User-agent: SiteAuditBot Allow: /
Tech Startups in Ireland: What They’re Looking for in New Hires

Tech Startups in Ireland: What They’re Looking for in New Hires

Tech Startups in Ireland: What They’re Looking for in New Hires

Posted on 17 May 2024

In recent years, Ireland has become one of Europe’s leading tech hubs, and that means it’s startup heaven. Dublin, in particular, is now a thriving centre for innovation, boasting a growing ecosystem of tech companies. 

This also means that there are endless opportunities for candidates looking to make their mark on the industry with a startup. But landing that role requires a little more than just tech skills and savviness. 

So let’s take a look at what tech startups in Ireland are looking for in new hires and how you can position yourself as the ideal candidate for tech jobs in Ireland.

But first… 

The Irish Tech Landscape: A Quick Overview

Ireland's appeal as a tech destination is no accident. We have favourable business conditions, a skilled workforce, and a supportive governmental framework. And according to Enterprise Ireland, the number of Irish tech startups has increased steadily, with sectors like fintech, healthtech, and AI experiencing substantial growth.

The latest figures show that the Technology & Services sector employs 65,796 people in 2024, a jump of 2%. Life Sciences companies saw employment increase by 4% while Digital Technology and Fintech sectors continue to grow at a 2% increase. 

The figures for startups are even more impressive with more than 2,200 indigenous tech start-up and scale-up companies employing 52,000+ people. While there are no exact figures currently available for tech startups, we can safely assume that they make up a significant percentage of that figure. 

So it’s clear that the lion’s share of tech jobs in Ireland can be found in the startup scene, but what are those companies on the lookout for? 

Technical Skills: The Core Competency

Unsurprisingly, technical skills are the main draw for startups. Given the varied nature of startups, the specific skills required can differ quite a bit depending on the company's focus.

A 2023 report by TechIreland highlighted that 55% of Irish startups considered software development the most critical skill for their growth. Additionally, 35% emphasised the importance of data analytics and machine learning, reflecting the growing reliance on data-driven decision-making.

Here are some of the main areas of expertise.

Software Development

For software development roles, proficiency in programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, Java, and Ruby is often essential. Startups are particularly interested in candidates who have experience with frameworks like React, Angular, or Django, as these can significantly speed up the development process.

Data Analysis and Machine Learning

When it comes to data analysis and machine learning, startups look for candidates with skills in R, Python, SQL, and machine learning frameworks such as TensorFlow and PyTorch. HealthBeacon, a Dublin healthtech startup, leverages data to improve patient adherence to medication schedules. As such, they prioritise hires who can manage and interpret large data sets to derive actionable insights.


With the increasing threat of cyberattacks, cybersecurity expertise is in high demand. Startups need professionals who can secure their digital assets from the get-go. Knowledge of encryption, penetration testing, and network security protocols are highly sought after.

Soft Skills: The Hidden Gem

While technical skills are crucial, soft skills can be the differentiating factor that sets a candidate apart. Startups operate in fast-paced environments where flexibility and interpersonal skills are priceless. 

Adaptability and Problem-Solving

Startups often encounter unforeseen challenges that require quick and innovative solutions. Candidates who can demonstrate a history of problem-solving and adaptability are highly prized. This might involve pivoting project directions, finding creative solutions under tight deadlines, or efficiently managing limited resources.

Communication and Teamwork

Effective communication and the ability to work well in a team are essential. Startups typically have small teams where collaboration is key. Clear and concise communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and that ideas are shared freely. After all, there is no ‘I’ in team, right? 

Cultural Fit: The Startup Mindset

Cultural fit is another critical factor that tech startups consider during the hiring process. Startups often have unique cultures that reflect that they are not what you would call a typical working environment. Ensuring a good cultural fit helps keep that balance and everyone pulling in the same direction. 

Passion and Enthusiasm

Startups look for candidates who are genuinely passionate about their job. This passion often means higher levels of engagement and motivation. For example, a company focused on environmental sustainability will look for hires who are committed to making a positive impact on the planet.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

An entrepreneurial mindset is highly valued by startups. This means being proactive, taking initiative, and having a willingness to take calculated risks. Startups appreciate candidates who think like owners and are invested in the company's success. So if you have any side hustles or projects, don’t be afraid to share them. 

Education and Experience: The Balancing Act

While a formal education is all well and good, many startups place a higher value on practical experience and a proven track record. This might include previous startup experience, personal projects, or contributions to open-source projects.

Degree vs. Experience

Like we said, startups often prefer candidates with hands-on experience over those with advanced degrees but little practical exposure. However, certain roles, particularly those involving complex technical requirements, may still require formal education. So, this is a tough one to really nail down as it depends largely on the role. 

According to a survey, 60% of tech startups in Ireland are open to hiring candidates without formal degrees if they have the necessary skills and experience. This trend highlights the importance of practical experience in the tech startup sector.

Positioning Yourself for Success

Landing a role in a tech startup in Ireland involves more than just ticking off a list of technical skills. It's about demonstrating a blend of technical expertise, soft skills, cultural fit, and a proactive attitude. Here are a few final tips to help you stand out:

Build a Strong Portfolio

Showcase your projects, contributions to open-source software, and any relevant work experience. A strong portfolio can often speak louder than a CV.


Attend tech meetups, join relevant online communities, and connect with industry professionals on LinkedIn. Networking can open doors and provide valuable insights into the industry.

Tailor Your Application

Customise your CV and cover letter for each application. Highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the specific startup and role.

Be Prepared for Interviews

Research the company thoroughly and be ready to discuss how your skills and experiences align with their needs and culture. Practise common interview questions and scenarios.

Show Enthusiasm

Demonstrate your passion for the industry and the company’s mission. Enthusiasm can be infectious and can set you apart from other candidates.

Just knowing what tech startups are looking for can have a massive impact on the success of your application so it really is worth your time to take note of all of the above. 

And if you’ve any questions on getting started or any of our tech jobs in Ireland, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with Software Placements today and take the next step in your career.

Share this article

Job Alerts

You can create job alerts to stay updated with new job postings that match your preferences