How to Attract Top Talent as a Startup

Hiring tech-talent – chief technology officers, software engineers, dev-ops, data scientists, and related can be challenging in the current climate, especially when your business is in the early stages or on the small side. But it doesn’t have to be that hard as long as you create a company where people want to work.

Here are some tips from our experienced talent acquisition specialists for attracting (and retaining) tech talent.

Look Beyond Compensation

As an early-stage start-up, you may find it difficult to compete against other start-ups on compensation.

Look beyond compensation when recruiting. Companies are more effective at attracting and keeping talent by creating a work environment where people want to work, grow, develop, and do the things they genuinely love rather than focusing on compensation alone.

Start-up founders need to be prescriptive and intentional, paying attention to their company culture and each employee’s journey, which isn’t easy, especially in today’s world of remote work teams. With clarity on vision and values, a start-up can help candidates make the changes they want to see in the world through their job.

Show off What Makes you Unique

You’re competing for exceptional talent against larger companies with well-known brands and resources as a start-up. To stand out in the crowd, show candidates the unique elements of your team that they won’t find elsewhere.

Ways to do that, showcase what makes you unique, and have some fun with it! Maintain a blog and regularly post on social media about your team, office, company news, events, etc., to humanize yourself to potential future employees.

Your Employees are your Greatest Recruiter 

The blurb on your company site about your work culture and mission doesn’t ultimately define you; the people do. Focus on finding the right fit for your company rather than just accepting the first person who you like during interviews. Evaluate potential candidates for shared values and aligned motivations.

At INNOVA People, by combining an AI platform, cutting-edge HR technology, and a people-first philosophy, we deliver faster, more accurate, and longer tenure employees.

So when a prospective employee meets with some of the talented folks you already have on board, they are more eager to join the team.

Great talent attracts great talent.

Let us know how we can serve you as your build your start-up and search for top talent.



New Trend in Tech = 4 Day Workweek

Ever wonder how the 5-day workweek even came about? In 1908, a New England mill became the first American factory to institute the five-day workweek. The move inspired others to follow suit, and eventually, three decades later, the Fair Labor Standard Act made 2-day weekends official in 1938.

Today, some tech companies are cutting another day. Bolt, an e-commerce startup, made its 4-day workweek permanent after a 3-month trial. The concept was wildly popular with employees; in a companywide survey following the trial, Bolt employees reported a variety of benefits to the new schedule:

  • 84% said they were more productive
  • 86% said they were more efficient with their time
  • 84% saw improvement in their work-life balance

While many have been quick to praise the move as a generous perk for Bolt employees, CEO Ryan Breslow says the move is selfish — citing improved productivity across the board.

He’s also quick to mention that not all companies are suited for the shift. Bolt makes a point to measure worker impact, which will help weed out any decreases in productivity over time.

The concept is not to necessarily take on more work hours but to work more efficiently. During their work hours, employees are laser-focused, Breslow told CNBC.

“A lot of companies operate with a lot of work theater, which is people caring more about the appearance of working than the actual work,” he noted.

“So, you have countless meetings, countless documents, countless presentations,” Breslow said. “It’s impossible to sift through the noise and get to the heart of the matter.”

The San Francisco-based tech unicorn is one of a handful of companies in the U.S. that have moved to the shortened workweek.

When attracting and retaining top talent is a critical priority during the “Great Resignation,” those who have made the transition report a significantly expanded pool of potential recruitment.

Be Sticky with your Employees from Gary Vee

Gary Vaynerchuk, the chairman of media and communications holding company, VaynerX, and CEO of VaynerMedia shares what he means by being ‘sticky’ with your employees.   


How much time are you putting into your employees? How much time are you spending meeting with them one-on-one? 


Gary Vee encourages leaders to go “all-in on your people.” In the early VaynerMedia days, before he had hundreds of employees and it was becoming too hard to scale, Vaynerchuck says, he was “really ‘sticky’ with individual people — DM-ing them, having meetings, etc. And even now, I still do it as much as I possibly can. If you’re upset about the “revolving door” at your company and having your employees leave is really affecting you, you need to figure out how to get stickier.”


The New York Times best-selling author says it all comes down to taking the time and figuring out what makes your employees tick. 


“Is it money? Responsibility? Acknowledgment? Title? The trick is knowing that the answer is going to be different for different individuals. Think about your own life, there have been times in your career where you valued money more. There have been times where it was about respect, reputation, work-life balance; it’s not only figuring out what those few things are, it’s about what those few things are for each employee today. It never ends. 


Keeping an employee might just be about paying them a little more, or it might be about you investing in your relationship with them and taking them out to coffee. At the end of the day, it’s about knowing your people.” 


Being a boss or an owner is about reverse-engineering your employees, not them conforming to you.” 

Set goals, achieve more. It’s science.

Research shows goal setting is a catalyst for increased success. It helps you focus, find clarity, and stay motivated.

If you want to hit the jackpot – win at work and succeed at life, consider these three tips before writing down your 2022 goals.

Set big goals to perform and achieve more. 

Leading goal-setting theorists Edwin Locke and Gary Latham found there’s an inseparable link between the level of challenge and your level of performance. Study results show 90 percent of the time, specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance than easy goals, “difficult goals are far more likely to generate sustained enthusiasm and higher levels of performance.” So set more complex and specific goals and enjoy a more significant emotional payoff.

Visualize accomplishing your stretch goals. 

Your goals should stretch you without overwhelming you. When faced with seemingly unattainable goals, we disengage instead of being motivated. In a team exercise by Keer and LePelley, a team tapped into their creativity to complete a task only after being told another group could do it 85 percent faster than their first attempt. Change your perception of what’s possible to trigger a new level of performance.

Write, review, and share your goals for increased success. 

According to a study by Professor Gail Matthews at the Dominican University of California, you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals by writing them down. Matthews also found that people who shared them with supportive friends and shared updates on their progress did even better. Writing it down brings clarity and declares purpose, and that level of intentionality gives direction to our thoughts and actions even when we’re not fully focused on the goal.

When you focus on the science behind goal setting, it’s impossible to ignore it’s benefits.


How to Make The Holidays Less Stressful For Your Employees

The Elves aren’t the only ones putting in some overtime right now. We have officially entered the merriest and busiest time of year. Then trying to balance meeting the end-of-the-year KPIs, wrapping up projects, and spreading Christmas cheer, no wonder we’re all stressed out.

Company leaders can help reduce pressure on your employees while still meeting essential deadlines this holiday season.

Give & Encourage Extra Time Off

Over half (51%) of the employees surveyed by Harvard Business Review said they are uncomfortable asking their manager for time off during the holidays. The top reason is that their manager expects them to be available during their time off. The same group (45%) said their workplace doesn’t close outside of the federal holidays. So, your office is open, and your employees are uncomfortable asking for time off. Hello, Stress!

If it’s feasible for your organization to close for a few extra days around the holidays, consider closing! The return on the investment will be increased employee satisfaction and productivity leading into the new year.

Plan Ahead

Get organized and work with your managers and project managers to plan for the end of the year sprint before it arrives. Start asking early when employees are going on vacation or participating in events and plan deadlines around that. This balance will help everyone stay on track.

Give Recognition 

It’s easy to get swept up in the chaos of closing out the year and celebrating the holidays. But rather than have everyone race to the finish line and disengage for the holidays, take this opportunity to be present for a moment. Slow down, gather your team, and notice their accomplishments and hustle.

This simple act can have tremendous value. According to one survey, 79 percent of employees quit their jobs because of a lack of appreciation. Sixty percent say they are more motivated by recognition than money.

Giving thanks to your employees and their hard work will make them feel valued, seen, and engaged. There’s no better way to close the year than with gratitude.

Holiday Bonus

Consider giving your employees a holiday bonus after you give some shout-outs to your team. This time of year can be expensive, especially if you are traveling to visit family.

Ask your employees what they need from you and your managers—and be empathetic, caring, and giving this season no matter the holiday celebrated.


Why You Should Job Hunt During the Holidays

As the holiday season quickly approaches (who keeps pushing the fast forward button on 2021?), it is perfectly reasonable you may want to take a break from your job search. It can be a hectic time of year juggling getting ready for the holidays and keeping your job search moving in the right direction. We don’t want to be a Scrooge over here, but our expert advice is to stick with it. 


Here’s why.  We’re still in the thick of the Great Resignation, which means great companies are looking for top talent. By getting your resume in front of recruiters now, could help give you an edge.


Keep reading to learn more about some of our fantastic opportunities that might be your dream role! 

Staff iOS Engineer – Remote

Be a part of one of the fastest-growing startups in the Bay Area but you can operate from anywhere in the USA. After securing its latest funding round of $300mm, this organization is going to catapult its growth, with its mission-driven values and services.

In need of a talented engineer whose strength in iOS development.

Apply here

Senior iOS Engineer – Remote

The apps you will build will bring joy to those that are in need…this is a life-changing platform! Looking for an expert iOS engineer, well-versed in best practices and architecture for iOS. Who understands the mobile product and design life cycles, and collaborates closely with designers and product managers. If you love solving problems and creating great experiences for users, this job is for you. Bonus points if you understand the performance limitations of battery life, CPU, and memory availability to implement robust and efficient solutions.

Apply here

Engineering Manager  Python – Portland, OR

Looking for an Engineering Manager to lead a product engineering team where you’ll lead a team of engineers working across the stack. You’ll be responsible for enabling the team to build and ship high-impact product features that deliver on our mission to transform home care.

Apply here.

Principal Backend Engineer – Remote

We need engineering strength in Python and would love to speak to you about what we are doing. Looking for an expert in building backend services, designing data models, and connecting all the layers in between. You’ve built and operated production-grade applications in Python. You excel at engineering design and review, from building new systems to providing great code reviews

Apply here.