In today’s job market, it’s more important than ever for startup founders to know how to attract and retain top talent. With the unemployment rate at an all-time low, and Gen Z requiring more than just a monthly pay cheque, there are more jobs available than there are job seekers. This means that employers have to work harder than ever to stand out from the competition and attract the best candidates. The following tips will help you do just that.

Define your company’s mission and values

When it comes to attracting top talent, it’s important that your startup is able to articulate its mission and values. Today’s candidates are looking for more than financial compensation – they want to work for a company that aligns with their personal values and that they can believe in. By clearly defining your company’s mission and values, you’ll be able to attract candidates who are a good fit for your organisation.

According to Korn Ferry’s 2018 survey, the second most common reason employees left their jobs was because they felt the company didn’t align with their values. Of the people surveyed, 24% chose this as their main reason. We present our mission very clearly on our About page. It’s clear for new candidates to see when learning about our company, and internally, it reminds of what we’re working towards.

The bonus side for employers is that in addition to your mission and values helping with attracting and retaining talent, it’ll also push your enterprise further. In a study by Deloitte, companies with a strong vision had 30% higher levels of innovation, as well as 40% higher levels of retention.

Offer competitive salaries and benefits

In recent years, the cost of living has risen sharply, making it difficult for employees, especially those with families, to make ends meet. At the same time, wages have remained relatively stagnant, putting even more financial pressure on workers. Not surprisingly, this has led to a rise in the number of employees leaving their jobs in search of better opportunities. 

While resigning may be the best option for some workers, it can also have a negative impact on businesses. Especially startups where teams are usually stretched. When employees leave, they take with them knowledge and experience that can be difficult to replace. Based on the UK average salary of £27,721, it can cost up to £12,000 to replace an employee. The more senior the role, the higher the cost. 

Social media has also been a huge driving force behind employee salary expectations. Refinery29 is known for their regular Money Diaries series where readers gasp or drool over the wages contributors earn on Instagram. Over on TikTok, the hashtag #salarytransparency has garnered over 193.9 million views. Spearing the movement is Salary Transparent Street (@salarytransparentstreet), a TikTok account which interviews everyday people asking them about their jobs, salary and their financial guilty pleasure. 

As a result, people are becoming more aware of wage disparities and are more likely to speak up about the wages they expect. This increased transparency is putting pressure on employers to pay fair wages, and it is helping to close the gender wage gap. In addition, it is giving employees a better understanding of what they should be paid for their skills and experience. Ultimately, the increased transparency around salaries is benefiting both workers and employers.

To attract the best talent, and keep your star players, you must carefully weigh the costs and benefits of offering higher wages in order to retain their best employees. 

Invest in employee development

LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning report found that an astounding 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if they invested in their learning development.  So if employee retention is a top priority for your startup, it’s time to start developing career growth opportunities. 

An example of what we do at Seedrs is offer our permanent employees a Learning and Development budget of £600 via Sunlight. Our employees are able to use that money, on demand, to purchase resources that they believe will benefit their growth. This can be anything from a Udemy course, to a book on Amazon. You can learn more about the career opportunities at Seedrs here

By offering opportunities for career growth, you can show your employees that you value their contributions and that you are invested in their long-term success. In addition, providing opportunities for personal development can also help to foster a positive working environment and improve morale. 

💡 Top tip: When interviewing candidates, show them a path of where the role could potentially lead them. Also reinforce the benefits your company has on your job description and throughout the interview process. This is especially important as candidates are usually applying for multiple roles, therefore may receive multiple offers. 

Create a positive company culture

A positive work environment is the core of a successful company. If you want to attract and retain top talent, you need to create an environment that is optimistic and supportive. This means investing time and money into things like company culture, employee engagement, and work-life balance.

This also includes diversity in the workplace. A diverse range of perspectives can lead to better decision-making and creativity for a business. Currently only 3.6% of Fortune 500 companies are run by women CEOs, and over 90% of CEOs are a white man.  These companies are at a disadvantage as studies show that diverse businesses are 35% more likely to outperform competitors. 

Offer flexible working arrangements

With millennials set to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, and Gen Z not far behind, it’s clear that businesses need to adapt to the changing needs of these new vocal generations. Last year, Microsoft published a report “The Next Great Disruption is Hybrid Work – Are We Ready?” which found that 71% of UK workers want flexible working options to stay. There is also a greater desire for remote working, with 37% of workers planning on relocating within the next year. 

Offering flexible working arrangements, such as a hybrid working model or flexible hours, is a great way to show that you’re keeping up with the times and that you’re committed to ensuring your employees’ needs come first. It’s also important to remember that there is a direct correlation between employee work-life balance, and the positive impact on business productivity. So if you’re looking to grow your business, offering flexible working arrangements is a great place to start.

In conclusion, the best way to attract and retain top talent doesn’t just lie in one single solution. There are a multitude of options your startup can pursue to achieve this goal. By investing time and resources into each of the solutions you’ll have a better chance of succeeding, and taking a strong team with you! 

Relevant articles to read: