Scaling your Start-up…
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Gabriella Steed

A key driver for your start-up’s success is to attract amazing people – your growth depends on it. If you don’t? You risk being part of the percentile of start-ups that fail due to hiring ill-suited talent. Every new hire has the ability to completely transform the DNA of your seed stage, and so in order to keep hold of your vision, you need to attract top tier talent , cultivating your ultimate dream team. How?

 Master the art of Storytelling

Reporting forecasted figures depicting your start-up’s potential growth trajectory is not sexy, but developing a good story is. Stories emotionalise information, they capture people’s attention and allow people to connect with the core message in a more meaningful way. Everyone has a story to share, and this is no different for brands. Sure, for big well-known brands, their name alone is enough to attract and engage top tier talent. Start-up’s, on the other hand, have not yet built that rapport – they are simply a concept. Luckily enough, scaling a start-up has great storytelling potential; you can answer the ‘why’ for your business/product and the journey you are required to take in order to meet your vision. Simply put, the more compelling your story is, the more likely top talent will be drawn to your business – because who doesn’t love a good story?

 How should your story be told?

Create a connection | Humans are hard-wired to connect. Connection builds trust, and so it is key when seeking to attract top tier talent to invest their time and skills within a newly developed territory. Candidates are flooded with options. In order to stand out and separate your start-up from the mediocre, it is vital to connect with your audience. To do this, you need to consider the reasons why you feel connected to your mission and bring this to life when you start to articulate your story and engage with potential employees. Your comms must spark feelings of warmth and purpose, providing a window into the culture of your newly formed business. Candidates should be able to learn more about your business by learning more about you and start to recognise how their values can align well with the company. According to Indeed, 65% of job seekers feel connected to a business whose mission and values resonate with their own. Think about the type of candidates you are looking to acquire and let your story spark the attention of these individuals. If you are looking for like-minded go-getters, then the underlying content/tone of your story needs to depict this.

Intertwine conflict | For any great start-up to succeed, you need to attract great problem-solvers. Your story must elegantly demonstrate the problems and challenges the business aims to solve as well as the setbacks you are required to overcome in order to reach your goal. Showing vulnerability will allow people to connect on a personal level. Average candidates will fear the obstacles, great candidates, however will see this as an opportunity and will stay locked into your story. And that is exactly what you want. Conflict highlight the importance of your business, drawing closer to your real purpose and mission. These will answer the all-important ‘why’s’. ‘Why’ does the business exist and ‘why’ should you come and work for me.

Introduce the characters to your story | Behind every compelling business proposition is an individual/group of inventors. Introduce these people. Everyone loves to match the face behind an idea, again creating that all important connection. Explain who these people are, what their career journey has looked like and why are they here today. Consider the use of videos or pictures to bring life to the people behind your start-up. By doing this, you will attract like-minded people, building your ultimate dream team.

 Why is this so powerful?

There is a great deal of science surrounding the changes that occur in our brains when we hear a good story. Without getting into the nitty gritty biological changes, put simply – when we listen to a story our brain releases a bonding hormone, causing us to really care about the people involved. Listening to facts , however, does not evoke the same neural activity, reducing the likelihood of retaining that information. If you want candidates to remember your employer brand, then storytelling is your friend.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, contact me on [email protected]

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