One of the biggest challenges companies will continue to face this year is finding, recruiting and retaining top talent. We have encountered this obstacle and learned some valuable insights along the way. Our efforts to overcome this difficulty have proven effective as we have clearly defined our vision formula: right people + right positions = successful and scalable growth.
Focus on People
A helpful and welcome change we have implemented when it comes to our current and prospective team members is shifting our main focus to the people experience . We expect our team members to care for our clients, or be client-obsessed, a term that is often used in our workspaces. In turn, we recognize the importance of caring for our people well and with intentionality. Since realizing and executing on this, the impact has been evident. This unique aspect of our culture is something we leverage throughout the recruiting process to help prospective employees get a taste of the experience of being a Primitive Social team member.
Brene Brown says ‘Clear is kind.’ We want to be kind by clearly defining who we are and what we expect from the beginning. Just as we hope there are no unpleasant surprises that are exposed once someone is hired or the honeymoon period ends, we also know the impact that negative experience could have on the client relationship with our company. As we have documented our culture, we are able to share this with prospective team members and it allows us both to determine if the fit is right.
One way to win over a talented prospective employee is to exhibit what can be expected when it comes to communication. Unfortunately, communication is not typically done well in most workplaces. With the multiple, and growing, avenues of communication we have available at our fingertips, it would seem to streamline and improve this elusive task. In reality, the instant and constant availability of communicating with anyone, anywhere and anytime creates a desensitized mentality in which very little effective communication actually takes place.
As we strive daily to grow in our abilities to communicate, we also incorporate this into our recruiting and onboarding processes. Our intentional communication with our clients and our team also spill over into recruiting. In the process of email, phone calls, and interviews, there are many opportunities to do this. Follow through communicates so much about a person, a team and a company. If communication is consistent in the hiring process, it is highly likely a new employee can expect this reality to continue to be the case.
A company like ours would struggle to compete with the benefits offered by the giants who boast of complimentary dry-cleaning, daily massages or 12-month paid maternity leave. On the other hand, large corporations struggle to personalize the human experience to the degree we are able. It is a more manageable task for us to get a pulse on the types of benefits that resonate with our team members and make decisions based on what will actually benefit our employees. We make an effort to get feedback and learn about the perks that truly matter to our people. Those are the things we focus on implementing into our benefits package. Hitting the highlights of being on our team can be done in a variety of ways, but a satisfied and thriving team of employees is tough to beat.
Hiring a new employee is an investment in a person’s skills, abilities and even invisible qualities like potential. Smart investors assess risks prior to investing, so it would be logical to apply the same principal in the recruitment and hiring processes.
Statistics show that the generations in and entering into the workforce are much more concerned about opportunities for growth than salary or status. With the goal of recruiting top talent, one of the best ways we can do that is through proving our commitment to invest in them. We utilize a strengths assessment in the process of getting to know potential hires, and this serves a few purposes.
- It identifies their top strengths which indicates, for them, where it would be wise to spend their focus.
- It practically shows them our interest in them as individuals with unique contributions to bring to the team.
- It enables us to have confidence that we are placing them on the right team and in the most appropriate role, according to their strengths and those of their teammates.
Embrace a Remote Culture
Remote opportunities continue to change how we work. We see the value in constantly looking for ways to up our game in this department, and companies who are not focused on this will miss out on the highest level of talent, which is not restricted by physical location. It is not only important to be willing to offer remote positions but to cultivate a remote culture that executes it with excellence. A stellar in-office experience is better than a negative remote experience, but imagine the possibilities of a place that can provide an incredible work experience for both local and remote employees.
Establish a Recruiting Process
Our process is simple but robust. The initial connection with a prospective team member is made, and this could happen with anyone in the company. The person’s resume is sent to our Chief of Staff (me) for review. This is where we put in the time to research and learn as much about this person as possible. We have learned that in hiring slow, we make much better decisions and are far less likely to do so impulsively, which rarely turns out well for anyone. This research process includes checking professional profiles and social media accounts. It involves an interview with the sole purpose of assessing for culture fit. We are transparent in the process about who we are and what we are looking for, so we are also sharing information about the company and answering any questions throughout this process. As everything checks out, the next step is to have a second interview with the director of the team on which we are considering placement. The purpose of this is to understand if the skillset, personality and work capabilities are a good match for the role and team. This might involve submitting work examples, situational questions and proving the applicant can do what they say they can do. Finally, once these steps are complete and the senior leadership and director are in agreement, an offer is made.
As you can tell, recruiting the right people and putting them in the right positions on our team is not something we take lightly. We care about our team and we want to serve our clients well. If you communicate care that is genuine, top recruits will want to work for your company, because it is rare to find but easy to see.
Annie Gilbert is the Chief of Staff at Primitive Social. With a background in education and counseling, she thrives on caring for people and creating a culture for the team that enables everyone to do what they do best. When she’s not working, she loves hanging out with her husband and three kids, often in a gym watching basketball. She also enjoys reading, traveling and experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen.