The difficulties startups and small company founders have finding, hiring, and retaining top talent are well-documented. In tech startups, for example, founders are competing against tech giants that can offer six-figure salaries and stability. But by understanding what prospective employees are looking for and applying creative compensation and hiring strategies, startups can find employees who are a great long-term fit for their organizations. It starts by closely examining what modern professionals are looking for and where your organization can compete. Then it's all about putting strategies in those areas in motion.
Key Areas That Employers Must Compete In
Before you start crafting a strategy for your organization, zoom out to consider the six important criteria most applicants are looking for, in any industry:
- Salary/wages/financial compensation: This includes the annual salary or hourly rate and likely bonuses. This is one of the most critical areas for many job-seekers, but it's one that many smaller employers can't compete with.
- Benefits (including insurance and retirement programs): Affording robust health insurance and retirement programs can be out of reach for new startups. But you can look for group programs and avenues to make your benefits plans more competitive.
- Satisfying work: This is one avenue where your startup can shine. If you have an innovative product, a fun mission, or a way to pioneer change while prioritizing ESG goals, this can help you find applicants who want values-based employment.
- Time off: Offering plenty of time off that's accessible to new hires is a great way to bridge the divide in compensation.
- Company culture: A positive, enjoyable work culture where everyone is conscientious, there's clear communication, and you trust your employees to do their work can be a big advantage.
- Work-life balance: This is a vital aspect of company culture. Employees need to know they can confidently plan their personal lives and step away from work to recharge.
Determine which of these six criteria your organization can emphasize to reach applicants. Then, try out these strategies to put your new plan into motion.
Join PEOs or Group Organizations for Insurance Plans
As an individual organization, you might not be able to negotiate competitive health care and retirement plans. But if you join a PEO or a network, you have a stronger negotiating position, and you can be sure that your plans match many of those in your industry or area. Start reaching out through your business network or see what other startups in your area are doing to make things work.
Offer Flexible Scheduling, Especially If You Don't Need Coverage Across the Clock
For many startups, you rarely need to maintain the traditional 9 to 5. While there may need to be periods that align with conventional work hours to meet with clients or for group meetings, try to loosen the restrictions where you can. This might look like having results-based expectations instead of set hours or setting flex schedules where employees need to be available at set times on certain days but have freedom the rest of the week. Some additional strategies are:
- Use hybrid office subscriptions with virtual offices services so there's always reliable outward conversation.
- Do minimum necessary scheduling so you have what you need but employees can also enjoy flexible work hours that meet their own schedules' need.
Subscribe to Coworking Spaces for More Workspace Flexibility
Many employees resist returning to the traditional office, and for good reason. WFH setups are often more comfortable, more convenient, and ultimately, more productive. But coworking spaces offer the key advantages of an office—in-person conversations, social opportunities for networking, professional settings for meetings, and structured environments—with the advantages of at-home workspaces that suit unique working preferences, varying levels of quiet and noise, and hospitality-driven coworking spaces that mirror access to a home kitchen.
Schedule Social Events During Work Hours and at Workspaces
Team-building activities are crucial, but you want them to be enjoyable, not aggravating. Don't schedule them outside of typical work hours—instead, make them part of the paid workday. If you have a hybrid office subscription, you can even host them in the same space to maximize convenience. This is a great way to help your team create better working relationships; you can even have cross-organizational networking events with other participants in the building.
Attract More Candidates to Your Open Positions With Quest
Attracting top talent to your startup requires a lot of creative thinking. With a coworking space, you can offer your employees flexibility, more comfortable work setups, a better work-life balance, and dozens of other benefits that other employers can't match.
Reach out today to explore our coworking spaces in New York City or South Florida or contact us to discuss our different services and hybrid office plans.