The Most Powerful Recruiting Strategy Isn’t A Perk — It’s Inclusion!

Art by Makeda via Instagram — Model is Thomjana

You’ve probably been there before. You’ve finally arrived at the office with a startup you have been closely following. Before the interview, a proud member of the team takes you on the all too familiar office tour. They show you their new tea bot, the snack room, the fully stocked beer fridge and they take you to the heart of their office — the ping pong table. We often hear about hiring millennials and delivering on the things that they want. Well, here’s the thing. Millennials aren’t the only talented folks out there and even if they were — we are in our 30’s now — ping pong and free beer are great but it won’t pay the bills. So how do you serve up some perks that will make a big impact? Think about perks with purpose.

It’s no secret that even today’s top companies are struggling with attracting the best and brightest to join their teams. With the growing freelance economy, the rise of remote work and people going international for work — attracting awesome talent is hard. Not being able to hire the right folks fast enough is a serious challenge that today’s startup founder face. Some companies do better than others with this.

So, what can we do about it? Is there a tool to help? Well, I get this question often and the answer is; inclusion. Building an inclusive workplace and sharing what makes your company inclusive externally will beat out perks — any damn day.

Personal Growth > Ping Pong

Offering perks that will positively impact folks’ lives in and potentially outside of the office is a great place to start. Think about sending your folks on international conferences to up their skills. Bring in a meditation coach to help people practice mindfulness and meditation. Or support them in levelling up their skills with an educational budget with my friends from The New School of Finance to lead a workshop on all things money + finances.

Image via Taxcollection

Flexible Hours

I’ve never been on a call with a candidate and had them ask for set hours that don’t allow for flexibility. Could you imagine? No matter your situation in today’s competitive talent market this is beyond table stakes it’s a lifesaver for folks looking to get a handle on work-life balance. Whether you are looking to attract new parents to your workplace, folks living outside of the city, or talent that work multiple jobs to make ends meet — this is important.

Inclusive Benefits

Benefits are boring but so important and even more so for some than others. The unfortunate truth is it’s one of the least talked about and shared pieces of the employee experience. We know the companies that offer cool work perks and dynamic cultures. But, do we know what companies offer the best benefits? For some, this is incredibly important because they may be living with something that requires the support of s strong benefits plan. So, why don’t we share it? A quick way to make your company more inclusive is taking a look at your benefits plan and seeing how it supports everyone. Maybe even ask folks within your org. How they feel about it. What next? Talk about it and share it publicly. Candidates interviewing with your company shouldn’t have to wait to know what your benefits are. Share them on your careers/team/culture page.

Accessible Spaces

Workplaces today often ignore the needs of disabled people. Offices, like many places in the world, aren’t always accessible to people with disabilities. Most companies could make some quick fixes to make their workplace more accessible. Something as simple as moving a printer to a table that you can reach from a chair, offering gender-neutral facilities, bringing in interpreters for town halls. Ensure your office is accessible to the employees that work there is important. Building an inclusive workplace for folks who are considering joining your team is a great way to attract talent.

Floating Holidays

Not everyone celebrates Christmas or Easter. If you are looking to attract and hire diverse folks it’s important to support varying cultural and religious backgrounds by offering floating holidays. How to do this? The solution to this isn’t offering unlimited time off — that’s not what I am talking about here. Also, I fundamentally disagree with unlimited time off here’s a great read as to why. What I’m saying is offer a standard amount of time off and let people take it off as they please (check out this read about it here). This is a great way to stand out to candidates.

Support Remote Work (after COVID too!)

For me, working remotely allows me to manage my commute, focus on creative projects and have the ability to catch the best body pump class and skip sitting in morning traffic. This is particularly important for people from underrepresented communities. Disabled or semi-retired folks who may be interested in removing workplace challenges. For working parents, this could save them a few extra hours of commuting a week or allow them to stay home with a sick child — guilt-free.

Diverse representation in leadership

People are looking and watching. The sad truth is it’s hard to be what you cannot see. I feel like a broken record on behalf of the community that continues to talk about this. Promote and hire diverse folks into leadership. Perhaps the points shared above will help you do so!

Parental Leave

Building and sharing your parental leave plan isn’t only important for folks who have a family it’s important for people planning to have a family as well. The sad truth is bias of all forms exists in the interview process and it’s because of this that women in particular fear asking about the parental leave policy early on in the interview process. The parental playbook was onto something when they put a call out to startup land in Toronto. What did they do? They asked Toronto startups to take the pledge to share their parental leave policy. Do you share yours?

Image via Taxcollection

All of this is great. But, now what?

One thing to remember: Share what you offer externally

This is the single most important takeaway from this post. Build an inclusive environment through how you hire, who you hire and what you offer them but be sure to share what you offer externally. Post your benefits plan, parental leave policy, vacation policy, compensation philosophy and not just a picture of your beer fridge. Not everyone will feel comfortable asking about everything I’ve mentioned above. A great way to attract talented folks to join your team show them everything you’ve put in place to build a truly inclusive environment. Trust me, it works.

Keep blooming,

Avery

One more thingAt Bloom, we support companies who aren’t ready to hire a full-time HR or Talent but need the leadership on an interim basis. We do the nitty-gritty foundational work like implementing the best tech, tools and processes that are infused with your org’s values. Read this article and still need help? Bloom’s here for you. Book a no-obligation intro call with us to ask more questions and learn how we can help you out as much, or as little, as you need. Book a call with me, Avery, here.

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