3 Big HR Changes for Tech Startup Talent Acquisition in 2016

Thanks to the remarkable influence of the internet, the world is more interconnected than it ever has been. From a recruitment perspective, this is good news, for it means that you can reach more potential hires than ever before and thus be assured of finding the best possible candidate for the role you’re trying to fill. It might take a little time, given that the sheer amount of applicants you’re vetting is bigger than ever, but ultimately, access to more talent is better for your acquisition process.

Photo Credit: Josh Bersin @ LinkedIn

However, because the market is flooded with candidates due to the scores of various job posting sites and forums out there, there’s a race among top companies to win the employment of the truly top-notch candidates. As a result, hiring has become more competitive, which from an HR perspective means coming up with all sorts of new employment perks designed to attract the top talent.

If you’re a tech startup, hiring the best talent can be tough. It’s difficult to compete for talent with your direct competitor, much less with tech giants like Google and Facebook and their crazy workplace perks. The talent acquisition industry is always evolving, though, so keep an eye on these three big changes for tech startup acquisition as you continue on into the latter half of 2016.

Sourcing Through Social Media

It’s commonplace these days for recruiters to utilize social media during the hiring process. Whether it’s checking a candidate’s endorsements on LinkedIn or simply screening their Facebook profiles for any insensitive material, social media’s role in talent acquisition cannot be denied. Nowadays, though, social media has an added role in the hiring process: narrowing down the field. LinkedIn’s impressive advanced search and groups functions allow you to quickly access a smaller pool of interested candidates, and the many excellent social media analytics tools out there, while mostly used for marketing purposes, can be utilized by recruiters as well, to see where pockets of engagement with your business are occurring so you can source candidates who already have a vested interest in your business. The field is crowded with applicants these days, but you can use social media to help narrow things down a little bit.


As has been mentioned, thanks to the power of the internet, we’re now able to easily communicate with people from any part of the world. From a talent acquisition perspective, this means you have access to candidates from all over the globe, and with telecommunication tools like Skype, you can now affordably vet those people via virtual interviews instead of paying to fly them to your office. Telecommunication is also important from a hiring perspective because it presents the opportunity for a very valuable workplace perk that makes your company desirable. Studies indicate that over 90% of Millennials, now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, want to work from home at least part of the time. Offering telecommunication options for future hires is a cost-effective way to provide a great perk that makes your workplace all that much more attractive to potential candidates.

Freelance Over Full-time

Speaking of Millennials bringing big changes to the world of hiring, one particularly intriguing aspect of the future hiring process is the rise of freelance work. The so-called “gig economy” is a new form of career, in which people are more focused on their personal brands or portfolios and thus prefer to take on a series of projects instead of being locked into one career position at one company. The numbers support why this trend is so popular; these days, an ex-Google coder can make twice as much money freelancing. This means a couple things for recruiters. One, it means the freelance labor force is a valid source of top quality candidates, especially thanks to the rise of such elite freelance networks as Toptal, who vet candidates for you and offer a top quality assurance. Secondly, it means that the traditional full-time contract may become a thing of the past, and that’s okay. Offering freelance contracts affords more flexibility for your company and allows you to offer more unique benefits instead of having to sink money into yearly salaries and bonuses, a huge plus for startups looking to stay lean.

What other big changes do you predict will happen in the talent acquisition market for tech startups? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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Comment by Daniel Mccartney on October 19, 2016 at 7:20am

Hi Ellie Martin,

Great article, worth a good read!!

Recruiters are finding it more reliable and flexible to use an online recruiting software solution and ease their hiring process which is trending higher in the talent acquisition process.

I would surely recommend iSmartRecruit ATS Software platform for HR corporate, recruiters and staffing agencies as it is a complete personalized and multilingual web based recruiting software that allows the uniquely new and advanced features and functionalities

Peace Out,

Cheers & thanks!!


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