To Attract Startup Talent, Create a Culture of Recruitment

This is a guest blog post by Alessandra Lanza, Technical Account Manager at Connery Consulting and speaker at Ynext Incubator boot camp. When you're trying to build your fintech startup, it's helpful to create a culture of recruitment right from the beginning. Create an environment where your staff enjoys working there, and wants to bring their friends into the fold. This will make recruiting new employees much easier and less expensive than recruiters and job postings. In my last post, I discussed how to create a referral network to recruit employees, so how do you make that happen? How do you get your employees to think about ways to bring more people to the company during your crucial growth phase? According to Ed Donner, co-founder and CEO of untapt, “There are over 400,000 new tech jobs in global financial services each year and more than 15 million technologists worldwide.”

How will you attract and retain highly qualified developers? Most companies, especially large companies, will use referral bonuses as a way to encourage recruiting. But if people are happy and invested in the success of where the company is going and what's happening, you don't necessarily need referral bonuses. A lot of big companies do it, but I've seen the alternative where it's actually part of the culture to say, "Here are some people I know that we should talk to." For example, networking at local meetups and conferences such as Finovate, FinDEVr and Money20/20 can help with recruitment efforts. Sometimes employees brush off recruiting, thinking it's really not part of their job. But at an early stage company everyone needs to be a recruiter. Not just the person assigned to do it. Everyone from top down needs to focus on recruiting. I think that when you bake that into the culture from the beginning — the principle that "each and every person here is a recruiter and a voice to bring talent into the company" — recruiting becomes more than a drudgery for your staff. For example, you could gamify the recruiting process, making it a competition, and use people's natural competitive spirits to help find new recruits. Give a prize or gift to people who referred the most candidates, or hold a raffle, giving a ticket for every referral. The more people someone refers, the more tickets they receive, and the more chances they have of winning a prize.

Finally, people give referrals and names when they're happy in their job and in the company. To create that good and happy company where people want to come to work, you need to listen to your staff, make them feel valued and properly motivated and managed. Hold one-on-one meetings with your employees and give them a chance to share their ideas and concerns. Give them responsibilities and the chance to manage big projects. Make them feel valuable, and they'll feel happy. With that kind of environment, they'll want to bring in their friends and the people they want to work with the most. They'll bring people they want to share their good fortune (and your vision) with, people who will reflect well on them. Make your workplace an enjoyable place to work, and give people a sense of purpose, and you'll be spoiled for choices of outstanding potential employees. How does your company recruit for and retain technical talent?

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