How High-Growth Companies Can Compete with Big Brands to Attract and Retain Talent

Employee attraction and retention are important to consider when formulating a strategy that aids the growth of your company. In the tight labor market, they are becoming challenging to tackle.

With the ongoing influx of new generations to the workforce, companies of all sizes are trying to approach employee retention with perks that are especially intriguing to Gen Z and Millennials. With the “quitting economy” at its peak, most modern employees find themselves trying to take ownership of their happiness rather than succumbing to poor leadership and toxic work cultures.

High-growth companies are those trying to for these young jobseekers, mainly up against larger conglomerates that have the brand name to draw them in organically and with optional perks. Right now, top talent is a scarce commodity; 82% of companies don’t believe they recruit highly talented employees, and for those that do, just 7% think they can them.

So, where does this leave us in the world’s tightest job market to date? Effective leadership and strong culture creation are at the forefront of recruitment strategies that aim to turn new hires into veteran employees with the intent of keeping them away from a labor market where its full capacity status is detrimental to start-ups’ success.

How can companies attract the right talent for them as the market currently stands, but better yet, how can they hold onto valuable employees for the foreseeable future when up against brands?

How Do Now?

Top retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon have entered a high-profile battle for talent that shows off their best company and culture practices, hoping to lure in any potential candidates that remain vacant in their job search.

Big players like Target are issuing stronger childcare benefits and expanding paid family leave, while its rivals are attempting to upstage the superstore’s starting wage raise of $13.00/per hour; Costco and Amazon have moved to $15.00/per hour, and Walmart raised its minimum wage to $11.00/per hour in 2018.

High turnover rate is disruptive to top retailers like Target, sure. However, a heightened turnover at a high-growth start-up can be equally damaging. In order to prevent rising turnover from the get-go, it’s crucial that high-growth companies learn what jobseekers want and exactly how they can give it to them, especially when competing against bigger and more established brands.

Thus far, high-growth companies are using culture to compete, marketing themselves as flexible and growth-focused businesses that care about long-term development. It’s not just about bringing home the bacon (or a tofu substitute) anymore; jobseekers want a workplace where they can make a considerable contribution that comes with purposive perks. Essentially, they’re hoping for benefits that apply to their evolution as an employee and as a human being.

Why Is Money Not Enough?

Companies, regardless of size, are still losing top talent to competitors for several reasons, regardless of high starting wages. For new hires, specifically, it begins with the onboarding process they receive even before their first day on the job.

A recent Hibob survey found that 64% of new employees are less likely to stay at a job after having a negative onboarding experience, with only 40% saying their current job reflects how the position was described during the interview process.

Millennials who matriculate from the onboarding process still feel a sense of dissatisfaction, too; 55% of them feel like they aren’t as engaged at work as they want or should be, and another 16% admit that they’re actively disengaged.

Open floor plans and hot-desking were first implemented across layouts for their collaborative and cross-functional benefits. However, these engagement strategies don’t necessarily fit every personality or sporadically flexible schedules.

It’s important that we blend microlearning tactics and social collaboration into perks that are meant to increase interaction where it’s more relevant and less noisy across the workplace. Otherwise, engagement-focused perks that once seemed unparalleled fall flat, and engagement becomes shallow or forced when it needn’t be.

What Can Companies Do Instead?

There are plenty of impactful cultural perks that companies can offer employees in an effort to attract and retain them longer. “No lunch at your desk” policies and access to fitness centers are just the tips of the iceberg; working remotely is a top priority for jobseekers in pursuit of more fulfilling adventures while lining their pockets with the income they need to fund their lifestyle patterns and choices.

Millennials, in particular, are more interested in travel perks, pet insurance, and flexible hours that give them the opportunity to tend to medical or personal needs without time-related pressure or consequences.

Airsorted, a high-growth company scaling internationally, pays close attention to the time-off and travel needs of its employees. Offering that standard paid-time-off (PTO) perk isn’t where the benefit ends, though. Airsorted has meticulously managed and perfected its system to make traveling and time requests seamless, living up to the expectations most Millennial workers initially have when starting a new job.

Meeting accommodations and preferences such as these are typically more successful at high-growth companies with smaller teams or more close-knit cultures, rather than at larger conglomerates or enterprises.

Take Karmarama, for example, a company that has prioritized progressive people management and culture that allows people to get to know and appreciate one another for the role they perform. The entire Karmarama team is able to get the most out of its perks because of its people-focused mission, celebrating important milestones along the way, such as birthdays, work anniversaries, and more.

We may be at a state of full capacity for the time being, but high-growth companies still have a shot at snagging top talent from the overly saturated labor market. Strong, transparent leadership and culture created with a purpose and driving motivation will appeal to the incoming generations who are looking to make a difference in their futures, as well as the futures of others.

This is where high-growth companies are excelling in comparison with their big-brand counterparts; they’re building businesses and cultures that offer the type of perks that remain peoplecentric at both the foundation and the core.

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