What are the best ways in attracting talent to a startup? Is it salary, a cool brand, a cool office or something else? Equity is pretty much a standard so I'm looking for some other tips.
A while back I read an article about a startup that got some decent talent by having a very cool "first day" setup where they greet the new employee with a desk of different cool gadgets, choice of computer and even a dose of soda. Unfortunately I can no longer find this article, anyone know?
Interesting work on something they believe in.
I don't think there is any one formula for what makes someone stay or go.
So I would mix as many of the following as you can
Remove as many of the following.
then add a bunch of other elements yourself.
To keep it simple I would say the primary start up draws would be:
Sure having a soda machine, the latest laptop, the Aeron chair, a cool Steelcase desk where I can sit or stand is great. But, that really doesn't matter. That same person would be just as satisfied coding on a couch with their Macbook. Those are perks, but right now I'm seeing some developers take less $ to work somewhere they can have an impact and work on something they believe in.
If you're talking specifically about attracting technology talent, the environment is a very important factor, probably more than money or options--and I am not talking about a ping-pong table or free beer. The best engineering talent tend to be attracted to two main things at a start-up:
If a company doesn't have these things going for it already, it is going to find it very difficult to attract top-shelf engineers.
It is a bit of a chicken and egg problem, I'll grant you. You need that first one or two passionate developers to start to build the kernel of the team. If you yourself are not technical, then you will not be able to attract tech talent until you have a solid, dedicated founder-level technology person on board who can focus on building the team. I have seen a few non-technical co-founders attract that first developer simply with the promise that they can choose the technology and build the team. There is a smaller subset of engineers that have leadership qualities and can be attracted to that proposal. But, do make sure this first engineer has leadership experience in their past.