startUP Recruitment

I’m doing some work in the startUP arena at the moment and recruitment is one of the biggest early stage challenges; when cash is tight but you are pushing growth who do you hire?

StartUPs have a certain culture and need the right people to get involved from the beginning, however, as the business grows these needs change. The person you bought in early who could write simple code and manage business development may not be best suited to running a sales team and certainly isn’t an IT Director 18 months later.

Understanding this is pivotal in ensuring you hire people that will create the culture and buzz that you are looking for in the early stages of growth. As your business grows you should be constantly managing and refining your strategy to ensure you maintain focus and have the skills and aptitude you require.

Best demonstrated with senior hires in more established business who are looking to define culture and create employee engagement:

“Hire the HR director you need not the one you want”

Too many CEOs will hire HR directors who will follow their commands and do not think for themselves, the result is a negative change in the business. Instead if you hire people who support and drive for what you are trying to achieve, even if it goes against your own personality you are likely to breed success.

As an entrepreneur be honest with yourself and hire the skills and personalities you need and may lack but will push your business forwards.

In a start ups this could be hiring a business development manager who is more perhaps more pushy and ‘salesy’ than yourself and you may not like these traits. However, they are invaluable in driving new business and getting those first customers on board.

You are driving the business with your vision and ideas but must be honest and highlight the areas where you are weakest and require support; you can define your own culture and should be looking for those who are a cultural fit and will add value where you cannot or simply don’t have time.

The work at Catandra has traditionally been with established businesses but the buzz and excitement of startUPs is hard to resist, as such a sister job board has been set up to support these early stage businesses. Check out for more information.


Occasionally management teams want an expert, objective opinion.


Businesses require the best talent in the long run but often interim support is invaluable.


Active networking is a great opportunity to share ideas and best practice.

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