How We’re Ensuring a Fair Pay and Progression Across Our Team

Great Place to Work’s survey of over 400,000 workers found that when people believe the company manages promotions effectively, they’re more than 2X as likely to give extra effort at work and to plan a long-term future with their company. 

Here’s the thing, though: the recruitment industry has historically based promotions solely on the financial performance

Progression shouldn’t focus only on financial KPIs

This old-school system means that when someone has missed their target by a mere £500, they had to wait ANOTHER 6 months to hit their promotion. We found that we’re missing a trick with our promotions and progressions policies.

It completely dismisses the hard work and dedication this person put into the company. It’s demotivating and frustrating for the employee. After all, promotions are highly personal - they can damage our sense of self and our wellbeing.

Here are other problems we found with the progression that focuses only on the financial KPIs:

  1. The employees end up missing out on well-deserved promotions based on the circumstances that weren’t their fault. 
  2. People aren’t aware of the specific skills they need to develop or show to follow these targets. 
  3. Just because someone is strong as an individual contributor doesn’t mean that they’re ready to become a manager (also known as The Peter Principle). 
  4. When promotions aren’t managed well, one person’s success can create feelings of resentment in others (source). 
  5. Few&Far is all about the quality of the service towards our clients and candidates, and financial KPIs don’t necessarily reflect that.  

What is Progression Growth Framework?

We wanted to make sure that we’re promoting people for being people. So we included behaviours into our progression targets. We call it PGF = Progression Growth Framework. 

Our performance reviews not only feature numbers but also self-development and behaviours based on our values. This means that if an employee was close to hitting their targets but showcased all the right behaviours and attitudes, they’re still deserving of a promotion. 

For non-sales roles across the company, we also include leadership & ownership qualities and behaviours, besides quarterly and performance-based targets.

We want everyone across the business to have equal opportunities for progression and promotion.

How does it work? 

Each of our team members has their own Progression Growth Framework on Notion. They can note on each scorecard examples of how they think they achieved their behaviour targets. They then review these with their manager at the end of every quarter. 

“If a company lacks clear standards for pay and promotion, it’s harder for employees to know what they need to do to progress, or to realise when they are being undervalued.”

Two key policies support our Progression Growth Framework to ensure fair pay: 

We understand our team will only be happy if they know they’re being paid fairly. So we transparently communicate targets and salaries for each level on both management and non-management career routes. That way, the higher pay doesn’t go to those who ask for it or are friends with their supervisor, but those who deserve it (source). 

We never want to pay less than the position is actually worth. According to research, men were found to start negotiations 4X as often as women. Because of this, we actively seek to eliminate the gender pay gap and encourage a much more diverse workforce. That’s why we assigned a non-negotiable salary to each position - no matter where in the UK they’re based. 

What does it include?

We integrated our values and behaviours that are important to us. We broke it into four core pillars: 

  1. Mastery - you’re mastering your role and behaviours that relate to it
  2. Leadership - you’re showing leadership qualities, regardless if you’re a leader or not
  3. Enterprising - you’re showing initiative and resourcefulness; thinking outside the box
  4. Influence ‍ - you’re an excellent influence on your peers, clients and candidates

We use this system not only for quarterly reviews but also in our hiring process and probation reviews. When hiring, we base pay decisions on the individual’s skills and experience, not their previous salary. If we’re unsure about someone’s level, we can always check if they ticked enough boxes for a position. 

Implementing this kind of standardised, formal criteria around performance and reward that employees understand has been proven to reduce the gender pay gap

Our results so far

We rolled out Progression Growth Framework in early 2021. It’s been crucial when giving feedback - particularly to motivate employees who have been a tremendous asset to the business, despite not fully hitting their financial targets. 

Our new joiners found it especially useful because they know exactly what’s expected from them, what we value and how they can progress. 

However, this framework will never be set in stone - it’s something we’re constantly going to track, review and edit. 

Managers and HR teams need to understand that some organisation processes for progression open up space for bias and that way, disadvantage women and minorities. 

Research shows that transparency and formalisation are successful in reducing gender bias.

To quote Rohman et al (2018): “Promotions are about people. When leaders take a caring and coaching-oriented approach, every promotion can feel like a shared win”. And that’s exactly what we’ll always strive for at Few&Far. 

 

Authors

Ashleigh Hamilton, Head of People at Few&Far

Marta Zemljic, Marketing Executive at Few&Far

10 company benefits we introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic

We always prided ourselves on our benefits: exciting monthly socials, cool office, all-expenses-paid trips, quarterly lunches at Michelin star restaurants… 

And then along came COVID. It made so many of them completely redundant! Our team wasn’t able to use them during lockdown. 

I realised we needed new ones - something that is going to reflect our team’s needs in this weird situation we all found ourselves in. 

So what better way to find out what our team wants, than just asking them?

I sent out a company-wide survey asking our team questions to figure out which benefits were important to them. The survey covered flexibility, wellbeing, learning and included open-ended questions for them to give their own suggestions.

The result? 10 brand new additional benefits that our team loves! 

1. Remote working

Prior to the lockdown, our team could only work up to 2 days from home. The pandemic forced us to see that we’re not only functioning while working remotely, but excelling while doing so. So we allowed our entire team to work up to 5 days from home - now and after the lockdown. 

2. Work from anywhere

Our team can now also work from abroad without using up their holiday days! We’re trialling a 2 weeks limit for now, but we’ll extend it if it proves to be successful. 

3. Sabbatical

We’re lucky to have a bunch of loyal employees who have been with us for several years. That’s why, for every 5 years of service, we’ll give them 3 weeks of paid holidays on top of their annual leave. Everyone deserves a good sabbatical to get out there and see the world. 

4. Flexible hours ⏰

Everyone’s different - some might have parental obligations, while others function better early in the morning. That’s why we don’t clock watch. As long as our team gets everything done that they need to, they can set their own hours.

5. Wellbeing budget ‍♀️

Every Few&Far employee gets their very own Few&Far Mastercard that will get topped up with £75 every month to spend on health and wellness options of their choice. This can be Vitality private medical insurance, health cash plan, gym membership, supplements and more. 

6. Learning budget

Want to finally take that digital marketing course? Or maybe you always wanted to learn how to code? Besides the wellbeing budget, each F&F Mastercard will get topped up with a £750 learning budget every year. 

7. Free Deliveroo lunches

Each month, we have a company wide round-up to go over our wins. But we don’t want our team to listen with empty bellies. That’s why we’ll be covering their Deliveroo lunches during the round-up! It’s a treat for everyone for a job well done. 

8. Employee recognition gifts

For anniversaries, birthdays and rewards, we’ll also use F&F Mastercard. Instead of vouchers and gifts they might not like, our team will get cash straight to their very own card. Praise is nice, but we want our team to feel truly appreciated (and slightly spoiled). 

9. Team competitions

Not being able to work from the same office together made us realise we need more initiatives to bring the team together. We’ll organise quarterly team competitions and incentives to encourage some healthy competition and reward our team for their hard work - big time.

10. Quarterly guest speakers

Our team are all well-rounded people with plenty of interests. That’s why, each quarter, we invited guest speakers to speak on a variety of topics our team is interested in - from personal finance to stress management

This is just a starting point for us. There’s more to life than just work. We want to continue listening to our team’s evolving needs to support their wellbeing and work/life balance.And the best part? We still kept +10 other benefits from before. If you’re interested in what perks you could have as one of the Few or you’re simply nosey, see our full benefits pack here.

Ashleigh Hamilton, Head of People at Few&Far

The rules of attraction: People, culture, scaling

With our new name, brand and recruitment model live, we hosted a launch party and panel discussion to celebrate!

Our great panel included Richard Shepherd, Global Head of Product at JUST EAT, Michelle Coventry, Talent & People Advisor at Kindred Capital VC, and Jack Tang, Co-founder & CEO at Urban, who between them have hired hundreds, even thousands, of startup employees. 

"One of the biggest challenges for Startups has always been hiring." 

They were joined by Amy Lewin, Senior Reporter at Sifted (go sign up for her great newsletter and see a previous edition featuring our panel here).

Amy quizzed them on their best tips on hiring and sustaining teams, whilst managing the ever-changing demands of a scaling company. 

We’ve put together a selection of the panel’s best advice from the night to help you!


Attract

As Michelle said: “I think the product is really important, and I would say the ambition is second. We don't see enough ambitious companies in Europe, so if you are ambitious, then be bold and tell people about it. We're really bad in this country at being humble, but you can still be ambitious and humble. You should try that.

I think the product is really important, and I would say the ambition is second. We don't see enough ambitious companies in Europe, so if you are ambitious, then be bold and tell people about it. We're really bad in this country at being humble, but you can still be ambitious and humble. You should try that.

Build

"Share your vulnerability and true motivations with the people you interview"

Speaking on the interview process Jack added: “Whenever we bring in a candidate near-final stage, we always get them to meet the people they’ll be working closely with — and we get the managers out of the room, so they can ask genuine questions like, ‘What’s it like to work here?’. That really drives conviction.

Richard had this to say: “So, I can't think of many examples where after the first round interview where you don't have a pretty strong sense. And then the challenge is to deliberately try and challenge your bias at that point. So normally I feel very strongly, positively or negatively, I have to then allow other people within my team to interview somebody with me not there, and not sharing my biases with them, and then have some way of collecting that feedback anonymously.

As Michelle said: I think hiring slow, at pace if you can do that, but firing faster than you're hiring is important. But it doesn't have to be about experience to let someone go because it's often a relief. It really is a relief and a release, and that goes back to being honest.

SUSTAIN

Jack explained: “It's like...this particular beautician or therapist, how many bookings did they do in a particular time frame?... People just started really looking forward to it, and there was a nice buzz, and it's become something of a ritual in the company. So I think it's these small, humble things go really, really far. 

Lastly, when it comes to finding quality candidates to interview, Richard Shepherd said: 

 “I just partner with Few and Far, and the best candidates come straight through the front door.” - Thanks mate! ????????

If you'd like to learn about how our bespoke recruitment model can help you attract, build, and sustain great teams then please get in touch on +44 (0)203 693 9000.

Click to learn more about our new services and our rebrand from Knowit to Few&Far.

How to attract, motivate and retain top talent

Here at Few&Far, we aim to provide you with the talent that you need to grow and scale your business. In order for us to find talented individuals for you to keep and develop, we’ve spent years nurturing our knowledge about what talent consists of and how best to recruit those who have it.

In this article, we are going to divulge some of the learnings and explore the question ‘How to recruit and retain top talent?’. To do this question justice, we’ve broken this article into two sections, one concerning recruiting top talent, and one concerning retaining top talent. 

How to recruit top talent

Here are five of the best ways that businesses can attract the best and brightest in their respective fields.

1. Make your advert stand out.

While you’re on the hunt for the top talent, the top (available) talent is out there looking for the top employers. It’s a two-way street that has no room for ego, you can’t put out a threadbare job advert and expect your perfect applicant to come running through the door. You’ll want to highlight the company mission and make it clear ‘why’ it’s a good idea to work for you and what impact you can have. Be sure to fully flesh out the advert, discussing the learning and development opportunities, rewards and benefits, company values, and company culture, and ensure that what you write remains consistent with the message on your website, social media, interview process, meetups and events.

2. Be open to non-traditional working arrangements.

We live in a new world, where working from home, or working from abroad, are quite normal. Be open to these concepts at least on an infrequent or flexible basis, as they might help you to attract some of the best talents in the world. If you are seeking a creative and innovative professional, don’t be surprised if they want to go and explore other cultures for inspiration - it can benefit you. Does your business have a top-down management structure or a collaborative one, is there an open-door policy, and do you offer maternity and paternity leave that goes beyond the minimum? These are all considerations that you need to make because a sense of freedom can be very attractive to new talent. 

3. What benefits can you use to attract talent?

Well, salary is going to be the first thing that people look at, so, more than anything, try to be in line with or above what your direct competitors are paying. After that, offering insurance, a gym membership, and free lunches in the cafeteria are all going to pique the interest of any applicants. What financial bonuses, whether individual or group-based might there be and can they get the applicant salivating? Are there opportunities to earn extra money working overtime, or earn extra holiday days throughout the year? Are there any staff trips? The more you give an employee, the more they give back, so if you want to attract real givers, you have to give first. 

4. Boost your social media presence.

How can the top talent know about you if they can’t see you? If you don’t stand out, you don’t stand out, end of. To attract the top talent, you have to think the same way that they think and act how they act and get in front of them in the right places. The best recruiters in the world have managed to get this down to an art, investing a lot of resources in their social media and digital recruitment tactics.

5. Speed things up.

You have to make the best talent feel that they are being prioritised. Remember that not all hiring processes start at the same time, and that the unemployed or available talent are all at different stages of their job hunt. For these reasons, you’re fighting against time more than against your competitors. Most organisations take weeks to go through the applications, organise first and second interviews, and then finally offer a job. This is too slow, it’s going to let the best talent slip away. The effort you put into winning the best talent is going to be rewarded.

What did Samm say?

We asked Few&Far’s Director, Samm Green, about what makes for a compelling recruitment process. The answer: “Stand out, be quick in hiring, have a compelling brand message, show yourselves off, pay correctly, and have the right perks”.

How to retain top talent

Now that the recruiting is theoretically done and you’ve got that talent to sign a contract and start working for you, you have to work hard to keep them around. Here are some ways you can do that.

Continued Professional Development. 

Don’t be surprised to find that talent can outperform expertise when their development is managed carefully, so try to find opportunities for continued training; put them through qualifications, or go on specialised courses that will help their role, for example. You can build the bond of loyalty by paying for their studies and training them up - this is what law firms do all the time.

The promotion track

Do your most talented individuals know what lies in store for them if they keep on doing great work, smashing their monthly and yearly targets? Can you imagine how damaging it might be if nothing happens? You need to increase transparency in this department, explain the career tracks, opportunities for new positions opening up and what opportunities exist in other locations too. The better your employees know about the future, the more they can give in the present.

Create a culture of values.

The highest retention stats are often found at the companies with the strongest culture and biggest buy-in from staff. With a common goal to pursue and achieve, such as happiness, teamwork, or respect, or a larger external goal, like saving the environment, helping the disadvantaged, or supporting global access to education, the staff have another reason to stay and work hard. The company culture, combined with the collective energy in the business, is something many find hard to leave behind.

Get the brains behind the decisions.

Keep your talent involved in decision-making processes to help build trust, confidence, and instinct. You will empower them and make them feel that their contributions are meaningful. In many organisations, it’s hard to find opportunities for democratic behaviour, but with some creativity, you will manage. 

What did Samm say? 

It starts at the top. Clear vision, a solid culture, role missions, everyone is clear on where the company is heading, OKR's and clear objectives, and a company that provides autonomy for its team to thrive.”

Overall…

To get top talent, you must embrace trust, freedom, job perks, and transparency of opportunities, and unsurprisingly, it’s exactly the same things that you should look to achieve! 

We interviewed Jeremy King, Founder and CEO of Attest: insights, evidence, data, and analytics business.

Be ready for a remote interview process

Remote interview processes aren't going anywhere, so don't treat it like you would in-person ones. This is because your interviewer won't see the full range of expressions, body language, and other cues that create an emotional connection.

Brush up on your video interviewing skills. Practice so you feel natural and at ease by recording yourself. Make sure you're somewhere quiet and that there's nothing going on in the background.

Be aware of the importance of soft skills.

The uncertainty created by COVID-19 led companies to place more value on soft skills. Ask any hiring manager and they'll tell you that once you meet the hard skills criteria, it's all about your soft skills.

Adobe found that 71% of recruiters rank communication skills as the most desirable in job candidates.

Show that you're curious as well as open to learning and change. Recruiters look for passionate team members because positive energy is contagious. You can’t inspire others unless you’re inspired yourself.

Stand out

Since the start of the pandemic, job markets around the world changed significantly. There is more competition for the job you want than ever before.

Think about how can you stand out. Show to potential employers that self-development is important to you by upskilling through online classes. Take a more creative approach when it comes to your application. Use your relationships.

The worst thing you could do is waste time on spamming out a generic CV. Give it a personality and tailor it to the specific job. Make it clear why you're a good fit and what do you bring to the company.

12 Hiring Process Hacks to Acquire Top Candidates

Want to cut time, save money, and make sure you’re taking the best steps possible to get your dream candidates? Follow our 12 hiring process hacks...

Use a recruitment company.

Time is of the essence in your bid to hire a top candidate to fill the available role. Play to your strengths by using your time, resources, and expertise to select the best individual. However, outsource the sourcing of candidates to a company that specialises in this activity, such as Few & Far. The time and admin savings often balance out the costs of hiring support. Some companies charge on a ‘per-hire-basis’ meaning you only pay them if they do provide you with the perfect talent. Even then, you only have to pay after they pass probation. 

Ask for references, portfolios, and work samples upfront.

Why wait until you get to the interview stage to see examples of the candidates work? You can narrow down your list of applicants just by looking at what they’ve done in the past. Get the key stakeholders and department leaders to browse these samples and pick out the key candidates for another level of filtering. Alternatively…

Give your candidate a task to do.

If you’re hiring a growth hacker, give them a made-up scenario and ask how they’d deal with it. If you’re hiring for customer support, give them some historical support tickets and ask them to come up with responses. For whatever position you’re looking to hire, you can go beyond their past experience. Furthermore, test their current abilities, especially quick-thinking and creativity.

Include a ‘must-have’ checklist in your job advert.

Having non-negotiable qualities will go a long way towards ensuring that only qualified candidates apply for your position. This is a great hack because it saves you time in filtering out applicants who aren't up to the task. Your company culture is important and shouldn’t be compromised. Therefore, these must-have qualities can be used to help find like minded individuals who will seamlessly fit into your company. This approach will in-turn increase staff happiness and reduce employee turnover, making your hiring process results more efficient over time. 

Explain the training and education process during the hiring stage.

Nobody wants to turn up on their first day not knowing what they will be doing as they settle in. You can develop a training strategy, development goals, milestones, personal feedback sessions and more to help them get acquainted with their new role. 

Remember that the perfect candidate doesn’t really exist.

Perfect is a concept, and you should not be looking for perfect. It’s a level of expectation that will cause you to fail to see the quality, talented individuals that have applied. Take each applicant at face value and see how closely they align with the desirable qualities from the job description.

For a highly-specialised job, run a targeted hiring campaign.

Points 7 and 8 on this list offer the opposite advice, and for good reason. If you’re hiring for a niche job in a niche industry, the amount of people who could potentially fill that job is going to be very small. You might even need to headhunt from a competitor to find someone capable of doing the job to a high standard. Because your campaign is so small and targeted, you want to run a specialised campaign, perhaps even to a list of names that you can manually procure.

For a more general job, get the word out there!

For a more general job with a wide range of potential candidates, the more places you post the job advert, the better. LinkedIn, Reed, Indeed, on your social media, internally to your existing employees (with a referral scheme ideally) and even in local print media. Don’t miss out on great talent because you haven’t got the time to think big.

Show flexibility to the candidate.

Many hiring companies are guilty of having a fixed time and date for their interviews. This isn’t going to work for some candidates who have other commitments. This may mean that the most suitable person for the job does not show up for the interview. Offer the candidates a selection of time slots throughout the week and let them choose which one works for them. Your candidates might not have any sick days or holidays left and are concerned about the cost of coming for an interview, so show even greater flexibility by offering Skype interviews as a backup. Alternatively, arrange an interview out of hours in a non-work setting and remove that corporate barrier to help candidates feel natural and comfortable. 

Meet the team.

Don’t forget that your new hire is going to spend around 40 hours a week potentially with their teammates, so it is a very helpful exercise for them to meet potential members of their team during the hiring process. Whilst this can lead to false hope, what it does do is give the candidate an inclination for what the team is like. Do they socialise together after work, are they raising young families, do they work cooperatively or is the atmosphere quiet and hostile? Professionals often spend more time with colleagues than with loved ones, so this is very important. It might help to do this in a later stage of the hiring process rather than with every initial candidate.

Keep job titles simple.

When someone is searching for a job, they’re going to search for it in the simplest of terms. A Marketing Manager wouldn't search for ‘Digital Growth Guru’ or ‘Marketing Ninja Extraordinaire’, so why advertise the role as such? It’s fine if your company culture likes to call people gurus and rockstars internally, but for job listings, it doesn’t get spread awareness for the position, and might even put off some quality candidates. 

Short emails have high response rates.

When communicating with potential candidates, don’t overwhelm them with lengthy and complicated emails - you might lose them in the process. Being overly bureaucratic is a turnoff for many candidates, who would rather receive concise and actionable information during their job hunt. Also, keeping things short, sweet, and to the point makes a time savings for you, whilst increasing the curiosity of the candidate. 

Good luck out there!

Welcome to our top 20 tips for talent recruitment and talent acquisition success. These tips will cause a stir in your organisation if you decide to embed them. Lifting a few of these ideas will increase the level of talent recruitment in your interview candidates and develop your organisation's quality.

Employee Referral Scheme.

Start by hiring the best candidates you can and ensuring that they have fulfilling and rewarding jobs. If you do this, then they will support you in opening up their talented networks to you and your business. You can continue this method for years until you naturally outgrow the size of your employees’ networks.

Previously unsuccessful candidates.

Don’t rule out those who weren’t a good fit for a past position at that time. They might have narrowly missed out and gone on to gain great experience since. If you have their old application on file, get in touch and see if they'll be tempted to try again. This method works best if you have a policy for being respectful and even constructive when letting down unsuccessful applicants.

Use a scorecard.

The person who gets hired is often the one who creates the best gut reaction among the interviewers. This sentimentality means that sometimes the most suitable and qualified person is missing out to the most likeable or personable. Quantitative data on a scorecard can help remove this mishap.

Think about the candidates' application experience.

HR should consider everything from ease of application, pre-interview communications, and the actual experience that the candidate goes through for the interview. Recruiting takes two parties, so by skillfully sending positive signals to candidates throughout the process, you can build their interest and develop a good hiring reputation.

Diversity.

Companies that run a diverse recruitment policy benefit massively in the long run. Employees from different backgrounds, countries, ethnicities and all sorts of varying demographics can all offer new knowledge and experience to an inclusive and successful team. The wider the range of applicants, the better.

Be open to remote work arrangements.

The workforce is much different from 10 years ago. Many young and talented professionals now are digital natives, having grown up connected to the internet. Becoming open to and exploring remote work is a great way to attract employees who value the work-life balance. Often, talented candidates are simply seeking flexibility rather than rigidity.

Offboard carefully.

Whilst it might seem counterintuitive to look after those who are leaving your organisation, by letting them go on friendly and positive terms, you’re converting them into an ambassador. This helps you for three reasons. Firstly. it’s good for your image as it’s a positive review from firsthand experience. Secondly, that former employee can refer your business to their talented network. Thirdly, it might make them want to return in the future. Not all exits have to be negative.

Remove unconscious biases.

Where a candidate is from or went to university are a couple of things that can affect our judgement. The HR team can work together so that the person doing the interviewing doesn’t know anything about the candidate and can judge them purely based on performance. This doesn’t work for every position, but it is an interesting technique.

Ask better questions.

Most candidates will be over-prepared for a barrage of typical interview questions. Instead, they want to be challenged with unique questions or given the opportunity to test their wits. Find ways to provoke creativity, intelligence, and rapid-thought in the interview process. This will show you a lot about your candidates.

Talk to the marketing department.

Your own marketing department will have plenty of ideas for how to advertise and promote new positions, but beyond that, they can work on your digital reputation. Prospective employees are going to research your organisation, so it’s down to the marketing team to ensure that search engine results are positive ones. Websites like Glassdoor play a huge role in candidate decision-making. 

Think of the big 5 candidate considerations.

When a candidate is job hunting and making applications, there are typically five things that they want to know. Remarkably, some businesses on the hiring side don’t bother to include these. 

  1. What is the salary and is it competitive?
  2. Are there bonuses or commissions available?
  3. What are the benefits of working for this organisation?
  4. What does the company culture say about the company?
  5. How autonomous is the role?

Hire for quality.

This almost goes without saying, but a lot of businesses fail to acknowledge quality over quantity. If two excellent performers can do the job of four adequate ones, the business would be in a better position to hire two, look after them better, and have less managing to do.

Integrity and honesty in the job description.

Some jobs simply aren’t glamorous or rewarding. You can’t change that. But hiring on false pretences causes disparity between the employee and their work, resulting in them leaving on bad terms. It’s better to be truthful when describing the job so that an applicant who is a good match can fill the role.

Hang out in the right places.

The recruiting team will have to learn where the talented candidates hang out. Are they on particular forums, in LinkedIn groups, or making moves in other digital networking spaces like Github or Moz? Putting an advert on a website like Indeed might work for general listings, but what about technical work with few potential applicants? Finding them is part of the challenge.

LinkedIn.

Most recruiters are looking for professionals there, and most professionals are there when looking for jobs. If your LinkedIn game is not up to par, other recruiters will sniff out and take the best talent. Step up your LinkedIn game, yesterday.

Keep the process as personal as you can.

Copy and paste messages during the application process make the candidate feel that they’re just a number, which is exactly the opposite of how you want to make them feel. It’s more time consuming to write personalised emails, but in pursuit of great talent, it is an absolute must to add some personality and good communication to the process.

Break habits.

What worked in the past might not work in the future, especially in the ever-changing recruitment landscape. A while ago, you might have been looking for talent on forums, then the next week you were using hashtags. Employee wants and needs are constantly changing, as well as their digital habits. So it’s the recruiters that can innovate, adapt, and overcome that will find themselves managing the best talent in an increasingly difficult market.

Learn how to tell a good story.

When a candidate applies for a job, they will have made certain justifications about why it’s good for them. It meets their skills, they agree with the salary, and they could see themselves working there. That final point often gets overlooked. A good recruitment process will involve telling a story that candidates can relate to and buy into so that they can build a mental vision of working in the organisation.

A good job sells itself.

Don’t be too sales-y and desperate in your approach to filling a job role. If the job itself is desirable, it will attract people. If the job is not desirable, maybe it’s the job or the perks of the job that need to be changed. Overselling a job will create suspicion and make good candidates question why the role is so hard to fill.

Did we miss anything? Let us know your best talent recruitment and talent acquisition success stories and tips. If you need assistance in terms of hiring the best talent in product, engineering or design & data, take a look at our clients page.

How to recruit and retain top talent

Here at Few&Far, we aim to provide you with the talent that you need to grow and scale your business. In order for us to find talented individuals for you to keep and develop, we’ve spent years nurturing our knowledge about what talent consists of and how best to recruit those who have it.

In this article, we are going to explore the question ‘How to recruit and retain top talent?’. We’ve broken this article into two sections, one concerning how to recruit top talent, and one concerning retaining top talent. 

How to recruit top talent

Here are five of the best ways that businesses can attract the best and brightest in their respective fields. 

  1. Make your advert stand out. While you’re aiming to recruit top talent, the top (available) talent is out there looking for the top employers. It’s a two-way street that has no room for ego. You can’t put out a threadbare job advert and expect your perfect applicant to come running through the door. You’ll want to highlight the company mission and make it clear ‘why’ it’s a good idea to work for you and what impact you can have. Be sure to fully flesh out the advert, discussing the learning and development opportunities, rewards and benefits, company values, and company culture, and ensure that what you write remains consistent with the message on your website, social media, interview process, meetups and events.
  2. Be open to non-traditional working arrangements. We live in a new world, where working from home, or working from abroad, are quite normal. Be open to these concepts at least on an infrequent or flexible basis, as they might help you to attract some of the best talents in the world. If you are seeking a creative and innovative professional, they might want to go and explore other cultures for inspiration. Does your business have a top-down management structure or a collaborative one? Is there an open-door policy, and do you offer maternity and paternity leave that goes beyond the minimum? These are all considerations that you need to make because a sense of freedom can be very attractive to new talent. 
  3. What benefits can you use to attract and recruit talent? Well, salary is going to be the first thing that people look at, so, more than anything, try to be in line with or above what your direct competitors are paying. After that, offering insurance, a gym membership, and free lunches in the cafeteria are all going to pique the interest of any applicants. What financial bonuses, whether individual or group-based might there be and can they get the applicant salivating? Are there opportunities to earn extra money working overtime, or earn extra holiday days throughout the year? Are there any staff trips? The more you give an employee, the more they give back, so if you want to attract real givers, you have to give first. 
  4. Boost your social media presence. How can the top talent know about you if they can’t see you? If you don’t stand out, you don’t stand out, end of. To attract the top talent, you have to think the same way that they think and act how they act and get in front of them in the right places. The best recruiters in the world have managed to get this down to an art, investing a lot of resources in their social media and digital recruitment tactics.
  5. Speed things up. You have to make the best talent feel that they are being prioritised. Remember that not all hiring processes start at the same time, and that the unemployed or available talent are all at different stages of their job hunt. For these reasons, you’re fighting against time more than against your competitors. Most organisations take weeks to go through the applications, organise first and second interviews, and then finally offer a job. This is too slow, it’s going to let the best talent slip away. The effort you put into winning the best talent is going to be rewarded.

What did Samm say? We asked Few&Far’s Director, Samm Green, about what makes for a compelling recruitment process. The answer: “Stand out, be quick in hiring and have a compelling brand message. Also, show yourselves off, pay correctly, and have the right perks”.

How to retain top talent

Now that you have finished recruiting the talent, and you’ve got that talent to sign a contract and start working for you, you have to work hard to keep them around. Here are some ways you can do that.

  1. Continued Professional Development. Don’t be surprised to find that talent can outperform expertise when their development is managed carefully, so try to find opportunities for continued training; put them through qualifications, or go on specialised courses that will help their role, for example. You can build the bond of loyalty by paying for their studies and training them up - this is what law firms do all the time.
  2. The promotion track. Do your most talented individuals know what lies in store if they keep on smashing their monthly and yearly targets? Can you imagine how damaging it might be if nothing happens? You need to increase transparency in this department. Explain the career tracks, opportunities for new positions opening up and what opportunities exist in other locations too. The better your employees know about the future, the more they can give in the present.
  3. Create a culture of values. The highest retention stats are often found at the companies with the strongest culture and biggest buy-in from staff. With a common goal to pursue and achieve, such as happiness, teamwork, or respect, or a larger external goal, like saving the environment, helping the disadvantaged, or supporting global access to education, the staff have another reason to stay and work hard. The company culture, combined with the collective energy in the business, is something many find hard to leave behind.
  4. Get the brains behind the decisions. Keep your talent involved in decision-making processes to help build trust, confidence, and instinct. You will empower them and make them feel that their contributions are meaningful. In many organisations, it’s hard to find opportunities for democratic behaviour, but with some creativity, you will manage. 

What did Samm say? “It starts at the top. Clear vision, a solid culture, role missions, everyone is clear on where the company is heading, OKR's and clear objectives, and a company that provides autonomy for its team to thrive.”

Overall…

In order to recruit top talent, you must embrace trust, freedom, job perks, and transparency of opportunities, and unsurprisingly, it’s exactly the same things that you should look to achieve! 

Few&Far has always been community-focused. In light of the current situation, we want to help businesses that need good people fast and give them a chance to get ahead of the curve.

Companies often spend a fortune on a new hire which can have a big impact on their burn rate. We’ve created a better option.

Put immediate cash towards what is important. By spreading the cost over 6 months instead of a lump sum, your cash flow improves and your run rate increases.

We are confident that the candidates we place will stay with you for the long haul. If they leave at any point, you stop paying.

Sounds good? Get in touch as we would love to help you grow your business.

 

Top