Are you a female-led technology start up growing at lighting speed and struggling to find the right talent to propel your company to the next level? Startups face many challenges including finding and retaining smart, growth-oriented talent. What do you do when you do not have large salaries, fancy perks, and credibility to woo stellar talent? Get creative!


In the article The Talent Wars: Today’s Toughest Startup Challenge, Tim Devaney and Tom Stein outline some innovative ideas for attracting bright talent who will stay for the long haul.

  1. Showcase an inspiring challenge your startup is tackling. Entrepreneurial talent are not always interested in more money. Smart people want to solve challenging problems that inspire them. Tell candidates about a challenge on which your startup is working and how they can be a part of the solution.
  2. Treat early employees as late founders. Offering talent equity in your startup is a way to increase their earning potential in the long term. This can level the playing field when competing with larger companies. Offer new recruits a small percentage of the startup as part of the compensation package.
  3. Consider hiring a recruiter. Experienced recruiters can save you time and offer expert advice on finding the right talent for your startup. It is worth the investment. Hire a recruiter experienced with startups in your industry.
  4. Move fast to hire. One of the benefits of being a startup is that you have less bureaucracy than larger, established companies. You can bring great talent on board faster. Once you identify the right talent, act quickly and make them an offer.
  5. Go out and woo prospects. Do not wait for top talent to apply. Go out and connect with potential talent in non-traditional ways. Use social media to reach out to target candidates on their favorite social media platforms. Develop a relationship by showing interest in their achievements.
  6. Look outside traditional talent centers. Open your job search to atypical locations and industries for new talent. For example, instead of looking for tech talent in New York, why not try a less sought after city like Plano, Texas. Close to the Dallas-Fort Worth metro-area, Plano is near several universities and has a rich talent pool.



When you do not have the bucks or credibility behind your startup, you have to get creative to attract top talent.

Have you used creative ways to attract talent? We would love to hear your stories and ideas.


Devaney, Tim and Stein, Tom. The Talent Wars: Today’s Toughest Startup Challenge. (Accessed 07/26/2017)


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