By Ellie Pigott
In the midst of a labor shortage, seeking the right talent for your startup may seem intimidating. But you might be in luck.
People are leaving their jobs because they want something new and different, and working for a startup that shares their values could be a strong point of attraction.
Attracting good talent doesn’t always have to mean fancy offices and catered lunch. We’ll outline five key things to keep in mind when hiring during this unpredictable time.
1. Offer Remote Work
In a post-pandemic world remote working has become very normalized. In 2022, statistics show nearly 60% of Americans work at least part time remotely. While it is important to have rapport between team members, offering optional remote is a great way to keep up with today’s changing societies.
If you haven’t yet integrated this or you’re wary of committing to fully remote, offer some in between options. Set a two or three day a week minimum for in office work and let your work force determine the rest of the week.
Even if you may think your employees prefer working in person, giving them the power to choose allows them to feel like a more valued member of your company.
However, be careful when offering this, don’t throw around promises you can’t keep. If the kind of work you’re seeking requires someone fully in person, be upfront.
2. Develop a Strong Mission, Vision and Values
More than ever, people are seeking work that they align with, not just from a skillset perspective, but with their mission as well.
Has your company dedicated time to construct your mission statement? If so, is that mission statement somewhere potential employees can see it?
Displaying your mission statement on your website or LinkedIn is a great way to show people what you’re about when they’re considering applying. It’s important that your mission statement actually holds your values. A generic mission statement isn’t any better than not having one at all.
Take Patagonia for example, their mission is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to protect nature, and not bound by convention”.
People strive to work for their company not just because they have openings in product design, but because their personal values align with that of the company’s.
By having a mission statement or core values and showcasing them in your job description, you’ll be more likely to find candidates who align with your work. This then increases the chances of them sticking around.
3. Don’t Sacrifice Values for Convenience
When the need for labor is high it can be easy to sacrifice values for a quick and easy hire. However, this type of convenient mistake can often lead to high turnover and dissatisfaction by both the employer and the employee.
Your company’s values are at the core of what you do, if you don’t have employees that align with them it’s impossible to be confident in their ability to deliver on those values to your customers.
Remember, values are soft skills that greatly affect someone’s work but can’t be taught. On the contrary, hard skills may be more directly related to the specific position but can be learned by someone who may not be an expert.
If someone is a good fit for your company but lacks some of the hard skills in your job description, consider finding ways to incorporate that needed hands-on learning in their first month of onboarding.
4. Include Statements to Deter People
A large contributor to the labor shortage is employees being unhappy in their jobs or employees leaving their jobs shortly after accepting due to being misled.
Oftentimes the job description does not fit the reality. To help avoid this turnover many businesses are turning to “what we’re not” statements.
This sets realistic expectations with those applying. Some companies will even go as far as to include statements like “you are not the right fit if you…”. While it may sound harsh to some, you’re saving yourself time in the interview process by weeding out people who don’t meet your company’s needs.
By including “what we’re not” statements, you’re establishing a level of trust and honesty with the applicants. You’re being upfront in ways other companies aren’t and you’re saving them time that they could use to apply for jobs they might be a better fit for.
5. Provide More Than a Salary
Fair compensation and benefits are a must, but nowadays employees are looking for more.
Consider what additional unique advantages your company can provide. This could be strategic growth, individualized mentorship, extra certifications relevant to the role, and more.
The level at which a potential employee feels they can grow as an individual may be the deciding factor between your company and another. Being “taken care of” by an employer has an entirely new meaning than it did 20 years ago.
Your company might be their next job but it’s unlikely to be their last. They want to know your company is dedicated to their growth. And when the time comes, they’ll be prepared for whatever comes next.
The Next Step
With a toolkit of good practices in mind it’s time to start drafting your job description. Remember that transparency and honesty are both at the core of finding a great new member of your team.
By being open about your company’s values, growth opportunities and offerings, you’ll be sure to find a candidate who aligns well with your role.
If you have specific questions about hiring or how to help your startup succeed, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.