A Complete Guide

Find Candidates for your Tech Startup

Wednesday March 23, 2022


Are you an employer seeking young talent for your tech startup? The process to find qualified candidates for your company can be challenging.

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

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 ]

Responsibilities of 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.

Responsibilities of 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.

Common Challenges

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 Candidates

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 Seniors & Managers

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.

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

Common Challenges

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 Candidates


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.

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