May 1, 2021

4 ways you can attract and retain top talent

Attracting and retaining top talent at a scaling company is a crucial element teams must overcome, especially in challenging market conditions. Here's 4 ways you can help attract and retain your top talent.

Tool-kit
4 ways you can attract and retain top talent

Having top tech talent on board for a scaling company is crucial, but attracting it isn’t always straightforward, especially in crowded markets. CB Insights’ report on the top 20 reasons startups fail found that 23% of scaling businesses are unsuccessful due to an inability to build the right team. 71% of founders said access to talent was their greatest barrier to growth. 

There are a number of factors that employers must think about to attract top tech talent. Deloitte has found that the average recruitment process takes about 52 days despite most candidates being in the market for only 10.

A priority consideration must be the workplace. Although many credit the speed of a successful appointment to recruiters doing a good (or bad) job, employers must also recognise the role of the workplace in attracting and retaining talent. It is essential that the working environment reflects company culture and enables innovation. 

1 - Opportunities for Learning & Development

For many employers looking to attract and retain their talent, look no further than how you invest in your people. The experience of joining a growing business plays a part, but it might also be worth thinking about what investments you can make in certain departments too. "59% of millennials claim development opportunities are extremely important when deciding whether to apply for a position." according to Lorman.

There's also lots of data to suggest that subscribing your employees to real, in-person, engaged learning activities is far superior to online content learning services (like Linkedin Learning etc.). Wes Kao talks about the benefits of cohorts vs online content (as part of his collaboration with A16z). This is incidentally also our own experience at Techspace, and one of the reasons we've launched an in-person meetup group for emerging leaders in tech to engage in peer learning once a month - check out what we're up to at ScaleUP Europe.


2 - Don't forget Online

A company’s location has long been a consideration high up on the list for business leaders and employees alike. Atomico found that when businesses consider location, the most important consideration is access to talent and customers. Glassdoor revealed that location is the second biggest consideration for job seekers in the UK. So, it’s natural that companies and talent would end up in concentrated hubs. London and Berlin are touted as the tech hubs of Europe, however with so much saturation, how can employers stand out?

Businesses looking to attract top tech talent can no longer rely on physical presence alone; they must be mindful that an online presence is just as important. Promoting the company’s presence online is vital to standing out and can in some cases be a determining factor for prospective employees. A company that can demonstrate a strong culture online will be much more likely to attract employees of a similar ethos. Companies can do this by using social media and owned channels to share details of company events, employee achievements and business milestones.

Beyond this, job rating websites such as Kununu and Glassdoor that are evermore integral to interviewees’ filtering processes, must also be factored in. Having a proactive voice on the business's journey will show transparency around goals and mission and speaking up on relevant industry topics will demonstrate industry awareness. 


3 - A Workplace that sets you apart

The office space that a company chooses should be a top consideration and a direct reflection of its culture, attitude towards innovation and work ethic; the balance of culture and benefits is critical to employee retention. Coworking spaces can be a great way to strike this balance for any growing business. Most coworking spaces will be designed to promote an open culture and encourage collaboration at all levels. Movemeon states that it is important to enable exposure to senior people within a business because it presents an opportunity for employees to learn and accelerate personal development.   

In addition to internal collaboration, coworking spaces also offer the greatest opportunity for inter-business interaction and networking through events in cities that have a high concentration of tech talent. These are great opportunities for ambitious companies to collaborate, network and identify partnerships, which top talent will also recognise as a benefit.

Another advantage to coworking spaces is that they are run by experts who understand the best technology needed and the environmental design that will best foster creativity and innovation, with on hand support available. A company going through a period of fast growth is attractive to top tech talent according to Movemeon, as it indicates opportunities for professional progression and the ability to take on more responsibility as the company grows.


4 - Diversity, innovation & VISAs

Diversity is often hailed as the key to innovation yet, despite companies developing new policies to encourage inclusion, workplaces continue to be pulled up on their lack of it. With the tech industry driving innovation, it’s so important companies do as they pledge to create a more diverse and representative workforce.

To this end, companies at Techspace who have applied for a VISA certificate have benefited hugely from an influx of international talent. Opening the door to knew talent to flood in is smart, and you might think the application process is too difficult so its not worthwhile... but when we interviewed our members, they told us this actually makes it more worthwhile... as most companies aren't willing, and competition for the best talent is low.


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