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Should You Work for a Startup? – Redfish Tech Recruiters Share Their Perspectives

Should You Work for a Startup?Should-You-Work-For-A-Startup

Redfish Tech Recruiters Share Their Perspectives


Recruiting talent for big companies and startups in various stages of development usually means searching for talent with different profiles. The technical skills needed may be the same for both types of companies, but beyond skill sets, personality makes a crucial difference in terms of the talent sought.


Startups are not for everyone.


Every startup is different but regardless of the stage of the company, by nature these budding companies are typically not going to offer the same employment opportunities as large, established corporations.


Startups tend to be in unique niches in often untested waters, they are creating disruptive exciting technologies and new business models. They attract creative, confident risk-takers and strive to attract agile innovators who thrive on finding new solutions and making things happen.


Pay vs Payoff


Yes, established companies offer better annual salaries than startups.


“Large companies like Cisco and Salesforce offer a lot of money, which seems great initially, but candidates must keep in mind the loss of marketability over time,” relates Logan Knight, Tech Recruiter. “The experience of a startup is a huge differentiator for candidates.”


Growth-mode companies generally guard their cash close, so startups are likely to offer big upsides in equity as the prize for all who built the company up to success. Early on many startups cannot offer very robust retirement or health benefits. And there is uncertainty in funding, exit strategies, and market reward, but contrary to large companies, the pay-off for the successful startup’s employees can potentially blow away any salary.


Hats, Impact, Visibility


Being among the early employees means wearing as many hats as necessary to achieve the vision. Employees will be an integral part of starting and developing many aspects of a new business. When working at a startup “other responsibilities as needed” is often the most important job duty.


The wide array of responsibilities with little protocol on how to do things opens the doors wide to creative solutions and innovative processes. Each employee has the opportunity to make a big impact. There is immense visibility internally and externally to those who are moving and shaking the company.


“Startups may not be the best bet for candidates who prefer to be less hands-on,” says Sales & Marketing Tech Recruiter, Leah O’Flynn. “However, keep in mind that working for a team within a large department at an established company limits the scope of a candidate’s responsibilities, and achievements – this can ultimately pigeon-hole them and limit their opportunities down the road.”



Agility, Experience, and Talent


Early stage companies are opportunistic and fast changing. New technology breakthroughs, partnerships opportunities, funding changes, and shifting market paradigms necessitate new business plans, flexible work approaches, agile responses, and evolving strategies. This is not typically the case in an established company that has dialed in their segment and remains focused therein.


The talents necessary to thrive in a fast-moving environment, and drive business growth in uncharted territories are highly valued. Those innovators and leaders who can take an idea and strategically and tactically create a business, have the skills to be successful in a wide range of roles and sectors. They are highly marketable.


“Most companies are keenly interested in the talent set of tech professionals with startup experience, but we have many clients who are not interested in people who’ve only worked at large companies,” reveals Jon Piggins, Sales & Marketing Tech Recruiter. “They find these candidates just don’t have the same desire to roll up their sleeves, or the agility to adapt to evolving market forces.”


Decision Making Time


Many startups require a lot of sweat and blood, but they are full of passionate people inspired by their everyday work. If you have an appetite for risk, a strong desire to be part of charting the course, flexibility and self-motivation, and a creative side that doesn’t want to be contained by business as usual, you should probably be working at a startup.


Evaluate each company and opportunity: look at the viability of the market nice, the strategic and tactical business plan, the founders and the funding situation, the company culture and work environment, and the equity package offered.


“My advice to candidates with the right skills and talents who are evaluating opportunities at both startups and industry leaders is that if you can forgo the immediate salary and gain the rich experience that startups have to offer, you will likely make it up later in equity, marketability, or both,” reflects Tech Recruiter, Meredith Dean.


About Redfish Technology:

An agile tech recruiting headhunting firm, Redfish recruiters work with exciting companies in various growth stages across exciting disruptive technology sectors. @Logan_Redfish & @MeredithRedfish recruit top-notch development and engineering talent, and @Leah_redfish  & @Jon_Redfish specialize in sales and marketing talent acquisition.