Early stage European PropTech start-ups do not have the budget of the likes of Google or Facebook to attract Talent. And that is ok. Not everyone wants to work for Google or Facebook. Some candidates genuinely want to work for a PropTech start-up where they feel they can have a real impact on the business and industry, where they can truly contribute, and their voice is heard.
The reasons why people would want to join a European PropTech start-up can be as diverse as the candidates themselves are. Of course, everyone aims for a good pay package. And sometimes pay package can be the only determining factor. However, I hear it time and time again that candidates are looking for a cultural fit and, especially in sales, a product they believe in. Depending on what stage in their career candidates are or what stage your European PropTech start-up is in, there are different reasons for candidates and start-ups to come together.
Firstly, there are graduates who may quite simply ‘fall’ into an industry by chance, based on the job offer received. Of course, there are other graduates that have the privilege and knowledge to carefully choose quite early on in their career what exactly they want to do, and they choose PropTech for the future career development opportunities it holds. These are usually the first hires for early stage European PropTech start-ups. Generally, this works until the company has anywhere between 10-20 employees. The start-ups often consist of a high-energy but low experience team at this stage.
Then comes the next growth phase which requires different kind of Talent. Below are some suggestions to help European PropTechs to attract Talent during this next growth phase.
That way it allows candidates to apply directly, even if just for ‘speculative applications’. Always build your future pipeline with potential talent. Make sure you engage with this talent pool on a regular basis and keep them updated about milestones the business reaches or other industry news that could be of interest.
European Proptech start-ups (usually) cannot compete on a salary level with more established companies. Start-ups need to highlight different strengths and attributes to attract Talent that is suited to this environment. Start-ups have much quicker decision channels in place and are innovative. Often, I hear from corporate candidates how bogged down their decision processes are and how slowly change happens and how demotivating this can be. Another benefit start-ups offer in comparison to corporates are low hierarchies and real opportunities to influence and create processes and structures. Also, small and personal teams mean your contribution counts, and you are valued as an individual. There is also the opportunity to wear many different hats, learn quickly and take on real responsibility which can be especially appealing to Graduates who want to have diverse experiences.
Maybe you are an innovative PropTech start up addressing climate challenges or other challenges faced by the Real Estate industry. Push on the point that you offer candidates the opportunity to be part of this exciting movement and influence it from a very early stage.
Companies are living and breathing structures made up of individuals. Together they form a company culture. Very early on in your journey, define what you want that company culture to be and look like and then build everything internally around those ideas, ideals and values. Do you want candour and integrity to be part of your internal culture? Then create a safe space for your people to be able to voice their opinions. Do you want team work to be an essential part of your company? Make time in everyone’s diaries for regular team catch ups, and especially for sales team put in place commission structures that encourage collaboration.
Some PropTech start-ups make up for the lack of immediate compensation by issuing shares. As this is too complex a topic to dissect in one paragraph, I will leave it at that and may pick the topic up in a separate blog.
If you do not, no one else will. Be their biggest cheerleader. Publicly celebrate your team members’ successes. Be it probationary passes, work anniversaries, birthdays, personal successes, sales successes, client reviews, other milestones, etc. Your employees will appreciate it, and nothing will cost a Proptech start-up less than appreciation. A ‘thank you’, a ‘congratulations’, a ‘well done’ goes such a long way. So, in addition to doing something good for the existing team, it is also a great and simple tool for talent attraction.
PropTech start-ups should have an ‘About us’ section on their website to showcase their existing (and growing) team, with a photo and brief intro. Not only does this make existing team members feel appreciated and important, but it also gives prospective candidates an insight into the PropTech start-up. A win-win for everyone and cost effective to set up.
These are just a few simple steps early stage European PropTech can take to attract Talent. To discuss further or for assistance with your Talent needs, feel free to reach out!
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