How to Find a Startup Job in DC
Recessions are great for startups. If that sounds crazy, look at AirBnB, Pinterest, Uber, Square, or Slack – all founded during the last recession. Still, startups are feeling the impact of the COVID19 lockdown. But if the 2008 recession is anything to go by, we will also see a surge of new founders as layoffs leave talented people looking for a new creative outlet.
If you’re looking for a job, you might want to consider a startup. The pandemic has created the type of problems that startups love to solve – like finding new ways to deliver packages and communicate.
That prediction is already playing out. Health-tech, fin-tech, cybersecurity, data, package delivery, and online education companies have seen a surge in users.
Who is Hiring in DC?
In DC, tech companies like Morning Consult, Clyde, CoverMyTest, Tuple Health, Divvycloud, and Gravy Analytics are still hiring. As are Appian, Storyblocks, ID.me, Ordway, and GetUpside. Local startups Qrvey and Burnalong just raised 11.5 million collectively. GoTab, a local restaurant app, multiplied their revenue 5 times when they pivoted to delivery.
While many startups will fail, and founders can expect to give up more equity for less, some startups will win. They will face less competition, lower costs, and fewer barriers to entry. For job hunters, that makes startups a tempting option.
So where do you find startup jobs? And how do you get hired?
You probably won’t have a lot of luck on big job boards like Indeed.com. For startups, big job boards can mean weeding through thousands of low-quality resumes and unqualified candidates.
Founders prefer to recruit from their personal networks, utilize specialist staffing firms, or hire directly through curated, local networks.
If you want to land a startup job, you’ll need to find these curated, local networks (unless you already happen know a startup founder or a recruiter that works with startups).
DC Tech Slack
You probably don’t think “jobs” when you think about Slack. But increasingly, that’s exactly where startups are sharing open roles. Founders post in Slack Channels like DC Tech Slack, where they can be sure they’re reaching their target audience.
Hatchpad is an online community platform focused on DC area tech startups. Built based on feedback from local developers, hatchpad allows users to search startups and jobs by programming language, showcase personal projects, and more.
Founded by a local software engineer and entrepreneur, Diversify Tech is a lot more than a job board – it’s a community for underrepresented people in tech. Diversify Tech is a resource for scholarships, events, job opportunities, and more.
R/DCJobs and R/NoVaJobs
These subreddits aren’t tech startup specific, but they’re often used by small tech companies and startups looking for local tech talent. Reddit’s unique culture and tech-savvy user-base can make it an ideal resource for startup hiring. Also, unlike most job boards, it’s completely free to use.
Like R/DCjobs, DC Tech People’s still hiring list isn’t limited to startups, but still makes the cut. The crowdsourced list, created by a local developer, helps the DC tech community find and share which tech companies are still hiring during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Free, curated platforms like these are an appealing, affordable way for startups to cut through the noise and find candidates fast. If you limit your job search to big job boards, you’ll miss what the DC startup scene has to offer.
Chris Mills has worked with high-growth startups in the DC area for five years. He is helping hatch IT build out a marketing team and community engagement platform called the hatchpad. The hatchpad is rapidly becoming a popular resource for local startup founders and software engineers to connect.