What are the hottest jobs right now for a tech startup and where do I apply?

StartupAUS released a report for 2018 that breaks down the high in-demand jobs that are in short supply in Australia’s tech industry - for both startups and global tech giants.

The Startup Australia report combined both quantitative and qualitative insights from 23 successful Australian scale-up founders like Redbubble, Airtasker and Culture Amp. LinkedIn also contributed to formulating the data of the most sought after roles that startups are looking for.

The hottest jobs right now are:

  • Product Managers
  • Data Scientists
  • Engineers
  • UX and UI Designer
  • Sales and Business Development Managers

These roles are in high demand and are only becoming more highly favoured as Australia’s startup ecosystem continues to grow at an exponential rate.

"These roles are in high demand and are only becoming more highly favoured as Australia's startup ecosystem continues to grow at an exponential rate."

The issue is that it’s not only difficult to recruit the right people for these roles, but it's also challenging to find individuals that fit within company cultures and meet organisational needs.

In addition to this, startups have to compete with global tech companies that are scouting the same type of talent but have more to offer to candidates.

This narrows the talent pool significantly - we have to be quick to snatch up talent when applications start trickling in.

Startup job office

Let's get to know everyone

Whether new roles are created or several positions are merged together, Australia is particularly amazing at creating hybrid roles. Therefore some career paths won’t often be available in every startup.

Product Manager

The role of a product manager is crucial to a startup. They are responsible for guiding the vision and success of products from the said company into the market. They look after the strategies, ideation, features and releases of the product. It’s a big role to juggle, especially in a startup with little resources, therefore picking the right candidate is crucial.

It’s a big role to juggle especially in a startup with little resources therefore picking the right candidate is crucial.

Data Scientist

Data Science is high in demand for companies moving from startup to scale-up. A Data Scientist typically has intimate knowledge of a company's customers; where they come from, what they interact with, purchasing history, where they're at in the funnel as well as conversion rates. 

A data analyst or scientist can interpret these insights and knowledge into useful forms to help grow a business. Whether that's through iterations based off trends and past behaviours, or helping to drive the case for new products or projects, where a data scientist has noticed there may be a gap.

Engineering

Engineers are the backbone of a technical product or startup - frontend, backend or full-stack - they’re all high in demand. They’re the ones building all these products and bringing a product manager's visions to life. 

They’re the ones building all these products and bringing product managers visions to life.

While it's a highly technical role, start-ups are hiring across the entire experience gamut, from junior all the way up to a CTO.

Whilst we didn't touch on software developer languages here, you can read more about the essential skills, technologies and languages for developers for 2019 here.

engineering sydney startup

UX Designers and UI Designers

Whilst UX and UI are two separate roles, they both focus on the overall user experience and journey of products. Some companies have these roles separate or some do it together. At OpenAgent, our product managers often dabble in the UX side of things. UX and UI work together seamlessly with the product team, engineers, data and all the other roles a company has to offer.

UX and UI work together seamlessly with the product team, engineers, data and all the other roles a company has to offer.

It’s all about creating an aesthetic and simplistic experience for the user. Strong attention to detail and creativity is highly regarded for a role like this.

Sales and customer support

Sales and Business Development - high demand roles. Within these positions, you’ll be a gatekeeper for the company brand and image. Whether you're a consultant, a salesperson or a customer support representative, you'll be involved in direct interactions with a user - and creating fulfilling experiences.

If you're interested in sales - you can have a read about what you can bring to the table as a Sales Consultant at OpenAgent.

customer service role startup sydney

So why work for a startup?

Startups provide recent graduates who are looking for real-life work experience the opportunity to get their foot in the door. They also allow individuals who want a change of pace the chance to do so. 

At OpenAgent, we aim to be as transparent as possible. That's why we’ve created a piece that highlights the good, the bad and the ugly about working at a startup to pique your interest.

What's to be expected in working at a startup?

A unique experience - startups always know how to pull off a great work environment that stimulates creativity and innovation to grow the business.

You’ll learn plenty - startups entrust their employees with great responsibility, and with that comes a lot of learning. In fact, because you’ll be working so closely with other teams, you'll often find yourself working on projects outside of your job description.

There is little middle management - in addition to learning a lot as a result of cross-team collaborations, you’ll also find yourself working closely with founders and higher management. So you’re learning directly from your bosses.

Startups grow fast - This gives everyone the opportunity to showcase their skills and deliver fresh new designs, concepts and ideas. Startups love creative energy.

Perks - Flexible working hours, working from home, a casual atmosphere, and free food and drinks are often found at startups.

working from home startup

Job satisfaction - often your employees share the success and growth internally in the company. You often get put forth on an attractive career path and belong to something special within a close-knit environment

 You often get put forth on an attractive career path and belong to something special with a close-knit environment

Thinking about making the transition to a startup?

If you're currently studying and want to get into a startup. Whatever your interests are, there's bound to be a startup out there that's right for you. There is an endless number of articles online that highlight the best startups to work at, broken down by industry.

For example, startups in specific industries like medical, fashion or banking are always hiring. Start by exploring some articles on Medium, Tech Crunch and The Martec.

Find the start-up that you want to work for, and convince them that you will be awesome.

Find the start-up that you want to work for, and convince them that you will be awesome!

Working in a start-up is more than just ping-pong and cool tech, you will be able to sky-rocket your career, but with that comes a lot of hard work and doing whatever it takes.

Coming from a corporate environment the biggest challenge you will have is to convince a startup that you can move at the same pace - but also that you are willing to get your hands dirty. You can start by attending meetups in the line of work and follow companies products that help you get closer to the business. 

If you are currently in a corporate role and want to transition, have a look at this Startmate Fellowship that recently launched.

The Startmate fellowship is a six-month program that features intensive coaching and rotates you around a number of successful startups to scale up companies around Australia.

But where do I apply? 

Keep an eye on startup-specific job boards like Angellist, The Martec, and Stack Overflow that are specific to engineers. Look specifically on startup websites that showcase vacancies whilst also still exploring mainstream job boards like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Seek and Jora. On these bigger job boards, you can filter through with using keywords like ‘startup’ to narrow the search down further.

Pictured above is The Martec Career Page
Pictured above is The Martec Careers Page

The great thing about startups is that they are always growing, and there is always job vacancies open and being added every day!

The great thing about startups is that they are always growing, and there is always job vacancies open and being added everyday!

They’re always on the lookout for the best and brightest talent - whether you’re a frontend engineer or a UX designer.

If this idea of working at a startup is piquing your interest, have a read about the personalities that thrive in a startup environment with our identifying traits.

So, what else can you do?

If you’re totally inspired by a startup's vision, values and their products, but they’re not hiring for your role - it’s worth applying for an expression of interest or emailing the company directly.

This means if they like what you have to offer, they may contact you in a day, a week or a few months later when positions open. While a role that suits your experience and skill-set might not be on offer, companies tend to keep applications or expressions of interest in a backlog for when a suitable position arises.

Tip: Make sure you include your LinkedIn, resume, cover letter and portfolio in your email or expression of interest to sell yourself really well. 

Include your LinkedIn, resume, cover letter and portfolio in your email or expression of interest to sell yourself really well.

startup job opportunities

It’s also worth networking at industry meetups in your field - seek out all of the opportunities available - not only to expand your skill set but to interact and network with those from other companies.

Seek out all of the opportunities available - not only to expand your skill set but to interact and network with those from other companies.

You can also connect on Linkedin with the hiring managers of different companies, as well as talent acquisition and leaders to keep up to date with what they’re doing and if they’re looking for people. Reaching out to these individuals for opportunities can always be a bonus.

Keep trying!

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a response, or nothing comes out from reaching out or connecting. That’s why startups exist - there are handfuls of them - move onto the next company that ticks all your boxes and apply. There are plenty of opportunities at startups out there.

OpenAgent is expanding, and we're always on the lookout for new talent. Click here to view our open vacancies!

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