Three Tips to Keep your Top-Rated Talent in your Scale-Up

With the hiring and firing spree currently taking place in tech, you’d be mistaken for thinking that finding and keeping top-rated talent would be easy. Whilst high profile companies including Uber, Microsoft, Twitter, Wayfair, Snap and Facebook-parent Meta have announced hiring freezes, others such as Netflix, Peloton and more are justifying layoffs.
Keeping top-rated talent in a scale-up

With the hiring and firing spree currently taking place in tech, you’d be mistaken for thinking that finding and keeping top-rated talent would be easy.

Whilst high-profile companies including Uber, Microsoft, Twitter, Wayfair, Snap, and Facebook-parent Meta have announced hiring freezes, others such as Netflix, Peloton, and more are justifying layoffs.

However, according to a recent CNBC article;

“Despite recent headlines of high-profile staff cuts and a looming recession, the job market continues to be ‘burning hot’ for workers…”

But how to keep talent as a scale-up when you just can’t compete on salary? And no, offering remote working or flexitime isn’t necessarily the win you’re looking for either.

Why is keeping top-rated talent a challenge?

A report from the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows a percentage of resignations close to around 2.9 percent in April 2022, with 11.4 million job openings in the same month. This is almost twice as many as the number of unemployed job-seekers.

Apart from an abundance of labor and the challenge of being unable to offer talent the same benefits as larger companies, keeping top-rated talent can offer an array of challenges for start-ups and scale-ups. 

Just a few of these mistakes include;

❌ Hiring for the short term

Due to the unpredictable nature of scaling, start-ups, and scale-ups often hire for the short term focusing on immediate needs. This can often lead to frustration further down the line as team members outgrow their roles or become frustrated by a lack of direction.

❌ Workload overload and/or burnout

The demands placed on team members in a start-up and scaling culture are great. Team members are often required to assume a large chunk of responsibility and to be active members of growth in many aspects of the business. 

This can end up resulting in employee burnout.

❌ Poor communication

Start-up culture has its pros and cons. Most team members who join are driven by the mission and passion. However, it often requires instantaneous problem solving and being able to deliver a lot in a short amount of time, not to mention being able to change hats when needed.

Often scale-ups don’t have processes in place. When new team members join, they’re left to find their own way with no definitive direction, which often results in frustration.

Three ways to retain top-rated talent in your startup

How to incorporate new employees to helo grow the business and retain a culture that people want to be part of?

✅ Adopt a culture of learning

High salaries are not enough to retain the best employees. In fact, the new trends in the workforce focus on jobs with opportunities for growth and investment in training.

LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning report found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if they invested in their learning development. For this reason, famous corporations such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft offer training courses for workers to optimize their skills.

Further to that, people attracted to start-ups and scale-ups are often curious and love to learn by nature. They take pride in their own development and want to learn new things.

Creating a culture of learning is not only a driving motivating factor for team members but is an obvious win-win as the highly-qualified talent increases innovation and productivity.

Although certificate programs or university courses can be expensive, there are often great alternatives ranging from coding bootcamps (technical schools that offer courses in data science, software engineering, and cyber security specifically for tech talent) to highly valued but complementary training such as that offered by Hubspot Academy.



✅ Offer Personalized Training

The mistake employers make is to think that training is only a formalized practice. No. Training starts with onboarding. Onboarding new team members systematically goes a long way to ensuring retention.

Source (eLearning Industry)

Following a seamless onboarding experience, there are two essential types of training that will help retain top-rated talent; ongoing employee training and transitional training.

Teamwork and homogeneous planning can be great techniques for achieving goals. However, a person’s performance isn’t always the same as that of their peers. It’s important to offer personalized attention to each employee. The goal is to understand his status, know his weaknesses, and reinforce his performance.

Taking time at the beginning of tenure to understand the profile and activities of each worker is a smart investment to ensure consistent performance. 

✅ Adopt a mission-critical 🚀

Many startups manage limited resources which makes it difficult to offer better salaries than competitors with years of experience and whopping BIG budgets!

Gary V on keeping top rated talent

However, improving economic conditions does not only mean a salary increase. Team members are often attracted to start-up and scale-up cultures because of the mission-critical! 

Unlocking Growth at Whale is more than some lame marketing slogan. It’s our reason for being.

Here are a couple of reasons, our team have been attracted to Whale;

☘️ Jointly chosen performance objectives

☘️We banned internal email and adopted L10 meetings instead

☘️ Unlimited leave 

☘️ Team get-togethers

Investment in the mission-critical isn’t just about hype. It’s about really living the brand so that people are attracted to the culture and want to stay!

Access to health plans, growth activities, and values such as diversity and teamwork will go a long way to making the dream work!

Want to keep your top-rated talent? Start with Why and systemize it!

Responsibilities within a startup are not for everyone. It’s a little like entrepreneurship. It takes a special kind of human to be suited to the constantly changing needs.

There are a host of benefits that start-ups and scale-ups can offer our advice is to start with why and systemize it. 

There’s a reason for all this talk about purpose.

When team members understand why the company exists and what you’re trying to achieve, it makes it easier to have engaged team members. 

Many entrepreneurial organizations have their purpose formalized but fail to systemize it. Systemizing purpose through process and even in the way meetings are conducted, will go a far way to keeping team members motivated and engaged.

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