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Exceptional Recruitment Growth Hacks to Ramp up Your Startup Recruiting!

Adi Assaf

We’re living in an age in which large corporations use growth hacks actively to gain an edge over the competition.

Just recently, Amazon Israel entered the market, and in a move that you can only call less than savory (yet highly savvy), started recruiting developers from other startups, some of them Amazon customers.


They contacted them via LinkedIn and invited them to an Amazon convention, for educational purposes, or at least that’s what the startups were led to believe.

When the developers arrived at the convention, they were approached by Amazon with employment and relocation offers.

What was Amazon’s motive?

They probably needed to fill up the offices in Tel-Aviv fast, and qualitatively, with developers who are already familiar with their technology, something all startups intend to do in one point or another.

A brilliant recruitment hack, even if a bit controversial (they did recruit from their client list).

Now, most companies are not Amazon, and they have a limited budget. But they operate in the same market, which means that they need to get creative about the way they bring in new talent.

For startups, by far, the biggest challenge is recruiting the right employees, the future of the company depends on it.

And If not done fast, startups tend to run out of money.

But how do you get extraordinary talent before you run out of time and funds?


By growth hacking recruitment, that’s how!

Want to know how to match candidates and fill up company ranks with excellent talent in little to no time?

It’s time squeeze your creativity gland and roll down your sleeves.

Here we go!


#1 Recruiting with competitions & challenges

This one is for companies who need to recruit at scale, like Amazon.

But unlike the Amazon hack, this one won’t harm the company’s interests i.e. mess with their clients.

On this hack, you release a challenge to a group of professionals you gathered with an online campaign (you can publish it via social or search engines), this will require some creativity and investment, but will cost less than your recruitment campaign, and will help you recruit teams fast.

The potential employees are competing for a prize, and you need to make it worth their while.

While the competition on its own is great, the purpose here is to grab details about your potential candidates, and explore how they function in teams!

An excellent example of a company applying this hack is Kaggle. Kaggle has a database of competition, that features real problems or real challenges companies have.

Kaggle doesn’t use these competitions to hire employees, instead, it promotes the cooperation between data scientists and helps other companies enlist top talent and solve problems.

The competitions allow data scientists to explore skills in a “safe” environment in which nothing goes to waste, and the companies can contact these candidates according to their performance on certain challenges.

A company who’ll utilize this strategy will benefit from:

  • Low campaign costs.
  • Potential partnerships.
  • Widespread brand awareness.
  • And of course, the best candidates out there.

In the end, you’ll know who to hire and get candidates you normally won’t have access to. The candidates will interact with you on a pull basis, which will open them up to the push basis i.e. hiring them.


#2 Scraping social groups for candidates and advertising jobs to

You can scrape Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Groups for names, emails and phone numbers and then target them on social media.

Scraping tools today allow you to gather lists of just about anything, from just about anywhere.

Of course, I don’t recommend that you email the users you scraped from social media directly, what I do recommend is that you target them with ads on search, Facebook, Twitter and basically everywhere they go with Remarketing.

Sure, this will require some campaign management skills. But guess what? You can learn how to run your own campaigns or let a professional do that for you, and it will cost less than your usual recruitment campaign and work way faster.

This leaves scraping, which might sound complicated, but due to an excellent guide, written by Giles DC, you don’t need any technical skills for this one, I promise, just follow the guide!

If you want to scrape searches on LinkedIn, you can also use Lix, highly recommended.

Alternatives for the mentioned scrapers can be Scrapely and Instant data scraper.


#3 Recruiting with Influencers

This method is extremely effective when you hire on a remote basis.

Influencer marketing is a cheaper alternative to advertising, it can be used for recruitment as well and if done right can leave you with tons of highly targeted candidates from all over the world.

However, it’s not without its dangers, you might choose the wrong influencer to work with and spend all your money without seeing any leads from the recruitment campaign.

That’s why you must do your research when it comes to influencers, find:

  1. Who follows them and are they your ideal candidate persona?
  2. How engaged are their followers? (do this to avoid influencers with bot followers).
  3. Budget, what do they want in exchange for the exposure?
  4. What kind of exposure are they willing to provide for the agreed sum?

When you contact influencers, there’s almost always a fee involved. But, if you offer an innovative way to add value to them or their followers, it might cost you less.

And no, “I know of a job opening in this and that company and they’re excepting only people who follow me” is not considered valuable.


#4 Recruiting on groups, the right way + Slack Groups

We all know how well LinkedIn and Facebook groups work when it comes to recruitment.

In fact, we know it so well that it almost became the most ineffective way to waste our time when creating recruitment campaigns (a warm wink to the spammers of the world, thank you, you know who you are ?).

Posting automatically to group members on social media is just spamming. Be more sensitive, give it an interesting and engaging twist, make it worth their while, and use hack No. #2 to interact with group members while they’re not in the group.

In addition, there are a lot of Slack groups, each group is focused on a subject and contains top professionals or people who know top professionals.

Be active in these groups, interact with questions, and help users out. There’s still magic in good Slack groups, the kind of magic that social media groups used to have when social was young, use it!

The hack here is the relationships you’ll create.


#5 Recruiting on freelance websites

This one is a no-brainer and you can do it now!

You can post a job opening on websites like Upwork, and instead of projects, just post a job, you’ll get flooded with candidates in no time.

This is highly effective for both remote and local employees, do it now!

There are no limits to what you can do when you leave the old recruitment campaigns behind, these are just some of the recruitment growth hacks I use on a regular basis, they are not complicated, and anyone can apply them.


Do you have recruitment hacks that you’d like to share? Let’s see if you come up with something better!


Until we meet again.