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Hiring? How To Make Your Obscure Start Up Irresistible To Candidates

Oakstone International Executive Search how to make your obscure start up irresistible to candidates

Taking risks is exciting – sheer electrifying Devil-be-damned exciting. Especially when it’s a quest that fires the soul.

Putting it on the line for a reason gives us all the sense of purpose we crave. It’s the quintessence at the heart of the human spirit.

You won’t get that adrenaline rush from a boring job. No disrespect but astronauts beat accountants every time when it comes to bragging rights.

Nobody boasts about monotonously punching numbers and ploughing through spreadsheets.

They enthuse about their pivotal role in a smart start-up that will shape the future and transform lives.

About how their elite crew will defy the status quo, disrupt the market and change the world…as if they’re Silicon Valley’s very own special forces. The best of the best.

Just one problem. In the real world people have rent bills to pay (or mortgages if they’re lucky), families to feed, responsibilities, commitments, burdens.

So the idea of junking their ‘safe but boring’ job for something ‘more exciting’ makes them very nervous.

And that’s a real problem for small companies which urgently need to recruit high calibre specialists to drive their expansion.

Why would a successful executive leave their nice big safe employer for an obscure (but exciting) tech start-up that has no track record?

Short answer? Because life’s too short not to. And there are far better reasons but first come the basics…

Essential Boxes Your Small Company Must Tick When Hiring

Any attempt to seduce an executive away from the comfort of their megacorp employer will fail at the first hurdle if you can’t meet the following criteria:

  • Is the job good?Not just good. Better than their current role by a significant margin. You’re on a hiding to nothing if it isn’t. Why would they take the risk?

  • Is the package good? Not just the basic salary but the bonuses, the pension, the car, the healthcare, the relocation, the whole shebang.

  • Is the career progression good?Does your company offer swift opportunities for promotion? Is it a true meritocracy where excellence is rewarded? Free of the office politics of bigger operations?

  • Are you an ethical and visionary employer?Don’t just say it. Don’t parrot business clichés. Say it and mean it – really mean it. And demonstrate it.Lead by example. Show that your company has vision and purpose. That it’s about more than just the money.If you don’t you can forget hiring savvy young millennials. They want proof. They can spot fakes a mile off.

  • Does your company have an exciting future?Not just a starry-eyed dream – serious forecasts that give an accurate representation of where you will be in three years’ time.

  • Does your company enjoy a pleasant working environment?Candidates accept that jumping ship to a smaller company may mean eschewing a glitzy corporate HQ.But no-one wants to work in a grotty old office with tired furniture, flickering striplights and no aircon.Or one in the middle of nowhere with a three-mile walk to the nearest burger van for lunch.If the above scenario sounds embarrassingly familiar then it’s time to offer great opportunities to work from home.

Careers Can Take Off At Smaller Companies Like Yours

New hires may not be the captain of the ship but it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll have a place on the bridge. Maybe even at the helm.

They may not be Spock to your Kirk – but they could well be a Bones, Sulu, Chekov, Uhura or Scotty. Certainly not the nameless crewman in red who always dies first.

And that bodes very well for careers. Executives get noticed from day one at smaller companies. Make sure that’s the case at your company. And make sure they know it.

But as admirable all this may be, it still doesn’t address the one of the big nagging doubts surrounding job security.

Would A Dragon Bet On Your Management Team?

We’ve all seen Dragons’ Den. How shrewd and humourless VCs invest in aspiring start-ups.

Or more importantly why they invest. The numbers are important but they’re not enough. Dragons know they are buying into the management team. Does it fill them with confidence?

Candidates are making a similar judgment when they look at your small tech company. It may not have a track record but do you?

Did you have an awesome 25-year career forged at major global corporates before deciding to go it alone?

These are credentials that cement confidence in your company. Credentials that our expert recruitment consultants can use to allay any jitters candidates may have.

The Best Guarantee That Your Company Is Worth The Risk

Any candidate looking to jump ship wants at least some kind of guarantee they’re not about to make a big mistake.

And there is a guarantee.


Oakstone International has a 20+ year track record of transforming people’s lives by placing them with high quality tech companies that have a real future.

We choose our clients after carrying out careful due diligence. We apply the same high standards when selecting candidates. And we make the all-important match with even more care.

Our candidates know that if we recommend a small tech company then it’s going to be great for them.

And vice versa. Every new recruit for a start-up is crucial. Every hire matters but never more so than when they represent 20 per cent of the workforce, or 15 per cent, or 10 per cent.

Reputation is everything. Yours. Ours. Our candidates’.

Read why our clients entrust their recruitment to Oakstone.

Drive Your Company’s Growth With Oakstone

You’re serious about business growth and innovation. So are we.

Let’s talk about sourcing the specialists you need to take your company to the next level.

Contact Oakstone International today. Let’s discuss us your key staffing requirements.