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Staying Human While Leveraging Technology for Startup Recruitment and Retention

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Building a team of skilled and committed individuals is crucial for a startup’s success. However, when you’re starting out, you may find it challenging to find and hire great employees. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. The majority of recruiters struggle while trying to find and hire technical talent. Even if you’re successful in attracting and acquiring qualified individuals, you may have a hard time retaining them. There’s always the risk of losing your winning employees to your competitors. As a startup, you can’t obviously compete with the salary packages and perks offered by established companies. Hence, for you, retaining good employees is even more critical than for others. The key to stepping up your startup recruitment and retention game is to understand the root causes of the problem.

Why Startups Struggle with Retaining Employees

One of the biggest reasons startups have a harder time retaining employees is that they don’t have the upper hand when it comes to salaries. When starting out, you’re likely to have limited resources, weak business models, and unstable revenue streams. Moreover, since you’ve recently introduced your company to the market, people don’t know much about your vision. They don’t know if you’re going to survive in the industry. Hence, your company may not seem to be the ideal place to work in when they think about their job and financial stability. Apart from this, the inability to maintain a work-life balance may be a turnoff for many employees. You may require your team to work long shifts and even on weekends with a crazy workload but not everybody will be willing to push through the hard days.

Why Should You Care about Employee Retention?

The cost of employee turnover isn’t limited to losing a team member. You also lose a significant amount of money. An employee who quits can cost you up to 2.5 monthly salaries until you find someone to replace them. Not to mention, you also lose valuable information and knowledge that your employee had learned on the job. You invested so much time, energy, and resources to train them and ensure they knew about the company’s mission, vision, values, and culture. Then, there are the hiring costs you’ll incur when looking for the right talent. Simply put, you need to find a way to retain as many employees as possible.

It All Begins with Recruiting

To reduce the employer turnover rate and boost retention, your efforts should begin in the recruiting stage. Oftentimes, errors in the hiring process become the reason for early employee resignation. Many employers make tall claims in job advertisements and don’t realize that false promises backfire when the employees are welcomed onboard. The key is to put your best foot forward without being dishonest. Additionally, candidate screening is critical to hiring the best talent. Apart from their formal qualifications and past work experience, you should see if they’re flexible and willing to learn.

Embrace Technology While Staying Human

Did you know that only 12% of employers in the U.S. are good at onboarding their employees? A good employee onboarding program can boost retention rate by 25% and make new employees 69% more likely to stay in the company for three years. Studies show that employee engagement plays a crucial role in extending the employment lifecycle. Engaged employees bring in more productivity and revenue. They are also likely to stay in the company longer than a disengaged employee. While COVID19 has upended the way we do business, it has taught us one thing: when it comes to keeping employees engaged, there’s no better friend than technology. It has also taught us to stay human while embracing technology. Startups need to leverage new technologies and humanize their connection to keep employees engaged from the first interaction and throughout their time at the company. As Mindy O’Toole, Division Vice President (Talent Solutions) at ADP says, “Technology is a critical enabler, particularly when we’re looking at multi-generational workforces and companies.” Click here to listen to the whole webinar for more insights into the use of technology for startup recruitment and retention. When it comes to successful startup recruitment and HR growth, technology plays a crucial role. Without leveraging technology, your business can never scale in the modern digital world. For scaling, you need efficiency and sustainability, both of which are provided by specific technologies. By using technology, HR professionals can get more work done in less time. It ultimately results in better profit margins, efficient employees, and satisfied customers.

4 Ways to Leverage Technology for Startup Recruitment and Retention While Staying Human

The following technology solutions can help you take your startup recruitment and retention game to the next level while staying human.

1. Recruiting Management Software

When hiring a new employee, you need to think beyond the qualifications and skills required for the job. The new hire should be a culture fit as well. While your peace of mind is important, the candidate should also be satisfied with their work. We understand that finding the right candidates may be overwhelming when you already have so much going on. This is where recruiting management software comes in! You may want to invest in recruitment CRM or ATS.


The Candidate Relationship Management system is an ecosystem designed for job seekers and applicants, which helps streamline the recruitment process. It also includes people who have applied to your company in the past. With this system, you can drive your sourcing team, create talent pools, and build connections with passive candidates. Some of the best candidate recruitment management tools you should consider using include Yello, Smashfly, Avature, Jibe, and Telemetry.


The Applicant Tracking System serves as a repository for applicants and helps manage the application process. It keeps a record of everything recruiters may need to make the right hiring choices. It includes features, such as interview scheduling, message distribution, assessment generation and comparison, and import and export of data. With ATS, you can expect smooth candidate screening and short listing process and effortless communication with the applicants. Popular ATS include Oracle Taleo, Jobvite, Bullhorn, IBM Kenexa BrassRing, and iCIMS. April Aguirre, the lead recruiter at Integral Ad Science says, “You’re absolutely going to need the Applicant Tracking Systemonce you get to some large-scale. Spreadsheet trackers aren’t going to do it for you anymore, especially when you’re tied into, let’s say, accounting software for your budget or onboarding or you want to keep track of all the databases for resumes so you can use them in the future. As a recruiter, you definitely want to keep track of feedback and all of the assessment results in case you get audited.” With technology like CRM and ATS, you can automate your candidate outreach program and streamline the hiring process. The best thing is that recruitment management software stores the data of past candidates, allowing you to evaluate the journey of your best employees. In short, you’ll be hiring faster and better, taking tasks off your plates more efficiently. By recruiting candidates who are the right fit for the company, you’ll also enjoy better retention rates.

2. Learning Management Systems

More often than not, employees are looking for opportunities to learn new skills and achieve career growth when joining a company. Besides, ongoing training is critical to ensure all employees stay on top of the company’s operations, regulations, and values. A learning management system provides you with a platform to create, conduct, and track training programs. It allows you to offer personalized learning experiences to employees, which serves as a powerful tool to boost employee retention. You can set goals and create training programs to encourage employees to forge their way into the company throughout the post-onboarding period. Some of the best learning management systems include Tovuti, Talent LMS, Moodle, Easy LMS, and Lessonly.

3. Testing and Assessment Tools

Testing and assessment tools also come in handy when it comes to hiring the best candidates quickly for startups. Long gone are the days when companies used to rely on conventional interviews to find the most qualified candidates. Interview results may be biased and often the process itself is not much fun. It may be unreliable as well since you can’t really assess a candidate’s soft skills with a few minutes of conversation. Testing and assessment tools have made the hiring process easier, reliable, and more enjoyable. These tools help target candidates that are the perfect fit for your company, both skills and temperament wise. With these tools, you can assess the applicants’ skills, personality, attitude, and aptitude with minimum efforts. The top-rated testing and assessment tools include Applied, Codility, Hire Select, eSkill, and Mettl.

4. Communication Tools

The ongoing pandemic has forced businesses to go remote. While it ensures greater flexibility and work-life balance for employees, it has made it challenging for employers to communicate and engage with the team. This is where communication tools come to the rescue! You can use different chat and video conferencing tools to stay connected with employees during these challenging times. Let them know that you understand their situation and genuinely care about them. You can stay in touch about important tasks and projects or have fun and promote a friendly work culture. We are witnessing a massive spike in the popularity of chatbots for startup recruitment and retention. Chatbots can make the screening process more efficient and find qualified candidates much faster while helping you save money. They allow you to automate the recruitment process while ensuring a positive experience for the candidates. April Purdue, Senior Field People Partner at Sam’s Club says, “You can definitely teach a bot to engage a candidate from start to finish and create a consistent experience.” In addition to keeping the applicants informed about their application status, chatbots introduce the company culture to them in an interactive way. Popular communication tools for employee engagement include Slack, Office Vibe, Survey Monkey, Zendesk, and Trello.

Let’s Capitalize on Technology While Staying Human to Improve Startup Recruitment and Retention

You need to understand that your employees are your most valuable asset. Make the most of technology to hire top talent, train the new hires, set realistic expectations, and provide growth and learning opportunities. Meanwhile, don’t disregard the importance of humanizing your connection with them. The more best employees you retain, the faster your startup will move up the ladder of success. For more insights into the startup recruitment and retention challenges during the pandemic and their solutions, listen to our webinar now!
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