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Can’t hire? Here are 4 problems all startups face – and how to fix them

Whether it is an established company or a startup just getting off the ground, hiring is hard. Not only does it take time, but also patience to find the right candidate to join any team. A startup, will tend to have extra hurdles along the way because they may not have resources established or set in place dedicated to the hiring process. 

Here are 4 common problems that all startups will face at some point in their growth journey, and how to tackle them. 


Company reputation and visibility 

As a startup is getting off the ground and the company isn’t familiar to many, one main goal should be boosting brand awareness and recognition. When hiring and looking for top-tier talent, established, larger companies have a reputation to back them up, but the same thing can’t be said for startups. Candidates will be hesitant to join a company with no reputation or proof that it’ll be a good career move for them to make. The solution? Employer branding. 

Employer branding is how a company is viewed as an employer – aka reputation. It’s what comes to mind when individuals, specifically job seekers and current employees, hear a company name. Are they walking the walk or just talking the talk? (p.s. we have a whole blog on why a startup should care about employer branding). If a startup doesn’t have much of an employer brand, we STRONGLY recommend they nail down the mission, vision, and values, and how they will be communicated to your ideal candidate audience, as it’ll be a big deciding factor for many when accepting a job offer. 


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Recruitment strategy 

The goal of a startup is to scale, and they need a team to get them there. However, because they are still growing, odds are, they don’t have a dedicated hiring (Human Resource) team. It then becomes a challenge finding and hiring top talent as the hiring managers will likely lack recruitment experience, and there may not be a hiring process set in stone. With all that being said, it’s common (and totally okay) if a startup doesn’t have a dedicated HR team or a built out hiring process yet. BUT, if that’s the case, knowing when to ask for help is important.  

Enter, third party recruiters! Recruitment companies are there to help find and retain quality talent. Take us for example, at Pivot + Edge we offer smart, simple and scalable startup hiring solutions that seamlessly attract and retain the right people needed to scale a business (yes, that’s our shameless plug but it’s true – we really can help!). We will craft an employer brand; help company’s hire and grow teams immediately. Do we have you hooked? Get in touch with us anytime, and we’d be happy to help you integrate an employer branding and hiring strategy into your startup’s business plan. 


Time and money 

Of course, time and money are a known concern for most startups. Compared to larger corporations, startups have way tighter budgets and timelines especially when it comes to hiring. They are looking for top talent to help them get off the ground quickly but may not be able to offer them an impressive salary. That can be a problem… 

So, how can startups hire impressive talent fast and on a budget? Well for one, third party recruiters (like us) will help take the weight of hiring off startups’ shoulders so they can focus on accelerating growth in other ways. Second, consider what perks will be offered to candidates (especially if less money is involved in an offer). Maybe a remote or hybrid schedule? A stock option plan? Home office setup credit? etc… the options are endless. If a startup is short on cash, focusing on communicating the other benefit options will make up for the lower salary. At the end of the day, the main goal is to attract talent by selling them the value that your company can bring to them


Competition for talent 

We get it, the candidate market is crazy these days and hiring is complicated. The market is moving quickly and budgets are getting tighter but that doesn’t mean deadlines can be ignored. A startup needs to compete against big business in the war for talent.

According to a TopResume survey, more than 70 percent of the employed respondents said that they were in an “open relationship” with their job. Meaning, they were open to new opportunities if the right one came available. With all that opportunity a startup needs to find a way to become the employer of choice and with all the competition, startups need to sell candidates on why they should work there. What sets a startup apart is the passion that drives its team. How a startup communicates its vision will determine how the company stands out amongst the crowd. Review the company careers page, job postings, and social media channels. Are they all communicating a cohesive and consistent message? This is the opportunity to highlight the culture, perks and so much more that will help differentiate the team from another. Plus, don’t forget employees are the biggest advocate for any company.



Let the employer brand and perks/benefits do the talking, and get creative with a recruitment strategy in order to stand out. To attract top-tier talent make sure it’s clearly outlined what’s in it for them. The competition is fierce, so use employer branding as an opportunity to give candidates a reason to work there and connect with them in a way that will relate to them and pique their interest.

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