TechAffect readers, graduation season is upon us. Thousands of 20-somethings are trading in their Greek letters and late night library sessions for business attire and early morning wake up calls: the so-called “real world.”
According to a recent survey conducted by SimplyHired.com, a measly 4% of 2012 college graduates are interested in working for startups. When I first saw that stat, I was immediately shocked. As we here at Affect work with a lot of thriving start-ups, when I hear the word ‘startup’ I think of brilliant people behind incredible ideas, innovative business practices, out-of-the-box thinking, and laid-back working environments. Who wouldn’t want to work at a place like that? According to that survey; however, many college grads, when they think of startups, think of the lack of job security at a newly launched business.
As a startup, one of the biggest challenges can be getting quality, hard working entry-level candidates through your door. As an entry-level employee myself, I wanted to provide insight into what motivates me, and what keeps me at Affect. These tips just may help you retain the crucial entry-level talent that helps drive your business! Here are my tips:
1. Communicate the benefits of working at your organization early and often.
It took a lot to get this person through your door. Now, make sure they want to stay. Do you have a great benefits package? Are there weekly happy hours that the team participates in? Understand what differentiates your company culture from the rest, and make sure your new employees are excited about it.
2. Take the time to train (and train well).
Despite your new employee’s outstanding qualities, don’t assume that they know how your company works. Make sure to schedule ongoing training on everything from how meetings are scheduled to the long-term vision and goals of the company. It will save you time and money in the end if you take the time to thoroughly train new employees now.
3. Make sure they know, and understand, their new responsibilities inside and out.
Your company should have a detailed responsibilities sheet, outlining exactly what is expected of everyone. Make sure your new employees understand what is expected of them on a daily, monthly, even annual basis, and how they can go above and beyond that. They should also be able to see the responsibilities sheet of someone in a lower position (possibly an intern), and someone in a higher position. They should know precisely what it takes to move up in the company.
4. Provide them with structure, and with the tools to help them organize their To-Do list.
Being new to any company is stressful – much less a fast-moving startup – and the pressures of a full-time work schedule are often a drastic change from the freedoms of college. Provide new employees with examples of how people in the office stay organized among the chaos, and check up on how they’re prioritizing their To-Do list. From post-its and categorized notebooks to Wunderlist and a color-coded Gmail calendar, give them time to figure out what works best for them.
5. Recognize and reward hard work and results.
It’s important to praise and recognize both large and small accomplishments in your office. At Affect, we have “Kudos Cards” that are selectively given out at staff meetings to reward hard work and outstanding results. As a new employee, I was given a Kudos card for my first piece of coverage that I secured for a client. It was a small accomplishment in the big picture of the agency, but my supervisor knew how much it meant to me, and to our client. Rewarding employees in front of others helps to reinforce the action, and motivate other employees to stay on their ‘A game.’
If you’ve just hired new people to your company, what are steps you’re taking to motivate and retain them?