Attract, Engage And Retain:Critical Challenge For New-Age Startups

Across the world, people are leaving or switching jobs in huge numbers making economists term this phase as the “Great Resignation”, on the lines of Great Depression. Therefore, it’s become critical for HR managers to devise strategies that help them attract, engage and retain top talent. Vishal Aman Gummadapu, Chief Of Staff at OkCredit discussed some vital strategies for new-age startups to help them attract, engage and retain the talent, so as to take the respective companies to greater heights

  1. Why do we see a sudden surge in resignations in Engineering and IT jobs across the world?

The “great resignation” is rocking many companies in different industries around the world. People, as it seems are quitting for different reasons- some for better pay and growth, some for flexibility and others for happiness. There are instances where people are feeling overworked with lack of boundaries in work from home. As offices are reopening, it’s the lack of flexibility that’s turning off some people. In India however, we are witnessing a talent crunch wherein every employer is trying to hire from a limited pool of people with in-demand skills in industries such as cloud computing, data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence etc. Add to that, startups flush with funds are offering hefty packages making quality talent sit with multiple offers. According to Nassom, the leading IT industry body, demand for digital talent jobs in India is currently eight times larger than the size of its talent pool. By 2024, this demand will become 20 times the available fresh talent pool. 

  1.  How has branding become a successful recruitment strategy? Also, how has it worked wonders for your own brand?

 When it comes to hiring, brand is of utmost importance. Several surveys have proved that brand is one of the key criteria, employees consider while joining an organisation. While a consumer brand targets people who can buy your product or service, an employer’s brand, on the other hand, conveys what your company values as a workplace. It’s a promise to employees and potential employees about a set of values and things a company stands for. It helps to attract the best of talent and portrays the culture of the organisation. For existing employees, an employer brand helps create a deep sense of loyalty within the organisaton. It conveys whether the workplace believes in flexibility, creativity, innovation, diversity of thought and appreciation. 

Ever since we started, we’ve been taking steps to position ourselves as an attractive employer brand. This has been communicated through social as well as word of mouth by our existing employees. Openness, transparency, curiosity to learn integrity, empathy and respect are some of the workplace qualities we stand for. All these are reflected in the measures we have taken for employees- be it a zero attendance policy, enhanced maternity leaves, freedom to work from anywhere for a partcular duration every year or our revised ESOP policy.  These have helped us build an employee friendly brand, which in turn has helped us in acquisition and retention of talent.

  1. What in your view are the advantages concerned with  flexible/ Hybrid workplace?

Choosing a flexible workplace arrangement over a traditional and inflexible one has numerous benefits, including an improvement in employee morale, increased employee engagement, efficiency, and production, and a reduction in employee absenteeism, to name a few.

With the hybrid work approach, we’ve seen more work-life integration. Working away from the office necessitates management’s flexibility and trust. To get out stronger from the coronavirus crisis, businesses, whether physical or virtual offices have adapted their management styles and workplaces to make a positive difference in their work as well as life routine.  In situations such as now when offices ae resuming, companies need to rethink about culture and inspire employee commitment to bring in motivation .

  1. How culture is a big driver of talent? what kind of culture have you been deploying within your organisational setup to attract talent?

 It’s widely known that companies that foster a culture of meaningful work, deep employee engagement, job, and organisational fit, and great leadership outperform their peers and are more likely to attract top talent than their competitors.

At OkCredit we have an absolutely honest and transparent culture. To begin with, our recruitment process is completely digital from job search to onboarding. One of things we look among candidates is a customer-first orientation. Among the workplace benefits, there are whole host of things we do for our employees to make work enjoyable.There is no rigid entry or exit attendance regulation at the company, which fosters an open, participative, and lively atmosphere. We have a no-questions-asked leaves and healthcare tie-up with Practo.  To acknowledge and appreciate the tremendous effort put by our employees last year, we announced a mid-year salary boost and even revamped our  ESOP policy making it more attractive than what’s available in the industry. 

We have doubled our focus on employee engagement initiatives, wherein we were engaging people through games, fun activities, quizzes, and rewards. Now, even as there are plans to resume office operations, we are fully committed to support our people be it in terms of relocation or choice of a hybrid work model.

  1. How do you build a company culture that attracts and retains top talent? 

Culture is and has always remained a big driver of talent. Empathy, learning and openness aresome of the qualities most people look forward to in an organization. More so empathy, given different experiences people had during the pandemic. A great culture speaks for itself and is the biggest employer branding tool. When employees go on social media to thank their employers or talk about a particular work aspect they like, it’s zero-cost marketing for employers.

 Empowering employees with career growth opportunities and the ability to learn new skills in inspiring company culture can keep them happy and engaged. Engaged employees help build your talent brand and are a great resource for attracting even more top talent to your organization. Organizations should promote from within whenever possible. This helps employees feel crucial to success. Recruit and hire internally to make a meaningful impact on retention. These are the few ways in which one can build an organization with sustainable talent.

  1. What are some strategies to attract top-level talent to an organization? 

One of the great motivations for great talent is the company’s vision and mission. Make sure it resonates with your existing and potential employees.In a strong labor market.  Employees prefer companies with good culture, competitive paychecks, and career opportunities. Founders need to clearly articulate the purpose, impact and future potential of their startup to inspire new

 A few other measures could be-

  • Staying updated with the current employee market
  • Discuss career paths and create opportunities/ support them in achieving. 
  • Provide creative and meaningful work 
  • Offer Learning and Development courses and workshops 
  • Create an environment of trust 
  • Ensure the workplace is safe, motivated and inspiring 
  1. Recruitment trends that you have seen in the post-pandemic era and you imagine in times to come.

The pandemic has changed the way companies recruit. At the start of the pandemic, a lot of companies were forced into digital recrruitments but with time, organizations have adapted to various remote tools for the . Even though we are out of the dangerous waves of the pandemic, there a few trends which will continue – 

  • Virtual hiring processes are here to stay 
  • Companies will continue encouraging internal hiring 
  • Geographically expanded recruiting practices 
  • Remote working 
  • Recruiters Will Play a Bigger Role in DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion)