That one serious universal nightmare of all startups has always been our good old friend, “talent acquisition”. Though the challenges in recruitment may be different in emerging markets, but talent acquisition is still a challenge even in the more developed startup ecosystems such as Silicon Valley.

Every startup wants to hire the right person and everyone knows “people are your largest investment”, however knowing the goal and actually accomplishing it are not the same. Typically in emerging markets like Iran, startup ecosystems tend to be very young and on the rise. This could also be translated into: talents not being familiar with the concept of a startup organization and its dynamics. The required skill set for startups tend to be different depending on the job position, and frankly, it’s not always the first working destination talents are daydreaming about.

Depending on the stage of a startup, the challenges for talent acquisition are also different. Most of the challenges on finding the right talent are usually more difficult for seed stage startups as their company is not well known to the public, and it’s usually the startup running after talent than the other way around.

Here are the most used channels for startups for their recruitment affairs in Iran.

1. Network & referrals

Network and referrals are kings. Even in the most flourished startup ecosystems with high access to talent and the most convenient recruitment channels, network and referrals still rule the day. Network becomes more crucial in emerging markets due to the fact that the startup and coder’s community are quite smaller in number. The advantage of a small startup community like Iran’s is that usually everyone knows each other, making it easier to communicate and ultimately leads to good referrals. Your network could be most effective on social media or by contacts acquired in events which both are considered as channel of their own which are listed bellow.
2. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Telegram channels

Whether it’s about hight number of followers and connections, personal account or company account or the power of hashtags, Twitter and LinkedIn are the best social media platforms for recruitments. Some hashtags like #بازارکار# بازاربانک (translated into “Workbazaar” and “WorkBank”) are two major hashtags to mix and match recruiters and job seekers. Recently some Telegram channels have popped up which act as a job board of their own.
3. Recruited head hunters

Now head hunters could be considered as channels themselves as they posses the methods and network of their own. According to some tech entrepreneurs in Iran, head hunters usually roam in different forums to find their targets, along with the typical social media platforms like LinkedIn. Obviously head hunters also use all the channels listed here as well including events and meet ups. Head hunters also have an eye on Telegram groups related to startups to find the talent they’re looking for which has been effective for some startups until now.

4. Job boards

The two most used job boards for recruiting for startups are IranTalent and Jobinja, with Jobinja being more “startup-oriented” as some put it. Job boards could sometimes not be that effective as the previous mentioned channels, but certainly a channel regardless of how the rate effectiveness displays.

5.  Events and meet ups

Event as a channel to recruit talent is a no-brainer. This really depends on the networking skills of the startup recruiter or head hunter. Events like Hamfekr which is a weekly networking meet up for startups and tech entrepreneurs is usually a good place to find talent for various professions. Hamfekr events can almost be found in every major Iranian city. LaraTalks and Tehran JS are two developer meet ups which have been very effective to recruit tech talent for Tehran based startups.

6.  Email blasts and company blogs

This method really depends on the stage of your startup and your subscribers but it has become handy for some startups that have been using this method. It has become a great channel for startups to communicate with customers and future team members.
Here are some Recruitment Tips for Multinational Companies in Iran.
We would love to know your experience on talent acquisition for startups in your country or city.

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