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Jan 30, 2017

4 Strategies for How Startups Should Tackle Talent Acquisition

 

One thing that startups have little to spare is money, so making sure new hires are happy enough to stay, thrive and be innovative is a major investment.

 

Talent is Transforming recently spoke to experts at two startups about best practices for talent acquisition and overall human resources. Emily Markmann, vice president of people at WeddingWire, and Warren White, director of human resources at Citelighter, gave us their four amazing pieces of advice for making sure startups are putting useful people strategies in place.

 

  1. Use data to elevate the role of HR

 

Emily says some of the most important people decisions should involve data. Being able to present certain data-driven trends to a startup’s leadership team goes a long way in terms of being to show a picture of where the company’s talent pool is and where it’s going.

 

Some of the first steps for a company in collecting data could be as simple as creating a spreadsheet of where its talent is and different roles in the company to using software like Tableau to view data on graphs. Emily says being able to analyze that data can help HR predict the future. For example, are employees only staying two years? What roles have the shortest retention rates?  “It can elevate the role of HR very quickly when you’re talking to your financial folks and high-level executives,” Emily tells us.

 

  1. Start an HR strategy sooner rather than later

 

Warren says as a startup expands, it’s important to start developing an HR strategy that can be executed by a designated leader within the company. One of the mistakes a lot of startups make in that regard is they wait a little too long to start really focusing on talent, says Warren.

 

The value of an organization, aside from its innovation, is its people. The wrong people strategy or an absent people strategy can be a huge detriment and expense for the company. “Startups can’t afford to make a lot of people mistakes because people are expensive,” he adds.

 

  1. Engagement is the voice of the employee

 

Emily says measuring and monitoring employee engagement drives productivity and the bottom line. Through “voice of the employee” surveys, a company can drive engagement numbers and quantify engagement period over period. “It’s extremely fun to watch and be able to see the impact period over period when you take specific targeted programs that are identified through the voice of the employee and being able to strategically map out programs,” she says.

 

A strong employee engagement survey includes a few key components: Share employee survey results with the entire team so that it encourages even more feedback. A good survey program is also an opportunity for the company to share its priorities.

 

  1. Great people feed the talent ecosystem

 

Great people make great companies, says Emily. There’s a talent ecosystem at work every day where everything feeds itself. In other words, talent acquisition builds great talent in the organization. You have to cultivate that talent, engage that talent and it all feeds itself, says Emily.

 

To go even further, Warren says startups should create and foster an environment that allows its people to perform at their maximum ability, he says. That means having the resources to do their jobs, along with the peace of mind of knowing they have benefits in place and predictable paychecks. Not having to focus on those things really allows employees to perform their best.

 

Want to hear more about how startups can approach their HR strategy? Listen to the entire Talent is Transforming podcast. 

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