Lessons From Unicorn Companies: Hiring Strategies for Rapid Growth

Through their extraordinary success and outsize impact, unicorn companies have become a point of intrigue in the business world.

But how do they achieve such rapid growth? What unique hiring strategies allow them to expand quickly without sacrificing quality?

Take a closer look at the lessons that unicorn companies can teach us about hiring for fast-paced growth to implement them as your company grows and scales.

What is a unicorn company?

Unicorn companies are privately-held start-ups valued at over $1 billion. These elite tech businesses have achieved astronomical success, often in a short amount of time and with limited resources. Common unicorns include Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Stripe, and Dropbox.

Unicorn company hiring strategies for rapid growth

There are several hiring strategies that unicorn companies utilize that other companies going through rapid growth can leverage, like emphasizing skills over experience and fostering diversity and inclusion.

Unicorn companies prioritize cultural fit and adaptability

Unicorn companies understand that recruiting the right people is key to their success, so they prioritize cultural fit.

They look for candidates who are inquisitive, motivated, and passionate about their work and can adapt to an ever-changing environment.

Unicorn companies emphasize skills over experience

Unicorn companies tend to focus on a candidate’s skills rather than their experience.

This allows them to recruit the best talent regardless of years in the workforce or industry.

They look for people with transferable skills who can bring in fresh ideas and approaches to tackle complicated challenges.

Unicorn companies build a strong employer brand

Unicorn companies understand that it is important to create a strong employer brand to attract the right people.

They invest in marketing initiatives to communicate their company values and mission, while also sharing interesting content and updates about their internal culture on social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter.

Unicorn companies leverage technology in hiring

In order to effectively recruit top talent, unicorn companies leverage the latest technologies for recruitment and onboarding.

They utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to streamline the hiring process, as well as virtual interview platforms like Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts for remote interviews.

Additionally, they use onboarding solutions that enable them to quickly onboard new hires with minimal disruption.

Unicorn companies foster diversity and inclusion

Unicorn companies understand that fostering diversity and inclusion in their workplace is not just a moral imperative, but also critical to success.

They know that diversity is directly linked to innovation, creativity, and productivity, which leads to better problem-solving capabilities and higher profits.

Therefore, they have taken steps to make sure their hiring practices are fair and inclusive by implementing diversity quotas in their recruitment process.

Examples of unicorn companies

While there are hundreds of examples of unicorn companies, there are several that are more well-known like Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Stripe, and Dropbox that serve as a strong illustration of what a unicorn company is capable of.


Uber, the world’s largest ride-hailing company, has disrupted the transportation industry and become a household name in just a few short years.

The company takes pride in its ability to quickly hire, train, and onboard new drivers while providing them with an intuitive app that makes it easy for them to navigate on the platform.

Uber also offers candidates flexible earning opportunities, as well as incentives and rewards for their services.


Airbnb, a platform connecting people to unique travel experiences, has become one of the most successful unicorns.

The company prioritizes hiring individuals who are creative problem-solvers and have an entrepreneurial spirit, while also looking for candidates who are passionate about hospitality and travel.

Airbnb also focuses on fostering an inclusive workplace, with a commitment to diversity in its recruitment process to ensure that all voices are heard.


Slack, a widely-used business communication tool, is another example of a successful unicorn.

The company looks for candidates who are passionate about changing the way people work and can think outside the box to innovate.


Stripe, a financial technology company, is an example of how unicorn companies succeed through innovation.

The company looks for candidates who are motivated and creative and can help the business scale quickly.

To attract top talent to its platform, Stripe has invested heavily in creating a strong employer brand that communicates its mission and values to potential hires.


Dropbox, a cloud-based storage and collaboration platform, is another unicorn that has seen rapid growth.

The company looks for candidates who can bring fresh ideas to the table and have an entrepreneurial spirit.

To quickly find top talent, Dropbox relies heavily on its referral program and utilizes automated recruiting technology to make the process smoother.

Lessons learned from unicorn companies

There are a number of lessons to be learned from unicorn companies that include implementing a fast hiring process, building a strong employer brand with streamlined onboarding, and fostering innovation through diversity.

1. Fast hiring process

Unicorn companies don’t have time to waste on a lengthy hiring process. They prioritize cultural fit and emphasize skills over experience to quickly identify top talent.

2. Strong brand & streamlined onboarding

Unicorn companies invest heavily in building a strong employer brand to attract the right people. They leverage technology in recruitment and onboarding to make the process easier and quicker.

3. Innovation through diversity

Unicorn companies understand the importance of fostering diversity and inclusion in their workplace. They formalize hiring strategies that prioritize diversity, which leads to better problem-solving capabilities and higher profits.

Using unicorn company hiring strategies

By following these strategies, companies can move quickly to find top talent and create a culture that drives innovation and growth.

Companies should also understand that effective hiring is critical for success and should be seen as an opportunity to shape the future of their business.

Ultimately, these lessons are essential for companies who want to maintain a competitive advantage in today’s rapidly changing global economy.

Companies should consider adopting best practices from unicorn companies if they want to create a successful organization that can weather any storm.

Looking to hire top-tier Tech, Digital Marketing, or Creative Talent? We can help.

Every year, Mondo helps to fill over 2,000 open positions nationwide.

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