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ATTRACT TOP TALENT TO YOUR STARTUP

If you were looking to attract valuable customers to your start-up, you would optimise your product development and marketing strategy.


If you’re looking to attract top talent to your startup, it makes sense to optimise your talent strategy with the same level of vigour.

 

In a competitive talent market, a standout talent strategy goes beyond the traditional approach, mirroring the mindset of building a strong external brand rather than sporadic social media posts.


For simplicity however, let's address the element of attraction and the common mistakes leaving you haggling over compensation packages and perks.


1) MISMATCHED PASSION

While your passion for your startup is critical for sustaining your commitment through the highs and lows, remember that not everyone shares your same level of enthusiasm…….yet.

A shared vision alone may not seal the deal in a competitive talent market. Instead, align your start-up impact with your ideal talent’s ultimate self-identity.

That’s a barrier, if……

2) YOU’RE NOT GOING DEEP ENOUGH

If you’re Impact Player Profile (AKA candidate profile, avatar, candidate persona) is only considering the skills, personality and character traits that your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is prompting you for, you’re not going deep enough. That is a minimum standard only.

Dig deeper.


Why are they looking? Are they employed? What are their 3am moments? What are their current pain points in their current role? What do they love about what they do currently? What is non-negotiable? What are their primal drivers? Who do they live with? What are they afraid of? What stresses them? What motivates them? Who are they responsible for? Who do they want to please? What’s still missing in their life? What makes them restless? Who is their tribe?..........keep digging.


3) IT’S NO LONGER JUST ABOUT YOU

You have this incredible opportunity. I know. They don’t.

Be mindful that the attraction strategy should focus on what they need, more than what you need. A job advertisement for example, should appeal them just as much as showcase what you need from them. Tailor your talent acquisition journey (from job advertisement through to hire) to their needs and language to trigger a tension inducing, limbic response.

4) ROLE-IRRELEVANT STRATEGY

When choosing from the limitless talent acquisition strategy options, such as video submissions, interviews, tasks, questionnaires, assessment centres, neuro-behavioural markers, stress tests, personality, temperament, behavioural event interviewing…….the question to ask is:

Is it relevant to the role?

For an Actuary working independently to assess financial risks, why would you interview in front of a panel of six A Type Extroverts, firing fast paced questions, with timed responses? Extreme perhaps, but you get the point and it happens.

Every position requires a unique and relevant test.

5) COPY-CAT PERKS

Just as a price war with competitors is a quick slide to the bottom, so it is with perks.

If your perks are sustainable and create a positive impact, include them as sweeteners, but expect that they become expected rather than appreciated.

Get creative rather than looking sideways.


What is meaningful to them? Does it have to be company wide? Can it be department or role specific? What other options could there be that we haven’t yet considered?


Start questioning everything you already offer, every time you open a role.


What impact is it actually having? Is it worth keeping?


Stay creative and agile to stand out.

6) DON’T TELL ME YOUR VALUES

The baseline of course is to share your organisational values throughout your talent attraction marketing. You mustn’t stop there.

How will they know that they are exhibiting those values in action?
How will they be objectively measured?

(And if they’re not measured and strategically intertwined into every operational touch point, how are important are they really?)

I have read hundreds of interpretations of the value ‘loyalty’ in candidate screenings. The answers exist everywhere along a spectrum of ‘loyalty means you do as I say’, through to ‘loyalty is contributing to another person’s needs’.

Fascinating, and assumptively dangerous to assume you are acquiring values-aligned and values-adding team members (and keeping them).

7) BACK UP YOUR CLAIMS

Impact talent have options and leverage.


Even when they’re not actively seeking new opportunities, their LinkedIn inboxes are notifying with alluring offers and promises.


Here’s your challenge; Impact talent can sniff signs of empty rhetoric claims (work-life balance, autonomy, high-trust, empathetic, inclusive, collaborative) without you even realising they’re empty.


Cross check every claim in your job advertisement, and if you do not have an integrative, operational or behavioural strategy to proactively drive these claims, and you’re simply stating your desires, it’s time to level up.


And a policy alone does not count. Nor does ‘remote/hybrid’ anymore for work-life balance. They’re now just minimum standard.

Example: Work-Life Balance

"We have an in-house human sustainability expert, who drives our unique Work-Balance Integration framework blending performance-recovery plans into your OKR’, that also incorporate your values and personal obligations."

8) YOU THINK MORE IS BETTER

Nope. Better is better.

More talent coming in just means you become sloppy in both screening success and the candidate experience, which ultimately negatively impacts your brand reputation. You're simply aiming to attract top talent to your startup.

If compensation and perk haggling is in full flight, you’ve missed a step, or somewhere they’ve sniffed out empty rhetoric.

It’s time to level up.

Marketing experts excel in marketing strategy, and people experts excel in people strategy. If you'd appreciate help attracting your ideal impact players, freeing your time for product development and growth, please contact us at hello@ahumanedge.com.

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