challenge of startups - hr for smes

“The challenge of startups is managing talent, not recruiting”

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That Small and Medium business struggle more when it comes to recruiting and retaining than the big multinational companies, that, we knew. We spoke about the challenge of employee retention not that far ago, and explain that sometimes is nothing you can do. However, there are plenty of issues that could be solved without a huge budget, it is all about understanding why your employees came to you in the first place and what it is that is moving them away from you.

Three companies have met this week in Barcelona to speak about this topic. Wallapop, Badi and Europcar, three companies from very different industries that have something in common. Technology.

The three companies debated at Barcelona headquarters of TBS Business School about the suitability of Barcelona as a talent magnet for their companies. In the round table, organized by LinkedIn and InnoIT, have been given advice on Human Resources to a hundred attendees. Human Resources managers of startups such as Wallapop or Badio and consolidated companies such as Europcar, have participated in a round table at TBS Business School, in which they explained why they have chosen Barcelona – and its surroundings – to set up their IT headquarters for the high quality of life in the city, which turns it into a pool of talent. They also mentioned that the greatest difficulty is not to capture the talent, but its management.

HR managers from these tech companies emphasized the need to plan the growth of a startup. Although they have also explained how they have encountered the difficulty of executing such a task, especially in the initial phases of startups they clearly stated how important this is. As an example, Leticia Castro, said that Badi is still in a primary phase, and that being an startup that has just started “There are more objectives in the medium term than in the long term”. Even so, Castro also pointed out that the good thing about this situation is that a “less complex and more fluid” hierarchy can be adopted.

Stéphanie Giol also spoke about the difficulties when she started at Wallapop: “The first year and a half was very chaotic because we had to grow really fast, now we are in a phase where we can plan our growth”. Andrés Spitzer mentioned how the organization in Europcar works: “We work with small business units so there is no disruption between them”.

The round table discussed the need in the IT field to recruit the profiles that are as specific as possible to cover jobs when the startup starts a phase of stability at the end of its explosive growth. The experts also agreed that during the selection process it is valued that the talent acquired can not only meet the current needs of the company but can evolve together in line with the long-term strategy. As Leticia Castro, from Badi, explained: “When making a job offer, we must bear in mind that a person has to fit in now and in the future.”

If you currently have a team of developers you will probably know that the situation is difficult when retaining them as there is an almost 0% unemployment worldwide. They can work from home and they request it, so it is extremely complicated to create that team atmosphere amongst these teams.

Developers have become the “gold” of the talent market and most of the times they movements are done for 3 reasons.

  • Flexibility
  • Money
  • The technology in the project.

I have had the opportunity to recruit many developers in my professional life and I have discovered that most of the times their greatest concern is to become obsolete or to work in a project that will not grant them the next job.

If you are having problems with a team, make sure your technology is up to date and the project is interesting enough for them. Make an effort in training them and they will appreciate it. I can not promise they will stay, but it will help for sure 🙂