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Scaling means building up talent – but how do you attract it?


Alongside revenue, increasing headcount is a main signifier of measuring growth when scaling. Attempting to attract the best talent to propel this growth is part and parcel of being a scaleup. Build up teams, build up capacity, scale up the business. 

But founders can get lured into viewing headcount numbers alone as signs of good progress. Instead, the age-old adage of ‘quality over quantity’ rings true here. It’s much more beneficial to attract fewer highly-skilled candidates that will buy into your principles, offer more value, and therefore generate more business than bringing in team members that provide less output. It’s the foundation for long-term growth. 

However, the UK is also suffering from an ongoing skills crisis in the tech sector. Because of this, attracting and nurturing new or young talent provides the platform for employees who can grow with you, be trained in the right skills, and who are more likely to stay. 

The question lies in how you attract such candidates? It’s all in how you present and market your company’s work, culture and broader values – key benchmarks for the new wave of talent.

A business-to-candidate understanding 

In order to present your company publicly to attract potential candidates, you need to evaluate from the inside first. This evaluation needs to be twofold. You need to understand your own business and team’s needs, and then join this with creating a profile of traits, skills and potential you are looking for in candidates. 

The modern world of recruiting is shifting from just relying on experience and background to identifying potential and cultural fit. Skills can be taught and honed. With traits, that becomes a much harder process. What qualities are currently missing in the team? And it’s not just about the talent, but how they will fit into your team and company. This is why it’s important to consider how you portray yourself as a business. 

This process should constantly be in flux with your changing business goals and team requirements, something that is especially apparent with scaling companies. With this approach, you can make sure your public profile mirrors this. 

Showing what you’re about

A public-facing profile allows you to display what you’re all about. Some of the main viewers to your website, blog pages and case studies will be prospective candidates. They want to catch a glimpse and insight into how you work.

Vital to this approach is a coherent identity, messaging, and approach across your website, news stories, articles and social media. Your public profile has to match up to what you represent, wherever it may be found. However, your company work, culture and values should not be treated separately – they all work in tandem with each other. 

Furthermore, if you’re offering insight on key sector news and trends – and also forming new ideas for your industry – you’re showing candidates you’re a thought leader, an innovator and one to watch. But it goes beyond this. This feeds into your overall company ethos and how you work in your sector and wider society. Work-life balance and ESG values are held in a much higher regard by candidates, for example, so clearly outline any initiatives you’re undertaking.

Tailoring your content to candidates 

When looking for specific candidates and roles at certain moments, this needs to be joined by tailored content for the type of candidate you need. Just as the hunt for funding requires an investor filter over a scaleup’s offering and ideas, this search needs a candidate one. 

Job postings are a clear representation of this. Does your post have key terms for the LinkedIn algorithm that will reach the most relevant candidates? Does it explain how the role might match what they’re looking for? What company perks might be attractive to the level of experience being advertised? It’s about providing all of this detail in a concise manner.

But it isn’t just about your job advert. Blog posts and case studies can also be created in line with current hiring requirements and business goals. You could show how an account manager has achieved certain results with their team and client(s). Or you could write about work events and social activities that may appeal to candidates. What emerges is an overall recruitment campaign that takes PR in its stride.

The bottom line

They say content is king, but your public image is too. Together they will be dispersed online and through the network you are building as you scale. It’s all connected.

Leah Jones, Deputy Managing Director at CommsCo

This article is part of a partnership with The CommsCo. For partnering opportunities, contact [email protected] or [email protected].

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