Attracting Employees When You’re Not Attractive

author: Zack Georgiou

LinkedIn (and social media in general) is a strange world.

It’s a world where we tend to show the best of ourselves, our businesses and our working environment. I’m guilty of this. Almost everyone I know is guilty of this. And, the chances are, so are you.

But what happens to new businesses who are competing for the same tech talent without such glamorous locations, office spaces and perks? How can you be attracting employees when the truth is: you’re just not that attractive?

Twice the learning in half the time

Lack of resources is a headache for businesses, but if you’re clever you can use this to your advantage. Whilst you may not be able to offer some of the benefits larger companies can, you can offer ambitious developers the chance to learn at a faster rate. The fact that your team is likely to be smaller means more exposure to new technology than bigger companies with rows and rows of developers.

But it’s important to be clear about this with new hires from the outset. We want them to feel empowered, not thrown in the deep end.

The best things in life are free (ish)

A good working relationship between employees will create a positive environment. It can make an office turn into a place people are excited to get back to rather than dread come Monday morning.

Some of the best places I’ve worked went out of their way to bring staff together outside of work to create a tight bond that still exists to this day. I know several businesses in Manchester and Media City that have formed unofficial running clubs, pub quiz teams, book clubs, and five a side teams. These are all relatively low-cost activities to start but create great team cohesion.

Recognise and reward performance

Set clear, realistic goals, and reward employees when they are met and exceeded. Make sure everyone is involved rather than just the sales team. This sounds really simple, but one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from non-sales staff over the years is lack of recognition both individually and as a team. This can lead to resentment and, at worst, a ‘them and us attitude’.

How many of us have worked in businesses where tech and non-tech employees barely speak? This is simply not the case in a happy, healthy business.

Be honest

Not every business is ‘sexy’, so stop trying to be something that you’re not. Some businesses sell themselves on being a good stepping stone for young tech professionals to move onto larger, ‘cooler’ businesses. This is okay. The very nature of tech employees means that very few stay beyond 3-5 years. In reality, you don’t need them to as long as you have a great talent pool!

In fact, you can enrich your talent pool by working with universities and organisations like Manchester’s Northcoders to grab the best talent early.

If you found this article on attracting employees informative, check out some of our others here or head over to our LinkedIn!