A Complete Guide

Find Candidates for your Tech Startup in Rotterdam

Friday February 23, 2024

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Are you an employer seeking young talent for your tech startup? The process to find qualified candidates for your company can be challenging given Rotterdam’s growing tech startup ecosystem as you can read in this report. Here’s a report on Rotterdam’s Tech Startup Statistics as well that gives a complete insight into the world of tech startups.

We’ve put together a guide to help you understand how to find candidates for your startup. Curious to learn more about them and where to find them? Read on to find out.


1 Students & Graduates: Ideal Candidates for Your Tech Startup

Be open to hiring those with less experience who are eager to learn and grow with your company. 

If your company offers internships or traineeships for talent, students and graduates respectively are the perfect candidates. These individuals are new to all aspects of employment. As a result, they can provide a fresh perspective at existing methods & processes that might be slightly rusty. 

[ Recommended: 9 Reasons You Should Hire Young Talent Today ]

The Benefits of Hiring Students and Graduates for Your Tech Startup

Hiring students and graduates for your tech startup offers a myriad of advantages. These individuals bring fresh perspectives, the latest academic knowledge, and an eagerness to learn and prove themselves. Their adaptability, inherent digital proficiency, and exposure to cutting-edge technologies can infuse startups with innovative ideas and solutions. Additionally, they are often more open to embracing the dynamic and uncertain nature of startups, willing to wear multiple hats and pivot as the company evolves. Engaging with this talent pool can be cost-effective, and by providing them with the right opportunities and mentorship, startups can mold them into the future leaders and tech experts that align with the company’s vision and culture.

Benefits of Hiring Students

Do not underestimate how many responsibilities students are willing to take on when working for your company.

Typically, students enjoy the opportunity to gain practical experience through internships. If you hire students, instruct them on what they should be doing while working for your company. Students adapt well when they are assigned specific tasks. For example, you might hire someone to help with your social media channels. They can work across various departments, such as marketing and business development. Moreover, students understand the importance of working with limited resources.

Benefits of Hiring Graduates

If your company does not hire students, consider recent graduates.

Many graduates lack actual “work” experience, but they have a wealth of knowledge from their higher education. These individuals are invaluable assets to your company, as they can help you build the infrastructure of your business and bring it up to speed with all technical aspects.

Regardless of the company you work for, hire both students & graduates to get a sense of what they can bring to your business. In retrospect, you can help their career and growth in the long term.

Overcoming Challenges in Hiring Students and Graduates

The process of sourcing and recruiting students and graduates comes with a specific set of challenges.

Lack of Experience

Students and graduates may not be able to provide the level of experience your company needs. On top of that, they also may not have adequate knowledge of new technologies or what they can bring to your company.

Learn how to recruit young talent with limited or no experience.

Time Constraints

Students prioritise their studies before anything else. This may limit how many hours they can work per week. Also, you may have trouble aligning work with times during which students are available. Luckily, for graduates, this isn’t the case. Graduates usually work full time, so time constraints may not be an issue for them. 

Required Training

To hire young talent and help them grow & develop, you must be willing to provide them with training and initial guidance. Here, you will need the right resources and one to two other team members who can help guide them through shadowing.

Do you want to hire talent but don’t know where to start? Consider recruiting students or recent graduates with little to no experience.

Where to Find Students and Graduates for Your Tech Startup in Rotterdam

If you hire recent graduates, they will most likely be found on the job boards of universities.

College Life Work

College Life Work is a global career platform with top international students & graduates. Hire students through College Life Work by posting internship opportunities. Then, connect with students and graduates that applied to your roles.


Most universities have job boards. You can find candidates that are students and graduates there. For example, the University of Amsterdam has a job board where students, alumni, as well as organisations (employers) can register. 


You can post your jobs on LinkedIn. In addition, you can explore features such as LinkedIn alumni on University pages. The Alumni section on a LinkedIn Page offers high-level information about the school’s graduates, as well as additional detailed professional profiles.

[ Recommended reading: A Short Guide to Finding Employees Through LinkedIn ]

2 Hiring Seniors & Managers for you Tech Startup

These are the best type of candidates to employ during your company's growth phase.

Seniors are individuals who have years of experience in a specific field, department, or sector. Managers are the people who manage seniors. Both prospective candidates are an excellent option if you just launched your startup and are in need of people with more industry experience to help you grow.

Tips for Hiring Senior-Level Talent and Managers

  • Clear Communication of Vision and Role: Before approaching senior-level talent, ensure you have a crystal-clear company vision and a detailed job description that outlines their role and responsibilities. Senior professionals will be attracted to organizations where they can visualize their impact, understand the trajectory of the company, and see how they fit into the bigger picture.
  • Offer Competitive Compensation and Growth Opportunities: Top senior talent is often driven not just by salary but also by the overall compensation package and the opportunity for professional growth. This includes bonuses, equity options, benefits, and opportunities for continued learning and advancement within the organization. Tailoring compensation packages based on the unique desires and needs of senior-level professionals can give you an edge.
  • Cultural and Values Alignment: Beyond skills and experience, it’s crucial to ensure that there’s a strong cultural and values fit between the senior talent and the company. This alignment can significantly influence long-term retention and success. During the interview process, emphasize the company’s core values, and ensure there’s a mutual understanding and resonance. A mismatch here can lead to friction down the road, undermining both team cohesion and company objectives.

To hire senior talent, offer them more opportunities for growth and development in their career with your company.

Common Challenges in Hiring Senior-Level Talent and Managers


Large Compensation

Managers and seniors demand a high salary that aligns with their experience. Unfortunately, if you are a self-funded tech startup, you might not be able to afford them from the get go. Make sure you can afford the cost of hiring them by either setting up a temporary contract or offering part-time options. 


You may not trust hiring someone new to manage teams and oversee projects because you don’t know how responsible and committed they are. Moreover, it may take a while for them to adjust to your company’s culture and values, especially if they are packed with years of experience in other companies.

Intrinsic & Extrinsic Motivations

Senior-level talent and managers tend to have higher expectations than their junior and mid-level counterparts. They expect intrinsic and extrinsic motivations that can contribute to their performance. 

Intrinsic motivators are driven by their own interests or natural inclinations. Some intrinsic motivators to keep in mind include curiosity, challenge, mastery and autonomy. Extrinsic motivators are those that come from external factors, such as money or recognition. While extrinsic motivators can be effective in getting people to take action, they often lack the lasting power of intrinsic motivators. Some extrinsic motivators include bonuses, prizes and trophies.

Where to Find Senior-Level Talent and Managers for Your Tech Startup in Rotterdam



LinkedIn is an excellent platform that you can use when looking to hire talent at any level.  You can search for candidates by title, location, industry expertise, and other specific keywords. 


Try to find referrals through your network or industry contacts if you are looking for managers because it is more likely that they will commit to you even if they have a lot going on in their life. If you do not have any contacts in the industry, you can find referrals through your employees.

Other Job Boards

Use other sites such as Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, and Angel List to search for candidates who might be looking for work or new challenges.