Start-ups finding it hard to secure the right hires

The majority of start-ups in the UK do not have any formal training for new hires and are finding that staff do not have the skills to succeed.


The majority of start-ups in the UK do not have any formal training for new hires and are finding that staff do not have the skills to succeed.

New research has found that early-stage businesses are struggling to source the correct talent, with technical positions proving the most troublesome.

Research conducted by Startup Institute reveals that 79 per cent of start-ups are wrestling with the issue of finding the right people. Some 42 per cent identify staff issues as the prime reason for failure.

The survey, which involved founders and executives at 100 start-ups during February 2014, shows that respondents believe teams often do not have the requisite skills to execute on ideas and do not successfully collaborate with founders.

Aaron O’Hearn, founder of Startup Institute, says, ‘It is alarming to see the extent of staffing challenges in the start-up community

‘Short on time and resources, founders are struggling to find new recruits who can add immediate value in fast-moving teams. This is a worrying trend and it’s important to bring this to the public’s attention as high-growth technology companies continue to play a bigger role in the economy.’

More on hiring issues for start-ups:

Speaking to GrowthBusiness at the beginning of the year, O’Hearn pointed towards statistics showing that start-up job adverts are up 44 per cent since 2012 – with nearly 5,000 vacancies unfilled – as evidence of the problem. 

The cultural shift which O’Hearn noted in London is picking up momentum, as an increasing number of graduates avoid the tried and tested route of entering the banking or corporate landscape.

Web development has been identified as the hardest role to fill, with 38 per cent picking this as the most important area. Technical roles are proving more of a sticking point, with 60 per cent of start-ups struggling to hire there.

Start-ups are mostly finding new recruits from professional networks and referrals (61 per cent), followed by direct applicants (24 per cent) and recruitment agencies (6 per cent).

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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Recruitment