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Thrive is set up by Funding London, a venture capital company bridging the finance gap for early stage businesses based in London. With over a decade’s experience in supporting the startups of London through a variety of funding vehicles, Funding London sensed a need to illuminate the ever-evolving scenario of London’s early stage businesses.

Thrive features interviews with and opinion from budding entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts. A mix of contributors from all areas of the industry is desired in order to spark genuine discussion about ongoing critical issues. While it showcases the effectiveness of successful ventures, it also encourages sharing lessons learned from missteps and unsuccessful projects.

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Perceptions · 3 September '18

How to hire the best talent

Having an innovative idea is not enough to get your startup off the ground. In order to make your idea a reality, you have to have a great team of people working towards a common goal. Attracting the best talent to your business, however, is not an easy task. It gets even harder when you are starting out and have to compete for the top talent with companies that have bigger budgets and a more established reputations than you.

Last year, over 589,000 startups were launched in the UK. How can a new company stand out when it comes to hiring? That’s precisely where employer branding comes to the rescue. Employer branding is the future of talent acquisition. People are jaded by traditional jobs boards and advertising and want to feel in control of their career trajectory.

We’ve seen small businesses start to compete with larger corporates through creating authentic employer branding content showcasing their mission and culture. Recruitment efforts that combine unique, value-adding content offering insight into the people behind the job titles have proven to be the most effective.

The workforce of the future is looking for greater autonomy and freedom in their roles as evidenced in our #WorkHappy Index where respondents listed greater flexibility as the one thing that would improve their current job. The recent study shows that for 18 to 35-year-olds the “ability to develop and grow” is the number one reason to accept a job. The data collected also shows that 82% of candidates would not take a job at a company with a poor reputation and more than 50% would take a lower wage at a company with a strong employer brand. Reputation is everything and its power means that companies who don’t work on their employee engagement strategies will lose out in the war for talent.

But where can you start working on your brand as an employer? First, you need to work on your company story — figure out who you are and what kind of professionals you want to attract. Don’t forget to refine your mission statement and company values in a way that is easy to understand and relatable to others.

Once you get this right, it is time to turn the information you compiled into some well-crafted content that will tell your story to those who don’t know who you are. You can start with simple pieces, like some blog posts on your company’s website, and evolve from that to more complex content, such as videos, ebooks and podcasts. Our research showed that 78% of candidates feel that behind the scenes videos impact their perception of an employer, leading to a 36% increase in job applications. A good thing about investing in these types of content is that they can be later repurposed to your social media channels, helping you to spread your company story even further.

Employee advocacy is also an incredible tool for recruiting new hires. Encourage your existing staff to talk about life within your business and promote your culture, values and mission on their own professional networks. Educate your current employees on the importance of expanding the team together so that they’re invested in the process. You can even offer incentives for advocacy or referrals, but just be mindful that hiring from the same pool of talent can be limiting in terms of gaining different perspectives and experiences.

Don’t take for granted the power of job fairs and the possibilities that a connection in real-life can bring to your business. At the end of the day, startups should have a well-mixed strategy combining both online and offline ideas to get the best talent into their offices.