How to hire in health tech

Jared Camins, CTO of Talkiatry, explains how health tech startups can compete for talent with the tech giants

With tech giants like Apple and Google increasing their presence in the healthcare sector, what does this mean for health tech startups that want to hire new talent? We speak to Jared Camins, CTO of Talkiatry to find out. 

What can startups offer job candidates that the tech giants can't?

Employees at health tech startups can have the opportunity to work with more of the organisation on a daily basis. For example, at a medical practice, a software engineer can work directly with doctors and care team members to solve problems that the doctor encounters as they deliver care. 

Startups also have opportunities for growth that may be difficult to find in a larger organisation, because in most startups, anyone can raise their hand and say “this sounds like an interesting problem that I would like to take on,” and reasonably expect to be involved in solving that problem.

What key things do they need to address to be able to ensure they attract the best talent?

The keys for hiring talent are the same as they always have been: compensation and culture. Compensation is table stakes, of course, so after making sure the offer is competitive, startups should be focusing on culture. 

Under the umbrella of “culture” are two major considerations. First, how can the company make sure that everyone feels like they have a seat at the table? One of the marks of the proverbial “bad boss” that causes employees to leave is that the employees feel like their voices are not being heard.

Startups, in particular, need to focus on how to make sure that every employee feels like their views have a seat at the table. Second, companies need to ask themselves how they can help their employees to grow, both professionally and as human beings. The appeal of a startup is the opportunity to do something new and exciting, so startups tend to attract people who want to advance. Any company that can’t provide those advancement opportunities is going to find themselves with a revolving door of talent.

How does building tech capabilities improve career development opportunities internally?

 Technology organisations can provide opportunities for more junior employees throughout the company. For example, support team members may find that their deep understanding of the customer can make them an excellent product manager, or employees in front-line operational roles may discover an unexpected aptitude for software engineering as they find ways to automate the boring parts of their jobs. 

The best startups will put in place explicit mechanisms for this sort of advancement, rather than relying on the occasional “high potential” employee to come up with their own career path. For example, some health tech startups are establishing apprenticeship programs for care team members who want to become software engineers, or promotion paths for members of the support team to move into QA engineer roles and ultimately software engineer roles.

What is Talkiatry doing in this respect? 

Talkiatry is laser-focused on creating a culture of collaboration, where technology and care teams work hand-in-hand to solve the behavioural health crisis with responsible innovation. When considering new initiatives, we actively encourage different teams across the organization and offer our employees opportunities to grow into new roles and skills as the company grows.


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