January 30, 2023

How we grew our team 5x without spending £1 on recruitment

From utilising social media to posting employee-led content about work culture, here's how we grew our team without spending a penny

As the funding slowdown hits startups and the global economy teeters on the brink of recession, hiring decisions have never been more important.

Get them right and you’ll gain talent that can crucially broaden your team’s skill set, add new perspectives and help fuel growth despite economic challenges.

Get them wrong and you could face a revolving door of employees, sinking countless hours into continuously interviewing candidates and onboarding new joiners.


Though investing in recruitment solutions to get it right can be helpful, it’s a myth that you need to spend a significant amount of money for effective recruitment.

Over two years we’ve grown by 5x to become a team of 15 with literally no recruitment spend — not even £1.

Here’s how you can too.

Always publish a salary band with job descriptions

Publishing salary bands may feel like sharing sensitive information, but it’s in your best interest.

You already have a salary range in mind: sharing this with applicants prevents people who wouldn’t accept a salary in this range from applying, saving both your time and theirs. Additionally, it can increase interest in your advert — recent Glassdoor research found that 75% of UK workers are more likely to apply for a role that includes a salary range.

Pay transparency is also fundamental to the fight for pay equality — something that is starting to shift in Europe. 

Utilise social media to showcase company culture

Company culture has become key to attracting candidates. 

According to a 2021 survey conducted by LinkedIn, 63% of professionals say work-life balance is a top priority when picking a new job and 40% identify colleagues and culture as a top consideration.

But don’t just tell employees what working for you looks like — show them. 

Social media is a compelling — and free — way to highlight your company ethos and share the benefits of your culture, from team away days to professional development initiatives. 

For example, we post about our “company shutdowns” — and not just to account for going quiet during that time. Closing the whole company for a week at a time means that the whole team can truly switch off and recharge without worrying about handovers, or being tempted to check Slack messages from colleagues who are still working in the background. 

We also post about our “digital detox holidays” — where we pay for staff to stay at cabins in the countryside, free from laptops, phones and other potential work distractions — for the same reason. We value work-life balance, and we want prospective candidates to know that. 

Get employees sharing about their working environment

There’s no better way to illustrate your working environment and its benefits than by getting your employees to share their experiences.


They’re your best ambassadors and can explain how your working environment fits their lifestyle.

Millennial and Gen Z job seekers, accustomed to personal, short-form videos as on TikTok (where Gen Z spend approximately 24 to 48 hours per month), will respond well to engaging, employee-produced content. 

You also don’t have to be on TikTok to reap the rewards, as employee-shared content can get 2x more reach and engagement than content shared through a company account on LinkedIn. 

Our team have posted about all sorts of topics, from our approach to remote first working and working from anywhere to being a more present parent

Explain your company’s flexible working style in detail

Between January 2022 and December 2022, the number of job seekers expressing a preference for “remote first” roles more than tripled, and last year preferences for roles with “fully flexible” working hours increased by 23%.

But being able to work from home once a month and allowing flexible schedules around core hours are two very different things.

It’s not enough to say you have “flexible working” — you need to be clear about what this actually entails in order to differentiate yourself and draw in discerning talent. In addition, this will enable you to build a pipeline of candidates who are well-matched to your working environment, resulting in a more efficient recruitment process overall. 

Do this in as many places as possible — on your job descriptions, careers pages, social media, Glassdoor and on tailor-made platforms such as Flexa Careers. 

Focus job descriptions on what you need and what’s in it for them

Adopt a 50:50 approach to job descriptions if you want to attract top candidates. 

Half your job description should centre on the requirements and responsibilities of the role, and the other half should focus on what new joiners stand to gain. Companies that take this approach see up to 7x the engagement with their roles.

Job seekers are concerned about development opportunities. Last year Amazon and Workplace Intelligence published a survey which found that an abundance of career-advancement opportunities are important to 88% of workers looking for a new job, with 87% stating a strong skills-development programme is important.

Emphasising the opportunities for growth in your company — and the overall advantages of joining your team — is therefore crucial in wooing candidates and giving you an edge over rivals. 

As a startup, we’re able to offer candidates opportunities to progress quickly, take ownership of new roles and work autonomously. This also comes by way of the fact that we practise what we preach when it comes to flexible working. As long as the job gets done, we encourage the team to work whenever and wherever they want — and we make sure prospective talent knows it, too. 

Do these things and do them well, and hiring need not cost you a penny.