Congrats -- you just created your first company! You’ve pitched it to some investors and have secured some seed funding. You have a working product, but it’s not ready to launch yet. The next thing you need to do is expand your team. You need some developers to come on board and take your idea to the next level. The problem is you’ve never hired developers before and have no idea how to approach the situation.
As a Sales Representative, I talk to many companies who are in similar situations to the one above. They are aggressively trying to hire but aren't sure of the best approach to take. They have never written a job listing and aren’t even sure of the right approach.
These companies usually take one of two routes -- mimic every other startup job listing they have seen or try too hard to be a super cool company. The first usually results in a long list of requirements and a vague description of how they’re going to revolutionize a certain space. The second approach results in a listing filled with buzzwords that are supposed to be cool. Unfortunately, you are not trying to hire a super wizard ninja coder; you are looking for a developer.
The first thing I tell a company in this predicament is to think of this startup job listing as an investor pitch. You can’t rely on a company brand because you’re a startup and you’ve just created your company. You need to emphasize the problem that you’re looking to solve and convey why your solution is the best. Pique the reader’s interest in your company before offering the idea that they can join your team and help solve this problem with you.
The second important factor in crafting your message is to be detail-oriented about what the position will entail. Most startups love to tout that their devs own their product and ship often. That’s a great thing to emphasize, but it doesn’t differentiate you from the thousands of other startups looking to hire from the same pool. You need to be specific in how this new hire will fit in your team and how their contributions will help you solve the problem your startup is going to fix. Be specific here, as this will be your call to action. You have already piqued their interest when talking about your mission, now reel them in with how they are going to help you succeed.
This may seem like a lot of time and effort, but the work will pay off in the end. You can’t build and expand your product without first building out your team, and you can’t build out your team without putting serious thought into how you wish to portray your company. Once you create this brand and message, it will make your subsequent hiring process much easier.