A fresh recruitment solution for tech start-ups and scale-ups: Hays Rise

By James Hallahan, Director of Hays Technology, UK and Ireland

The world of tech start-ups and scale-ups is a volatile one at the best of times. But in a world in which the ongoing pandemic is casting uncertainty over our economy, sustainably growing a business which is in its infancy can seem daunting.

That’s where Hays Rise can support. Our latest innovation is designed specifically for tech start-ups and scale-ups. It offers access to the most in-demand talent pools to get their product or service in the market, their current teams the skills development to support retention, and insight-driven content.

The talent challenge

We’ve known for the past few years that tech professionals are in demand across the country. With skills gaps rife, these professionals are hot property, and competition to find, attract and hire them is fierce. The war for good tech talent is very real.

The likes of good software developers, data scientists and cloud engineers have their pick when it comes to looking for new opportunities. They can be – and are – choosy about which roles they take.

Yet this poses an acute challenge for start-ups and scale-ups. You might have a winning idea, funds in the bank and a unique company culture which you’re sure will be a selling point for candidates.

But, with competition at an all-time high, can you be sure your offering will cut through the noise and secure the best tech talent? Can you compete with more established organisations looking to make the same hires as you? And if you don’t find the right talent, can you be sure your start-up will grow?

We’ve been interested in the start-up space for a little while now. To put it down to a year, in 2018 we partnered with Empact Ventures, the global superconnectors, with whom we worked closely to launch a series of networking events bringing together start-ups, scale-ups and larger tech organisations.

We also conducted a survey to uncover some of the challenges faced by leaders in start-ups and scale-ups. Our co-branded Tech Start-Up report was born in 2019 which shed some light on what these leaders struggle with – such as raising their company profile and attracting and retaining the right employees.

The evolution of Hays Rise

We realised that we needed to provide a tailored service to help start-ups and scale-ups navigate this challenge.

As the UK’s largest specialist recruiter, we have the scale to have all the necessary candidate attraction resources at our fingertips, but we also have the regional and local networks to tap into niche skillsets and talent – meaning we can find and engage more talent, at speed.

Furthermore, we wanted to ensure we are truly acting as lifelong career partners to our candidates. Almost two thirds of tech talent want to work in a start-up or scale-up at some point in their careers, so it’s vital that we are consistently providing these opportunities to professionals.

After establishing the basics of what we wanted to achieve, we knew it needed to look and feel different to anything we had done before. We wanted to put something out there that was innovative, disruptive and unique – that truly spoke to highly unique needs of the start-up and scale-up community. That meant creating an “as a service” model to:

  1. Support your scaling journey
  2. Raise your company profile through our tech and platforms
  3. Increase your sales and customer base

The end result

We launched Hays Rise in Spring 2020. In a nutshell, Hays Rise is a service allowing us to work with you to build a 12-month hiring and employer brand strategy. The aim of this is to help your start-up or scale-up find and attract the right people with the right skillsets, and ensures you create an ongoing pipeline of talent to continuously engage with.

Here’s the detail of what it offers:

  • Permanent recruitment of an agreed number of technology hires per year
  • A dedicated expert recruitment consultant and account management team specific to the technology talent pools you require
  • Access to an online skills development training platform with useful training courses including funding, networking, legal, sales and marketing
  • Access to our extensive technology talent networks
  • An employer branded multi-channel campaign including your own fully branded recruitment microsite to further enhance your employee value proposition (EVP)
  • Priority access to our leading market insights and thought leadership content to help you scale your business

What’s more, being a subscription-based product, you can spread the cost over the year. Subscriptions are tailored, so you’ll only be paying for what – and who – your business really needs.

Is Hays Rise for me?

Every hire counts – we get that! As a founder or CEO, of a start-up, you will likely have exhausted your own networks and now looking for talent beyond that community. And if you are at a scale-up, you’ll be looking to supercharge your EVP. In short – we can help. But don’t just take our word for it, read what our other customers have to say:

“Innovation! Finally, a commercial model that focuses on lifelong partnerships”

“The Hays brand will help us to build ours and increase our customer base”

“Cost of hire significantly reduced, with quality guarantees and brilliant value add, including their training platform”

But that’s not all…

We’ve worked extensively on Hays Rise but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have other things on the go as well.

We work closely with Empact Ventures who link up leaders of start-ups and scale-ups with the people who can provide the funding and networks to help these organisations flourish. As our combined events have had to be put on hold for the time being, we’re running a competition in a bid to discover the best emerging and disruptive tech start-ups and scale-ups across the UK and Ireland.

Our goal is to uncover these start-ups and scale-ups and connect them with a wider audience, connections to potential clients, partners and funders, and support them with their talent management strategy.

If you’re a start-up or scale-up and can demonstrate how you’ve created social impact and enhanced people’s lives through tech, nominate your organisation to win a regional, industry or UK and Ireland-wide prize package of bespoke business support. Keep an eye on @HaysDigiTechUKI for more competition details and entry forms.

We’d love to tell you a bit more about what we’ve created, what we’re working on and how we can transform your start-up or scale-up, so feel free to reach out to james.hallahan@hays,com or read more at haysrise.com.


James Hallahan
Director, Hays Technology, UK & Ireland

James Hallahan, Director of Hays Technology and James Harvard, our professional services business, has over 20 years’ experience in technology and digital recruitment, and solutions that deliver outcomes for customer success. James is responsible for delivering strategic growth across both the private and public sectors, through scaling existing products and services and innovating with new solutions to both existing and new markets within which we operate.


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