Growing a healthcare tech startup - the people

If you’ve been following our recent blogs on healthcare tech, you’ll know this is a thriving industry set to make significant changes (and profits) in the future. But, if you’re building and growing a healthcare tech company or startup, how do you compete with the likes of Amazon, Google, Microsoft and even Uber? It all starts with the people. 

You’ll have heard the phrase before, “people are your most important asset.” Yet when launching a startup, the people element quickly slides down the to-do list as you focus attention on developing the tech, gaining investment and becoming known - until, all of a sudden, it’s too late. You need people to scale, but the talent you want are already working for your competitors. 

How do you stop this from happening?

A business plan

Your business plan is the written description of your company’s future, detailing what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. Yet often, businesses fail to include details of who is going to achieve it. 

If your business plan is lacking the human capital element, then it’s crucial to go back and edit it in. Specifically, you must reflect upon the different positions and skills you require in the first three to five years. This includes whether you need employees or contractors, what skills you can afford and what skills you’ll be developing, where your employees will be located, if and when managers are required, and how you’ll build a talent pipeline for the future. 

A financial plan

Following on from your business plan is a financial budget that covers filling the positions and acquiring the skills, but this cost is more than a monthly pay cheque. To ascertain the exact costs of your future hires, you must calculate the following:

  • Recruitment costs, covering both hiring and replacing employees;
  • Employment costs, including annual salary, bonuses, pension and taxes;
  • Professional development costs, including training and certification; and
  • Any other expenses, such as breakfasts, team building, equipment and, of course, tea. 

A recruitment plan

Once you know the people needed in your startup, you then need to plan how you’re going to recruit them. You have two main options when it comes to recruitment:

  1. Internal resourcing. This involves creating, advertising, sifting and interviewing candidates yourself and is particularly attractive to startups wanting to minimise their recruitment spend as much as possible. However, inexperience in recruitment, a lack of employer brand and limited resources and industry connections can make this process time-consuming, resource-intensive and difficult to get right. 
  2. Outsourced resourcing. This involves using a specialist IT recruitment company to reach active and passive candidates and connect them with your positions. This can be done on a role by role basis or a managed recruitment services provider (MRSP), which integrates into your business and complements your current resources. Their expertise reduces the time it takes to recruit, while their industry connections can put you in touch with the best talent out there.

An attraction and retention plan

The war for talent in the IT industry makes attracting and retaining employees particularly difficult for startups where budgets are tight, workloads are high, and futures are unpredictable. However, there are some tactics that you can utilise to help. These include:

  • Offering the right benefits - money isn’t often the main motivator for employees attracted to startup or growing companies. Instead, these employees are interested in flexible working practices, share options and involvement in the bigger picture. 
  • Professional development - professional development is also high on the list for technical candidates. Enable employees to develop their knowledge and careers alongside the growth of your business by encouraging continued learning, increased responsibilities, and internal promotions. 
  • Legal compliance - without a HR department, it can be easy and tempting to “wing it” when it comes to employment regulations. However, this can result in a high employee turnover and even legal action. If you do not have the budget for a full HR department, consider using a HR contractor for ad-hoc advice on your working practices, contracts and any employee difficulties. 

Launching a startup or growing a company is hard work, especially in an industry as heavily regulated as the healthcare sector. But, with the right team and partners beside you, anything is possible. 

Get in touch

If you’d like help recruiting or looking at your talent challenges in your healthcare tech team, contact one of our specialist healthcare recruitment consultants today.


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Drew Percival

Senior Business Manager

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