Finding qualified technicians

It is well known that having a good startup idea is a great milestone. But, it will remain just an idea if you can't find qualified team to materialize it. This have been my biggest challenge so far, as even though Rwanda is aiming to become a Tech Hub, its ICT ecosystem still pretty novice. Therefore, it is very challenging to find young good programmers as the few who excelled at school are instantly hired by big corporations, living startups the non qualified ones. I tried to train some, but the motivation from them runs very low, despite me providing a comfortable working environment and a relatively good salary in comparison with the national wage average. So what should I do?
Dick Bouman's picture

Dear Muhire,

From Marcel Schreurs we got the following input:

I don't have a golden bullet, but i have been pretty successful by:

- focussing during the interviews more on the personality more than on the qualifications

- I also ask them to fill out a list about strenghts and weaknesses and they can score 1-5. The list has all kind of question: honesty, financial skill, independency, able to deal with criticism, etcera. This is not the most important tool, but usually it strenghtens the perception that i get from people during the interviews

- we are a social enterprise and i notice that our staff is happy to conribute to our social goals

- give people responsiblities and a lot of positive feedback when they do a good job. That doesn't mean you can't be critical sometimes.

Having said this, you are right, find good staff is not easy."


Dick Bouman's picture

Apart from the inputs of Marcel, I think there are a few hints to add:

Marcel did not mention, but he is also applying a kind of performance based bonus system in the salry structure

- And it can be useful to provide company shares to all staff; people can be proud to get some ownership; it pays off in the longer term; and the longer they are staff member, the more value it might get

-  Some employers do also provide loans for private needs (medical, big expenses), but you should evaluate how much risk there is involved, and whether this will lead to unhappy dependency feelings

- My final input is that in providing training opportunities, you may also put conditions on the time that people stay (e.g. people have to repay part of the investment in case they leave within 1 year).

Could others add to this?

Dick Bouman