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The skills essential for your tech start-up

By Yohan Turbak
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Let’s skip the intro about why expansion is important, needed and desired and move onto the HOW. Now, I’m not just saying this because I am a recruiter (or maybe just a little), but the most important element of a successful and sustainable growth is having the right SKILLS within your workforce.

I am aware we are talking about TECH start-ups and that you might have the most intelligent robot in development out there – who needs human skills, right? Wrong. If we are talking organisational growth, having a good knowledge and experience in the industry, I can honestly confirm that human resources are the key to gaining competitive advantage and surviving the post launch phase.

From wisdom to action – In this blog I’ll be sharing my insight into what the important skills and attributes are in the context of such organisation, and how to go about finding them.

 

The fundamentals

Sales
What is the number one priority of your company? Hint: to sell. Products or services, this is what every small organisation needs to accomplish in order to survive.

The challenge for tech start-ups is often that they are focused primarily on technologies - web applications, SaaS software, digital communications, chatbots etc., - the core of these products and the way they are created. But that’s only the first step of the journey - then you need somebody with the interpersonal skills, industry knowledge and network to spread the word and ultimately sell this piece of technological art.

 

Marketing
A good salesman is essential but often not enough for an actual business expansion. Investing in sales teams, training them about the product/service and relying solely on outbound lead generation could only fulfil short-term gains. In some instances, branding and marketing are the better, wiser and longer-term strategical approach to growth. Now only selling a product/service but a meaning, a message, a vision, an emotion could be the ultimate business accelerator. Think Apple. Think simplicity. Think different.

 

HR
The project roadmap is set. The best developers are in your team. The vision is bright and clear. Off you go. But then… inconsistencies, conflicts, legal stuff, contacts, operations, admin, control, HARMONY?! Technology is created and managed by humans, and humans need other humans that know how human communities can operate and move forward using proven methods and strategies. You might not be ready to employ a Chief Happiness Officer from day one, but you shall be aware and ready for the need of someone managing your human resources… unless you’re something like Richard Branson or Elon Musk.

 

Efficient and effective talent strategy

You know you’re going to need specific skills for your baby to grow. That’s a great start, but how are you going to go about gaining those resources? The talent you need are very likely to be expensive and hard to find and hire.

Many start-ups usually start with young professionals. Those that are early in their careers and seek to acquire skills and bring value rather than looking for their own financial gain benefits - usually interns or graduates. This route to gaining critical skills in your workforce does work for some and be a more cost-efficient route. However - for a start-up in particular – this could be a high-risk option to take and one you can’t guarantee is going to give you the effective results you’re after. Not to forget, the time and investment needed to train and upskill these professionals may not be something you can commit to.

But what if instead, you invested into building an effective recruitment strategy and partnering with a specialist outsourced recruitment partner or staffing agency that can deliver this for you through a total staffing solution.
From my perspective, the sooner the better. In such a saturated and fast-paced market - with so much competition and innovation - having the right people, with the right mindset, skills and expertise in place is what’s going to gain you a competitive advantage. Wise investments are what will drive you forward and from my experience, the most crucial phase to achieving your business goals.

In conclusion, recruitment in the early stage is not to be underestimated. My advice to tech start-ups would always be to have a talent strategy in mind when launching an idea or a project in order to avoid shortage of essential skills outside the art of tech.

 

How can Montreal Associates help me with this?

At Montreal Associates – a specialist technology recruitment partner providing total staffing solutions to organisations across Europe – we have dedicated teams for each technology and region we specialise in that can support you to map out, build and deliver a dynamic talent strategy that adapts to your evolving business needs. We can also take payroll off your hands as well! So don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you’d like to hear more about how we can support your start-up.

Author
Yohan Turbak
Sales Consultant