52 Days to Hire: How Startups are Bleeding Money On In-House Hiring

By Yuliia Mamonova Yuliia Mamonova has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on May 27, 2022

Just imagine: startup owners need up to 6 months on average to find a perfect match! You’ll spend 40% of the working time in your first half of the year closing a few staff positions.

That’s 52 working days we’re talking about. We don’t know what you would have done during this time. However, we firmly believe that you’d have done miraculous things. And that’s why we’ve created this article — to give you a hint on how you can hire for startups.

Secrets of the startup mindset

Here’s what the first employees of your startup should be. They need to be ready to take on extra responsibilities and passionate about the solutions. You want resilient troubleshooters who are emotionally mature and empathetic. Now, let’s move on to where you should look for your candidates.

How to hire for a startup? There are three major solutions the hiring problem: Popular job boards, networking, and freelance platforms.

Job boards: Millions of job postings look very promising — up to the point when you ask yourself if you should also try your luck. Indeed alone has 100 million resumes! Like every other option, job boards have their pros and cons.

The “pros” include an abundance of available CVs, free postings; simplified application handling, and strengthened your employer brand.

But let’s not overlook the “cons”: Hidden expenses, unqualified applicants, outdated CVs, and passive candidates. If these cons frighten you, we’ve got two more variants.

Network hiring: Thanks to networking, we’ve covered up to 20% of internal positions at Lemon.io, and those hires were the best ones, so start with your network! If you already have a small team, start a referral program. Your colleagues will be more motivated to invite qualified acquaintances (especially if you announce bonuses for successful hires).

Why is it a good idea? Your employees already know the people they are recommending. Your team will pre-filter candidates themselves. They won’t advise you on a bad fit. Candidates who aren’t strangers will more likely accept an offer — their friends/relatives have been working there, so why not?

If you’ve already tested every single opportunity and option but still have no success in finding the candidate, feel free to try the freelance platforms. According to FreshBooks, two-thirds of all business owners consider hiring freelancers or third parties. The odds are high that you’re one of the startup owners who has already tried them, or will shortly.

Here are five reasons to hire at freelance platforms:

Reduced costs: For the American startups, it’s much cheaper to hire European professionals. Their rates are 1,5-2 times lower, and the quality of work is the same.

Faster hiring: Hiring devs on freelance marketplaces takes you up to a week. After the introduction call, where you explain your objectives, plans, and portraits of the ideal employees, they start filtering their databases and eventually find the perfect match almost in no time. But keep in mind that for non-vetting platforms, the story is of quite another sort (see below).

Broadening your horizons: Hiring exclusively locals strips you of the possibilities to broaden your horizons and compare on-site and remote professionals.

Less supervision: Most skilled and experienced freelancers don’t need supervision: they’ve tried a lot and know that the best options help them reach goals faster.

Not all freelance hiring platforms are the same

First of all, there’re two main types of freelance platforms: bidding and non-bidding (vetting).

There’s no vetting mechanism on bidding platforms. User reviews are the core ingredient of trust-building. What are the key pros and cons of such a way to hire freelance developers? The pros include:

A significant number of reviews and candidates. Since user reviews are the core quality assessment mechanism here, bidding platforms encourage everyone to share their experience.

Lower price. Wage dumping is quite common on bidding platforms. The reverse auction principle urges coders demand less and dump.

The cons include:

Unvetted candidates. No vetting means you pick and test employees at your own risk.

Scammers. Everyone can register on bidding marketplaces. Ergo — there’ll be more scammers than usual.

My company, Lemon.io is a vetting platform for web developers. What does that mean?

Before adding web developers to our database, we make them pass three tests: English proficiency, soft skills, and hard (tech) skills. Quick and efficient customer care is one more peculiarity of vetting platforms. You can get your first candidates in 2-3 days after the intro call. A mere week from the intro call — and the work starts!

By Yuliia Mamonova Yuliia Mamonova has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Yuliia Mamonova is head of content at Lemon.io, a Ukrainian startup. With 5+ years in digital marketing, Yuliia is driving the growth of Lemon.io with her spot-on writing and clear messages. A writer and a researcher at heart, Yuliia knows how to engage with the readership and build a story that’ll stand out. Yuliia has written over 1500+ pieces over the last few years reshaping the world of FinTech, startups, and content marketing with her skills.

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