The changing dynamics of startup recruitment


‘Startups are all about technology’ is a strong perception which continues to cloud what people think about the startup ecosystem. A recent survey showed that new-age companies hire for a myriad of roles today with only 20–30 per cent of their workforce comprising technical talent. The demand for non-technical professionals is not new and has been consistent with the fast-paced growth of the startup ecosystem.

A decade back when there was a boom in online-only businesses, recruitment was predominantly concentrated towards hiring technical professionals. Startups aggressively recruited engineers from the premier institutes across the country in a bid to build best-in-class products. However, as Indian startups are maturing and building products and services for domestic consumption, they need more people. Earlier companies were smaller but they now have a much more solid footing in the market which has been another factor for the non-technical roles seeing more demand and growth than tech.

To give an example, a logistics provider will continue to hire volumes of people in operations and delivery as compared to hiring people who would work on creating their product. Massive demand for AMCAT for delivery boys is a proof in point.

The demand is also amply clear when we see hiring trends in startups across the country. A recent study by Aspiring Minds revealed that 47 per cent of the entry-level hiring comprised of professionals in non-technical roles. While profiles like web, app, and software developers and UI/UX designers continue to be in huge demand; it is interesting to see startups focussing equally on the non-technical workforce and going beyond adopting only a product-focussed approach.

According to the study, startup hiring in the non-technical segment remained dominated by sales professionals which is not surprising as sales continues to be the backbone of every business’s growth strategy. Roles like content writing, brand management, marketing have also increasingly found relevance in a startup, which was traditionally seen in sectors like FMCG, logistics, retail, etc.

With rapid growth in businesses, startups are also moving beyond metros to Tier II and Tier III cities, which demands for an increased workforce. Here again people in sales and marketing and operations are critical and being hired the most for startups to be able to scale effectively.

The job market was different earlier when recruitment remained dominated by the IT/BPO industry and saw jobs being created in stereotyped roles for engineers and IT professionals. While the IT sector has provided massive employment in the past and continues to do so, the employment landscape has many more options today. The startup boom in the country has changed the dynamics and with a tremendous surge in the number of players in every vertical, much more jobs are being created in sectors like e-commerce, fashion and lifestyle, logistics, etc.

The Indian startup ecosystem is one of the fastest growing today and the manifold increase in hiring volume and budgets is its glowing testament. As established startups are maturing and scaling up, an equal number of new startups are emerging to add to the hiring buzz. The software industry boom that the country experienced in the last two decades now seems to be getting a new face in the form of the enthusiastic and aggressive growth of the startup ecosystem. While the product or idea will definitely remain at the heart of all startups, it can be easily concluded that startups are not just about tech.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)


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