These Startups Have Cracked The Code Of Talent Attraction In A Tight Labor Market

These Startups Have Cracked The Code Of Talent Attraction In A Tight Labor Market
What does it take to attract and retain talent during The Great Reshuffle? These startups are showing the world how it’s done.
  • LinkedIn’s list of Top Startups is showing how to attract and retain talent during The Great Reshuffle. 
  • Moving away from traditional perks, these startups are fostering personal growth by providing mentorships, job rotations, upskilling, training programs, and tuition reimbursement. 
  • Allwork.Space spoke to Jessi Hempel, LinkedIn Senior Editor at Large, to learn what these startups are doing right and how they are approaching the future of work. 

LinkedIn recently published the results of its U.S. Top Startups List. The list is part of the LinkedIn List Franchise, an editorial series that celebrates professionals and companies making an impact in the future of work. 

To be eligible for the U.S. Top Startups list, a company must be independent and privately held, have at least 50 employees, be no more than seven years old, be headquartered in the U.S., and have a minimum of 15% employee growth over the time period.  

There are four pillars to the ranking: 

  1. Employment growth 
  2. Engagement with the company and its employees 
  3. Job interest  
  4. Ability to attract talent from companies on the LinkedIn Top Companies List (mind you, not an easy feat in an already tight labor market).  

The Top 10 U.S. Startups  

  1. Better.com 
  2. Gong 
  3. Glossier 
  4. Discord 
  5. Brex 
  6. Clubhouse 
  7. Attentive 
  8. Youth to the People 
  9. Outreach 
  10. MikMak  

What Are These Startups Doing Right? 

According to LinkedIn, “these startups are not just industry innovators, but they’re also leading the way through the ‘Great Reshuffle’.”  

The Great Reshuffle, according to LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslanksy is “a talent migration that’s bigger than anything we’ve seen before. (…) it’s an unprecedented moment in the history of work where all of us are rethinking not just how we work, by why we work. (…) More people will be doing work they love at companies they feel passionate about, leading to greater success for organizations who engage their employees with empathy and trust.” 

As people align their passions and purpose with what they do, it’s become increasingly challenging for companies to attract, engage, and retain top (skilled) talent.  

What are these startups doing right to attract talent that prioritizes flexibility and fulfillment rather than a paycheck

Allwork.Space spoke with LinkedIn Senior Editor at Large, Jessi Hempel, to learn how these startups are approaching the future of work, their policies on remote work, and the perks and benefits they are offering to prioritize employee wellbeing.  

Allwork.Space: With the “great resignation” well underway, how are these startups attracting and retaining top talent?  

Jessi Hempel: Employees are in the driver’s seat right now and are able to ask for what they want and need at work — with many wanting the flexibility to work when and where they want. The companies on this year’s Top Startups list are not only embracing remote-first and hybrid approaches for the foreseeable future, but they’re also providing WFH stipends, increased mental health benefits, virtual trainings, upskilling opportunities, and more. 

Allwork.Space: Can you provide some examples of the benefits the companies in the list are offering employees?  

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    To attract and retain employees, Top Startups are offering benefits that support and help foster growth, like mentorship, job rotations, upskilling, training programs, and tuition reimbursement. 

    For example:  

    • Gong will offer more flexibility for hybrid and remote roles and has shifted employee benefits with new workforce/workplace dynamics including WFH stipends, mental health benefits, weekly meditation, and fitness classes. They also offer an annual educational stipend ($750/employee/year), and a new “co-pilot” program in which employees shadow CEO Amit Bendov for a day.   
    • Discord, for its part, is designing a location-agnostic future of work that will involve an office setting for some (but not all), prioritizing results over physical location, rather than focusing on return to an office.   
    • Glossier offers employees “mental escape days” and provides WFH stipends, a wellness fund for all employees, and a revamped benefits program with telemedicine services and mental health counseling.   
    • Brex’s Mentorship Marketplace matches company leaders and employees for six months for professional development, and the bi-annual Brex Pods program matches peers of four employees across the company to discuss career growth, learn from others, and set goals. 
    • Better offers a range of benefits from supporting career aspirations to fertility planning.  

    Allwork.Space: There have been various reports about skills shortage and skills gaps. How are these startups ensuring that the talent they hire have the right set of skills?  

    We’re seeing a big focus on soft skills like communication, resilience, agility, and proactive problem solving. Many of the companies offer training to help their employees continue to grow their skills on the job, and most ask pointed interview questions to get to the heart of what makes a good employee for their company. 

    A couple of interview questions these companies are asking to find the right fit are: 

    • What makes you committed and feel passionate about a job? 
    • In this new remote world, what types of work interactions have kept you most engaged with your colleagues? 

    Allwork.Space: Speaking about skills, are these startups looking at college degrees, certifications, or experience? 

    Most of the Top Startups do not require college degrees, and instead are looking for experience, capability, and the willingness to learn. 

    Allwork.Space: Upskilling and reskilling have become a priority in the future of work agenda, especially considering the skills gap. What type of training are these startups offering new and existing employees? 

    The Top Startups offer training to employees across levels and areas, with many providing leadership and coaching programs, executive shadowing and job rotations, diversity and inclusion education, and soft skill development around communication and decision-making.  

    Some examples of how these startups are helping upskill and reskill employees for the future include:  

    • Glossier has partner programs with leadership experts ThinkHuman which offer manager training and a leadership and coaching program. They also have Performance Paradigm programs, which offer experiential DEI education and training.  
    • Discord offers training in leadership/management, career skills, D&I, and mental health. The company also trains managers to enhance the development of their employees through a goal-setting process that aims for progress over perfection. 
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