Case Studies

The Struggle to Hire Tech Talent for a Fitness Startup

Learn about the challenges faced and the importance of adaptability when it comes to hire tech talent for a fitness startup.

A few months back, we collaborated with Gainful, a nutrition-focused and fitness startup led by former CTO Markus Jonsson. Our mission was to locate a Senior Full Stack Developer who not only possessed exceptional technical skills but also resonated with the fitness-centered ethos of Gainful.

After an extensive 6-week search, we uncovered 5 skilled tech professionals, but unfortunately, the search did not result in any placements. This case study shares the challenging journey that didn't quite meet our expectations.

Challenges Faced: A very specific search

Our technical recruitment process encountered considerable challenges, notably in fulfilling specific criteria: the candidate needed to be a female passionate about fitness, an active athlete, with 5 years of experience in Python, Django, and React, and proficient in English.

Initially, we encountered some difficulties in sourcing women candidates for the position. In order to expand the candidate pool, we:

  • temporarily relaxed the English language requirement.
  • However, this approach led us to focus more on physical attributes, resulting in the exclusion of candidates who did not meet the specific criteria the company had set.
  • We proactively reached out to candidates who left their hobbies section blank on their LinkedIn profiles, aiming to assess how well their interests aligned with Gainful's lifestyle.

In response, Awana recommended strategic adjustments to the job description, resulting in a wider candidate selection. Eventually, 5 candidates, including 3 women, met the revised criteria.

The CTO personally reviewed all CVs, conducted initial interviews, and selected one candidate. Unfortunately, after a successful first interview, the chosen candidate, Debora, faced silence from the client, leaving the process in limbo.

Awana recommended strategic adjustments to the job description resulting in a wider candidate selection.

Despite the unforeseen halt, the bond between Debora and us remained strong. Our open communication and support throughout the process showcased Awana's commitment to candidate satisfaction.

Conversation with debora

Conclusion and Key Insights

The Gainful recruitment journey brought forth unique challenges, highlighting the value of adaptability and perseverance.

Even as priorities shifted, we persisted in supporting Gainful by exploring various search options, leveraging our prior experience with fitness-related criteria.

This experience broadened our understanding of the diversity among clients, their companies, and their distinctive needs, fostering adaptability and patience.

Although the candidate wasn't ultimately hired, this journey was a personal victory, contributing significantly to our professional growth. It offered insights into the client's culture, technical expertise, and human aspects.

Despite setbacks, this experience reinforced the importance of nurturing positive relationships and overcoming obstacles in the pursuit of exceptional talent.

As tech recruiters, we wholeheartedly encourage tackling seemingly insurmountable challenges, showcasing our capabilities to hire developers and the quality of our work, while continuously enriching our knowledge, recruitment services, and experience in the field.

Measurable Metrics

Diversity Achieved: 60% female candidates shortlisted.

Process Duration: Cut in half from the initial estimates, showcasing a significant boost in efficiency.

Relationship Retention: Maintained positive ongoing relationships with promising candidates.

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