How we attract and retain talent
Hiring and retaining talent is something that can keep most business owners and leaders awake at night. As the Head of Digital Consulting at Webprofits, it is something that I’m continually thinking about. We’re a Digital Consultancy so a lot of what we do relies on our people performance, and this is something lots of business have in common.
In this video I will share some of the tactics we use for both attracting but also retaining talent.
I have one caveat, the reality is however much you try, you can’t keep everyone forever.
Our average tenure at Webprofits is 3 years. And for a young talented, hungry team this is something we are proud of.
So what do we do?
The two primary areas we focus on are Learning, and Culture.
Now whilst they might just sound like buzzwords, we have specific frameworks in place for each of these areas.
Learning and development
Learning and Development is a core function of the Webprofits team, not only does it help deliver excellent results for clients but it attracts talent and we know from feedback from our team a key reason for years of commitment with us. I’ll start with 4 tactics on learning:
We have built our own custom training plans that are based around a structured pairing system. Pairing is whereby two consultants join together to focus on one task, one will lead and tackle the work on their computer with the other shadowing, asking questions and refining the work. Training via pairing ensures the information is kept up to date in a fast paced environment and changing landscape. It is also hands-on, interactive and fosters camaraderie.
2) Shared knowledge
Sharing of knowledge and resources, in the world of digital things move fast, and there is an overwhelming amount of content and resources to read daily. We use Slack to curate this content and have setup specific channels for different skill areas whereby the team can curate and share content they find that is relevant and engaging. In this way the team collaborate and share valuable resources to learn from daily.
3) Training workshops
Last year we started running Friday afternoon training workshops, these were setup to give individuals the opportunity to present to the team and also to share a speciality skill set. These workshops have proven to be invaluable for the team who not only get to learn something new in but also for the individual to improve their own presentation skills.
4) Applicant testing
At the hiring stage, we have also initiated a test for all applicants relevant to their area of speciality. We have found this to be of great value, as it immediately sets apart candidates who have the same shared mindset for learning and development. Plus it indicates their passion for work.
Now looking to how we manage and build Culture.
In the digital agency world, you’ll read on every site there is a ‘work hard play hard’ culture etc, and whilst this might be the case, what does it really mean?
Here are 4 tactics that we implement to create a powerful culture
1) Passion for learning
Building on the first area I spoke to – learning and development – we hire people who love learning. Smart, driven individuals thrive in an environment of other smart driven people.
2) Non-work team events
We invest time in activities outside of the work done at desks and in meeting rooms, such as team events and outings, along with an annual conference. Getting to know your colleagues outside of work does help build stickiness and through this, we have built a lot of lasting friendships.
3) Transparent communication
Transparent communication on a daily basis is another. Each morning we do a daily stand up within each team to help everyone connect, share priorities but also identify anything they need help on. We also share good news on a Monday which sets a tone for the week ahead.
Further to this, we run a weekly team meeting to cover off wins and departmental updates but we also talk to topics that aren’t going so well. Owning these things in a public forum goes a long way than sending an email update.
4) No ego environment
We foster the culture of no ego. Reality is that everything can always be done better and as a company, we strive for that. We embrace a team where everyone is encouraged to speak up and identify when something needs to be improved or changed or scrapped. As a result, people get to take responsibility to run their time and projects. Ownership and responsibility has proven essential in retaining great talent.
I’ve shared these insights as a topic close to my heart, and one I am also keen to open up a conversation about. These are just some tactics and ideas, and I am keen to hear more!
My final thought, however much you try all of these things, the individual must have and share a passion for the business and their work otherwise it will always be a big uphill battle. I’m super proud of our team, and our alumnae, but it’s something we’ll be working on always.