The first time I had to grad exams as university lecturer, I realized how wrong were all exams/homework I wrote as a student — because I didn't understand grader's expectations/requirements. I truly believed that if I had, as a student, the opportunity to experience what mattered — and what not — for the grader (i.e., to get into his/her head), I would have done better by tailoring my answers to his/her needs.


Fast-forward: I am now applying for a job (namely full stack developer — but it doesn't matter as you'll see) in a rapidly growing startup. This startup is 3 years old, located in western Europe, works in a currently trending sector, has a about 20–30 employees (I guess), and recently raised a few million growth equity in Series A. The startup is hiring about 5 people into similar positions (some focusing rather on the front-end, the back-end, or data-analytics — but all fairly versatile), plus others for support functions. I may be quite under-skilled/experienced for the position(s) I am applying to.

I want to better understand their needs in recruitment — and especially focusing on their rapid growth "issue" (need to quickly hire a few people).


Beyond what an employer looks for every time in a candidate (matches the position and the company, is reliable, won't cause problem and will add value to the company, etc.), and beyond the specifics of the position (technical skills),

what are the specific requirements and constraints for a recruiter that are caused by the rapid growth of a startup?

  • I am thinking of "immediate availability", "being operational from day 1", "limited time to recruit/select candidates", etc. But I'm looking for experience-based answers, rather than thought of. – ebosi Sep 24 '18 at 11:58
  • By far your best bet here is to talk to the company. Different companies will look for different things. – Philip Kendall Sep 24 '18 at 12:00
  • @PhilipKendall I have an informal chat scheduled in a few days. But my objective is to prepare beforehand, and to know what advantages I may have; or what is critical for me to highlight in my application. I.e. to understand them, in order to better meet their expectations. – ebosi Sep 24 '18 at 12:02
  • This question is very broad. VTC – Mister Positive Sep 24 '18 at 12:45
  • @MisterPositive I knew my issue was broad, so I've focused my question as much as I could, and made it non opinion-based. So I don't share your opinion, but you'd know better if it suits this site or not. – ebosi Sep 24 '18 at 12:54

There is no way to tell, apply and hope for the best.

If you do get the job be more careful than usual about creating a positive impression.

The reason I say this is that one thing that often happens is they will purposely overhire since they're short on time, with the idea that if they hire 5 they can maybe get rid of two or three if they need to, quite often they'll hire 5 and still advertise the positions.

  • over-hiring is an interesting point I hadn't thought through! – ebosi Sep 24 '18 at 12:04
  • it's an angle worth considering in a time constrained situation. – Kilisi Sep 24 '18 at 12:04

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