Everyone's Engineering Team

The Science of Deduction: Hacks to Hiring Employees for Startups


‘It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts,’ famously said Dr. Sherlock Holmes. He was referring to how decision-making, based on probabilities can result in costly mistakes. In today’s world, this is true not just for legendary detectives, but even for those managing current-day hiring of employees for startups.

Until very recently (but yet very commonly), recruitment has been seen as more of an art than science. Previously, HR personnel used to just go with their basal “gut instinct”. But the intestine can’t really be credited for doing any thinking, now can it? Thereby crappy (pun-intended) recruitment decisions were regularly made, leading to companies haemorrhaging talent and monies.

Just as the master detective solves even the most baffling cases with astute observation & scientific assessments, so too must the new-age HR person manage their resources with data-backed reasoning. Add to this, solid workflows, workplace branding and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – and you’ve hit gold! This mix could potentially be the panacea for every recruiter; delivering better technical employees, greater speed, accuracy, flexibility, & reduced HR spends! Now, especially if you are a startup looking to scale rapidly, and hunting for new developers and other technical employees – wouldn’t you love some savings?

So puff on that (imaginary) pipe and read on to find out how you can solve this mystery of optimally augmenting the recruitment process to make your business the winner, every time.

Hack #1: Collect and Analyse Evidence

“You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles.” –  Sherlock Holmes

In the current ultra-competitive marketplace, every small piece of insight, drawn out of analyzing data, could help start-ups gain an edge as a prospective employer.

Hiring, like the sales or marketing functions, requires managers to adopt a funnel-based approach. At each segment of this funnel, candidates will need to be sent customized messaging that will project you as the employer-of-choice to them.

But how do you know what messaging to deploy and to whom? Why, through big data analysis, of course.

Because such analysis offers information about hiring essentials; ranging from appropriate compensation for each role, to predicting hiring timelines & location-based talent availability; allowing recruiters to make swift, decisive & logical calls & reel in the perfect employees.

You could carry out a comprehensive hiring compensation analysis to find out what top technology companies pay their technical employees and app developers. Then optimise the salaries, for each role, to attract best talent. The key is to optimize; NOT go over the top. This way you can deliver fair-pay to the prospective employee, while not unnecessarily bleeding the company dry of its profits.

If harnessed efficiently, it can become your biggest ally in understanding future HR trends and current macro & micro economic conditions.

Hack #2: Fully Harness the Mind: Automate & Outsource

“I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? –  Sherlock Holmes

Recruiters invest so much time in mundane, time guzzling activities like screening through thousands of resumes to finding the right technical employee and other intensely boring data entry jobs. To shave off the excess time spent by HR in these dull activities, AI is quickly becoming the gatekeeper of jobs.


You could even build an app that can predict a potential candidate’s performance in a vacant role, based on algorithms customized for the unique needs of their organizations.

For the HR team to function as a high-performing unit, humans need to work with AI as one.

For other jobs that need human intervention, but are still very tactical in nature – outsource! If you are looking for a resource that can help with web development or app development, you could employ recruitment agencies to dedicatedly reach out to hundreds of candidates a day, freeing up the HR persons towards less repetitive tasks.

Then, to ensure that the agency is completely clued in on the role requirements, you can train the agency on the job pitch and shares template emails & detailed workflows for the task. A seamless workflow can reduce confusion and help the agency deliver efficiently and effectively.

Hack #3: Become a high-functioning branding machine

‘Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.’ – Sherlock Holmes

Espouse the core benefits of working at your business, in the most ethical and honest manner. When you brand your organization as a great place to work, great people will want to work for you.

Especially to attract the best technical employee or developer, you could speak about the work culture, vision & opportunities in your company at tech networking events. You could also brand your company online – on social media & blogs.

Usually, the best way of promotion is through word of mouth. By offering really challenging opportunities & a great work environment to your existing employees, they will inevitably promote your organization to others. This is a sure-shot means of attracting prime talent.

Hack #4: Make a Case for Training and Engagement

“They say that genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains..” – Sherlock Holmes

This quote applies to keeping your employees content too.

It takes a lot of hard work. And why not, arguably retaining the talent pool is more critical than hiring the right people.

This is why it is better to invest in training resources for your current employees rather than focus on recruiting new people in this tough hiring environment. Start-ups need to be geared towards catering to 2-3 generations in today’s workplace – Generation Z (under 18 years), Gen Y (18-33) & in some cases even the Gen X (34-50)! To ensure that all these unique groups of people are equally motivated, customized training & engagement activities need to be developed. Thus, talent analytics can empower hiring managers to get the right employees for startups.

A good private-eye is on point when it comes to being observant, persistent, objective & ethical. These very traits can help you make smartly hire employees for startups, equalling to a fatter profit margin for your company!

So what are you waiting for? Time to invest sensibly in data sciences, marketing, automation and elaborate workflows.

Elementary my dear, entrepreneur! Elementary.

A hints sudden attack or forward movement, especially in a race


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