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Retaining talent is becoming increasingly challenging in today’s startup landscape. Startup Daily asked an Australian unicorn, a rising fintech star and a modern HR platform how they do it.

One of the hottest topics in the Australian and New Zealand startup ecosystem today is talent.

Employee priorities have changed with The Great Resignation (or Reshuffle, as we’ve come to see it since). Teams are more scattered than ever. Combine that with the pandemic talent shortage and more recent market decline, and you’ve got a storm of reasons why it’s getting harder and harder to retain great talent.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Startup Daily recently hosted a webinar, The Great Retain: How to Retain Your Best Talent Now, in cooperation with HR platform Hi Bob, to see how the best of the best retain talent right now. Our panel included:

Damien AndreasenCountry Manager of Hi Bob for Australia and New Zealand, one of the world’s fastest growing HR technology companies. The platform ensures productivity, engagement and retention for modern and mid-sized companies around the world, and locally for companies such as Airtasker, Seer, PEXA and Novatti.

Anna Wenngren, Chief People Officer at SafetyCulture, a global technology company valued at $2.2 billion AUD in 2021. Since Anna joined in March 2020, SafetyCulture has grown from 300 to 550 people and has received ‘Best Place to Work’ recognition on four continents.

Lucy Chisholm is the HR leader of Zeller, an Australian financial services and payment technology company. Zeller’s team has grown with more than 100 employees in the past 12 months.

They shared valuable insights about employee engagement, company culture and initiatives and incentives that drive loyalty. Read the highlights below or watch the full webinar here – registration is free:

Transparency in uncertain times

According to Damien, companies are doubling down and taking a closer look at their strategies. One of the biggest concerns for any company and every employee right now is the stability of their job and their business.

“Nobody really knows where the market is right now,” Damien says. “Maybe we’re all waiting for the second shoe to drop, but it feels like a bit of a pause and a big breather until we understand where it’s all going.”

Lucy van Zeller says it’s now even more important to be transparent about where the company is during the interview process because people are asking questions.

“We’ve been very transparent with our existing team and everyone who comes in,” she says. “They can see that we’re full steam ahead, but we’re also really aware that there’s pressure in the market and we’re talking to people about it.”

When it’s about retaining great tech talent, Lucy says one of the most common blind spots for founders and leaders is nothing but hire for skills.

“We’ve had a lot of success when we hired 80 percent of the skills, for example, and then we really dig deep into what their attitude is like,” explains Lucy. “Do they have a great attitude and a growth mindset?”

Anna van SafetyCulture adds that the companies with retention problems normally stem from: a lack of transparency within the team.

“The more you can be transparent with talent about what’s really going on in the organization before they join, it really lets them come in open-eyed about issues that need solving,” she says. “It’s very important if you want to keep great people, then you have to really live and breathe all the things that you claim to be as a company and the values ​​that you hang on the wall, all those things and make sure that there is also a felt experience. of it.”

Improving employee engagement

With the globalized nature of the tech industry and hybrid working conditions, engagement here, there and everywhere has just become a little more challenging with teams.

According to the experts, the solution lies in a free flow of communication and semi-regular retrospectives to realign vision and strategy.

“You may be able to attract people with huge paychecks, but when the going gets tough, it’s not the people who stand behind the company and get you through those tougher times,” warns Anna.

Damien pulls a leaf out of his own book and attributes the teams’ positive engagement with HiBob to the platform itself.

“A year ago I was onboard remotely – 80 percent of my team I built here was onboard remotely. And we use Bob [the HRIS – or HR tech platform] as a central place to come together,” says Damien.

The platform is used by HR professionals and managers who work seamlessly and more productively with modern and medium-sized organizations. It has features specific to milestone recognition, as well as bundling workflow, payroll, timesheets, performance management, and real-time analytics in one place.

“It puts some of the control back in the hands of the employees who want to feel involved,” explains Damien.

At Zeller, Iearning and developing is an important area for driving employee engagement. In the past 12 months, Zeller has introduced a fee for anyone to explore an area of ​​their professional development.

“The team member says, ‘This is what I’d like to explore and learn more about,’” says Lucy. “And then the leader and myself will come in and support them where necessary.”

Making connections meaningful and value-driven

With the workforce rethinking why they get up to work every day and how they want to do it, the role of company values ​​cannot be underestimated. These days, it’s not just about the salary transaction conversation – emerging workers are looking for a purpose.

“It’s about being connected to the mission of the results and showing that people are still achieving goals they have and also feel supported in the role,” says Damien.

He adds: “We’re talking more about bringing the authentic self to work and if that’s the case… then there will be a mix between professional and personal. So supporting those two aspects and making sure everyone has real connections is a real key I think.

With more people returning to the office, Lucy is encouraging companies like hers to offer flexibility and balance with working from home.

“We’re pretty excited to see what we can accomplish in person, given what we’ve accomplished by working remotely,” she says. “We just keep listening to our team. We will ask them for feedback.”

According to Anna, the focus on “partnership over police work” has been the biggest shift she’s seen in Human Resources in the past 20 years. Like Zeller, SafetyCulture has recently invested in building a workspace that reflects the company’s values ​​and philosophy.

“We wanted to create a space where people really wanted to be in that inspired creativity,” Anna says. “We’ve left it up to the teams to figure out what hybrid means to them and what they know what to achieve.”

Something the panel can agree on is that while hybrid working has introduced a sense of freedom to employees everywhere, it’s important not to get stuck in your comfort zone — no matter how tempting your Ugg Boots and tracksuit are.

As Anna puts it so aptly: “Don’t be rigid about flexibility.”

Watch the full webinar further down this page or on The Great Retain: How to Retain Your Best Talent Now.

Learn more about HiBob’s modern HR platform for productivity, retention and engagement and request a demo here.


This article is brought to you by Startup Daily in association with HiBob.

Feature image: Included.

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