly and Forbes have an annual Best Place to Work award, shining a light on those small businesses who have kept their core values close while ensuring flexibility and openness to innovation. These startups have proven that a mix of the right innovation and culture work.

So what’s the next step for you? Below are five tips on enticing top-level talent:

  1. Play to your strengths: You’re not a large team – and that’s a good thing. There’s plenty of reasons why top talent find a smaller business enticing, whether it be opportunities to grow the business alongside you, working in a nimble culture, or being able to prosper in a close team environment. In an interview situation, it’s important to highlight the potential that you bring to the table.
  2.  Don’t be afraid of change: While culture, process and people will inevitably change as you grow as a business, it’s important that you prepare for and embrace this change. You will have the flexibility to build your teams across the city or country, and when this opportunity arises, make sure that the appropriate collaboration technology is available to staff, so that they are always connected – even if they aren’t physically together.
  3. Remember that innovation doesn’t need to eat into your pocket: Flexible working and equipping your workforce with innovative technologies may seem daunting, but don’t confuse this with a hefty price tag. A little can go a long way and with the workforce of tomorrow demanding new ways to work – you can be at the forefront of offering this new frontier.
  4. Present yourself as a hybrid: With the development of affordable collaboration technologies, startups are now in a fantastic position to present something that large organisations can’t – a flexible, dynamic culture with the ability to operate and collaborate as efficiently as a larger corporation. Take advantage of this.
  5. Always keep your values at the forefront: A strong value set can be just as enticing as a pay packet, especially when the candidate can see these values ingrained in the work and wider team. These days, people are looking for an experience, as well as a job title – and because of this, the importance of core business values cannot be underrated.


Lindsay Brown, Regional Director of Mobility Apps at Citrix Asia Pacific | LinkedIn

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