The X,Y,Z of startup Hiring

Being part of a startup offers a world of opportunities and challenges. At the heart of every startup’s success is its team— the passionate, skilled professionals who breathe life into ideas and pioneer change. But let’s be real: with tight resources, stiff competition, and the ever-pressing clock, getting and keeping the right talent is no walk in the park. If only navigating the complex landscape of hiring was as simple as XY&Z.

We’ve worked with countless startup leaders on establishing and growing their hiring functions. So much so, that we’ve compiled all these insights into a downloadable guide that identifies the main A-Z factors which startups should consider.

Here’s few of our highlights from the guide, starting off with X,Y,&Z.

X = eXperience

A good candidate eXperience has a profound impact on the success of the hiring process and the overall reputation of your startup. By prioritising an engaging and efficient experience at every stage of the hiring process, you will set the foundation for successful and sustainable hiring practices. 80% of new hires that have a good initial experience are likely to recommend their employer to their friends and family, which is critical for your reputation in market and brand awareness.

Before you commence recruiting, be clear and upfront about what your process entails. Don’t wing it and hope for the best, as it both looks unprofessional and lengthens the process. Ensure you have the budget and a clear plan before you start screening, so that you can make a job offer in a timely fashion. Otherwise, you risk losing out on your preferred candidate.

Having well-defined and structured hiring processes is essential. These processes ensure efficiency, consistency, fairness and compliance. By implementing robust and standardised processes, you can maximise your recruitment efforts, maintain a positive employer brand and ensure that

precious time and resources are not being wasted.

Y = You

You’ve thought about your company brand, but what about your personal one? As a founder or early startup leader, your personal brand matters when it comes to hiring. What’s personal brand? It’s the unique combination of skills, expertise, reputation, and image that an individual presents to the public and professional community. In addition to attracting investment and partnerships, a compelling and engaging personal brand can help you build credibility, differentiate from competitors and attract top talent.

With social sellers creating 45% more opportunities than their peers, building your personal brand can be your ultimate competitive advantage in a crowded world. Your personal brand has the power to shape perceptions and open doors to new opportunities.

Z= Zero Sum Game

Ultimately, it’s a zero-sum game. It’s simple, if you don’t hire the best candidates, someone else will. The competition for talented individuals in the tech industry is real and ongoing, with no end in sight. A critical mistake is overestimating how much time and influence you think you’ve got. If your candidate attraction strategy isn’t reaching the best in the business, and if your recruitment process doesn’t enable you to move quickly once you think you’ve found the right person, chances are someone else will have gladly snapped them up instead. Despite headlines which might suggest a flood of talent; the best people will always be in demand.

Want more insights? Download the full guide here.

Do you have a Talent Story or insights that you’d like to share? Drop us a note at with a brief summary and we’ll get back to you!

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