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Finding candidates without a dedicated budget

Finding candidates, without a budget to dedicate to it, is something that affects all companies, startups and large companies alike.

Two things must be kept in mind when deciding whether to recruit yourself, to advertise for positions on online job boards, or to outsource your recruitment to a recruitment agency specialised in IT:

  1. How much time do I have to devote to the recruitment process?

The recruitment process can be very time-consuming, and you will need to commit several hours or even several days to it.

  1. Do I have the necessary skills to carry it out? Insufficient methods or inefficiency can delay identifying suitable candidates, and thus their recruitment. Worse yet, a bad recruitment could cost a lot to rectify and would require starting the search for a new candidate all over again.


Basically, it takes time, and time is money.


If you decide to go forward with it, here is a quick recruitment guide which will give you some advice and a few tools that will help you in your recruitment of IT or sales people!


By recommendation or your network

Unless the recruitment is confidential, the first thing to do is of course to ask your network for help: ex-colleagues, other entrepreneurs, people responsible for professional networks, clubs and associations you are a member of, etc.


By co-optation

You can also ask your teams to spread the word and recommend candidates.

This is often an efficient and reliable way of identifying good candidates.


Using recruitment ads

Several free recruitment platforms are available for posting ads. Depending on the targeted profile, some platforms are better adapted than others.

Here are a few free ones:

  • Pôle emploi (French)
  • APEC (French)
  • Indeed


There are a few rules to follow when using recruitment ads: in France, the ad must be written in French, you must specify “M/F” next to the job title, and no criteria of a discriminatory nature may be included.

Abroad, these rules may not apply or may need to be adapted depending on the country.


When writing copy for the ad, you should describe your company and the job opportunity as precisely and appealingly as possible, so candidates are able to imagine themselves in the role and want to apply.

It can also be a good idea to not say too much concerning the type of personality you are searching for, otherwise candidates are likely to say what you want to hear and base themselves on this for the job interview.


Social networks

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter…

Some social networks, such as LinkedIn, are clearly identified as useful and suitable for approaching candidates. More and more, other networks are also becoming viable channels for recruiting.

Here are a few tips:

  • Clearly state on your profile that you are recruiting
  • Your targeted candidates have special interests. Join their types of groups!
  • When sending potential candidates a message, feel free to give them further information about the position or project
  • Make your messages as personalised as possible (“I saw you studied here and that you have X years of experience in PHP Symfony. I would be very interested in getting to know you and discussing your career projects in the IT industry…”)
  • Ask for recommendations: if the person is not interested or unavailable, don’t hesitate to ask them for tips on how to find people interested in the opportunity or ask them to introduce you to people in their network.