As the business world continues to evolve, it makes the landscape more competitive for every company, no matter your industry. You need to have the right tools and strategies, otherwise, you risk falling behind as your competitors pull ahead.
One of the most important aspects to focus on is your team.
The ability to attract and retain top talent is key because, without the right people, your business objectives are merely dreams that will remain unfulfilled.
So don’t make the mistake of overlooking your startup’s company culture and the ability to attract the best employees possible.
In this article, we will discuss powerful ways to enhance and promote your company culture so that your team is stronger than ever.
Let’s get started.
Turn Employees Into Brand Ambassadors
The first place to look when promoting your startup’s company culture is within it. You likely have employees in your company who love working there, but their voices remain unheard.
There could be two reasons: either they are not very outspoken by nature or simply don’t feel like they have a platform or permission to spread the word about your company.
You can counteract the first one by providing in-house training on public communications so that they feel more confident.
Or, if they are unsure about having permission, you can encourage employees via regular meetings and clear documentation outlining policies for promoting your company on social media.
By doing this, you can turn your employees into brand ambassadors. When potential employees see how happy your team is to work there, it will help you attract more talent.
Show off Your Work
One of the reasons you might be failing to attract better talent to your startup is because people are simply unaware of your culture or the kind of work that you do.
If you are delivering excellent work and solving customer problems, you should be proud of it.
Make a commitment to display your work to the public. That way, top programmers, designers, and other talent will see the quality of your organization and want to join.
There are a few ways to accomplish this:
- Case Studies / White Papers– You can turn your website into an opportunity to show off your company’s work by adding a handful of in-depth case studies and white papers. These will detail the work you’ve done and how you’ve helped your market solve their problems.
- Visuals – If you’re not using powerful graphics, photos, and videos of the work you’ve done, you’re leaving money on the table. Your app or website can provide a showcase of the quality of your company’s work to appeal to the best in their field.
- Office Decorations – Never underestimate the effect that your office design has when you bring people in for interviews. If you have won awards, built difficult projects, or designed beautiful products, why not show everyone when they walk in?
Showcasing your accomplishments in this way establishes your reputation in the industry.
Host Educational Events
One of the first things that qualified employees want to know is that you are a leader in your field.
This shows them that you have a strong business sense and offer the potential for upward growth (and therefore more income, sustainability, and financial opportunities for employees).
This is why educational events are such a great strategy to use.
For instance, with webinars, you can reach individuals all around the globe online. You can use multimedia presentations including video, interactive participation, and even guest speakers.
It gives you a chance to display your knowledge as a thought leader in your space.
Additionally, it lends credibility to your startup, attracting higher quality team members as a result, without the costs associated of renting a space with an in-person event.
Invoke Social Proof
Social proof is a powerful phenomenon based on psychology. In essence, when people see others approving of another person, action, or organization, they are more likely to do the same.
This is why using previous testimonials and reviews from customers and employees is such a strong tool in your arsenal when looking to attract more talent.
If possible, create a page on your website dedicated to these social proof mechanisms. Otherwise, at least include them at the top or bottom of the homepage of your website.
A good, generic formula to use with testimonials is PAS (Problem, Agitation, Solution).
For instance, an employee could state that their problem was “lack of leadership,” which caused the agitation of “frustration in the workplace,” and the solution being that they “joined ABC company with an excellent CEO.”
Be Deliberate in Your Hiring
Do you have a strong plan to hire the best talent in your industry, or are you just winging it?
There are several questions you need to answer for yourself first if you are going to have the right responses for your potential employees.
For instance, where are you going to look to attract the right talent in the first place?
There may be many potential candidates coming in the doors if you take a “shotgun” approach.
However, that way you risk opening the floodgates to any candidate that is unqualified for your position.
If you don’t already, you should have a dedicated HR or hiring department. Then they can dedicate their time to sifting through resumes, so you don’t have to.
You should also have a hiring and selection process in place so you can evaluate candidates once they’re in your inbox or in your office for the interview.
It also goes both ways.
Ensure you are promoting the advertised position in the best light by speaking about benefits to a potential employee over joining the competition to give you the upper hand in the hiring game.
Create an Employee Retention Plan
Even assuming you have a great hiring plan in place, your work is cut out for you. Just because you can bring great talent onboard initially doesn’t mean they are going to stay.
You need a way to ensure they have room for growth and income potential.
Develop an employee retention plan that includes the following at a minimum:
- Upward Mobility – Everyone wants to feel that they have plenty of room to grow within your company. This is especially true for experts in their position, because they will simply go somewhere else if you don’t offer a path to promotion.
- Bonuses and Performance Perks – If your employees see that they are working harder and longer than someone else without additional incentives, they may get frustrated and leave. Ensure that your best performers have some aspect of their income tied to the results that they generate for your company.
- Culture Benefits – Is your company fun to work for? Do you offer a unique culture that is supportive and encouraging? If not, it’s time to redesign it from the ground up.
A plan like that shows your employees you’re thinking about the future, which will make them feel provided for.
Lend Your Expertise to Conferences and Industry Media
If potential employees don’t even know you exist, they can’t possibly join your team.
Therefore, one of the main problems that startups have is that they are not well known in the industry.
Becoming more well known may take you some time. You should be reaching out to industry event coordinators, conferences, and media outlets to be a guest speaker or contributor.
For some of these cases, you may even need to “pay to play.”
However, consider it an investment in your brand. New hires that would have never heard of you will now be exposed to your expertise and grow to trust your knowledge of the industry.
Show Commitment to Protecting Your Customers
Now more than ever, protecting your customers’ and employee’s information is critical to ensuring a successful reputation.
For startups who typically deal with software development, this is even more true, due to the potential for data leakage.
If your information falls into the wrong hands, it can wreak havoc on your chances of attracting future customers and talent. Don’t make the error of ignoring this crucial step.
Along with hiring and scaling, security is one of the central issues in startup software development.
Be sure you are implementing best practices and promoting strong data security so that your potential hires will have peace of mind before joining your company.
If you run a startup, then you need to stay up-to-date on modern technology, management strategies, and ways to attract top talent.
Otherwise, your competition will gain more market share as you struggle to create a powerful team to execute your vision.
However, far too many companies focus on the product and disregard the people building it and bringing it to their market.
So don’t fall into the trap of forgetting to focus on your employees first.
By using the tips above, you can ensure that you properly set up your company to be attractive to top talent around the world, whether they are technology, sales, or other specialists.
That way, you can continue to grow and increase your bottom line.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters