Tech startups are thriving in the digital age, with innovation, branding, and talent. What makes these young companies such a magnet? They’re accessible, appreciative, accepting and inclusive.
Starting a tech company 15 plus years ago did not necessarily catapult it, with one click, one keyword, onto the stage of the global marketplace. Digital branding was still infantile at best, even with strides in connectivity, people still were not as connected as they are today. Facebook and Twitter, were game changers in brand building, connections, and networking. They are the social media giants that allow businesses to get up close and personal with their most important stakeholders, employees, and consumers. They created an avenue for small businesses to compete on a global scale with more mature companies.
Sidebar: I love Google but when it comes to marketing, G+ is not the place, (Probably the only area Google needs to conform to the masses, G#). Sorry, I digress.
It is not the beer culture and ping pong tables that attract talent to startups, it is the hunger to do something differently, something impactful. It is the quest to be authentic and still be accepted. It is the willingness to be relevant. It is the accountability, accessibility, and appreciation of all the stakeholders, employees and consumers alike. Startups seem to get it, understanding that in order to compete in an ever –changing, global marketplace, they have to value ALL of their brand ambassadors.
Accessibility in a fast-paced world is a great thing. When so many are overlooked, in the hustle and bustle of everyday living and someone takes the time to connect with your company, don’t you think that warrants more than a canned response? Shouldn’t there be some degree of genuine availability? I think startups understand that level of appreciation. It’s not that mature companies do not appreciate their prospective or the current workforce, some are just bound by old business models on a new playing field and struggling to be relevant.
How mature organizations catch up to startups.
It all starts with the candidate experience:
1. The candidate/employee experience should be just as pleasant as the consumer experience from start to finish. You wouldn’t have a 7-page application for a customer then leave them in your “database” abyss for 200 days, finally sending them a chained email telling them that the product is no longer available? What do you think that stakeholder would say about your company? How do you think they would brand you?
2. The Job Description- In a world of 140 characters, why is your job description a book? The longer the description, the more is expected in benefits, perk and salary. Try to keep this list balanced. My rule of thumb one 2-3 sentence paragraph, 3-4 non-negotiables, 2-3 nice-to-have, 2 bullets of education/experience, then perks/benefits/salary. The war on talent is over, talent has won, it is no longer why should I hire you but now, “why should I work for you”? That answer starts with appreciation.
Acceptance: One Size Does Not Fit All
The issue is not with diversity, as each one experiences life differently so in that fact, we are all diverse. The issue lies with acceptance and inclusion. If two are the same, one is not needed and no one grows. We not only need to have a diverse workforce but an accepting and inclusive workplace to catapult brands. The input, the different mindsets, the various outlooks are imperative to growth. It’s the reason as recruiters we look for “well-rounded” individuals but then we hire them and say… now, act like everyone else.
Inclusion and branding…
I am out and about with The Brilliant One, my partner… the place is unfamiliar but as soon as I see anything that resembles me, woman, gay, black, Mom, Nonnie, K9 Parent, there is a part of me, automatically put at ease. It answers the question, am I welcome here? So I stay a bit longer and spend a bit more. Then go back and tell my friends, we’re accepted here, we’re included here.
Accessibility, appreciation, acceptance and Inclusion are not stock photos and a blurb on a website. or newly appointed positions, rather candid conversations with all stakeholders, real people, with real stories on how the places we shop, work and live value us. That’s’ how you build brands today.
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