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Building A Winning Start-up Team By Attracting, Retaining, and Developing Top Talent

Data-driven approach can be critical in ensuring high retention and engagement rates of employees through periodic assessment of performance through digital tools

Building A Winning Start-up Team By Attracting, Retaining, and Developing Top Talent
POSTED ON July 30, 2023 2:28 PM

All start-up founders begin their entrepreneurial journey with a vision of disrupting their chosen ecosystem through innovative solutions or leveraging the latest technologies. There is hardly any doubt that start-ups, particularly those from India, have proven their ability to create value for consumers and transform particular sectors. 

Further, if monetary value is considered, it is estimated that major unicorns in the start-up circle of the country have created wealth of over $300 billion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned this in his Mann Ki Baat radio program last May: "One unicorn means a start-up of at least Rs 7,500 crore turnover. The total valuation of these unicorns is $330 billion, that is over Rs 25 lakh crore. Surely it is a matter of pride for every Indian."

However, not all start-ups achieve the heights and goals they are meant to. Having an efficient and committed team of professionals is a prerequisite for any organisation’s success, and start-ups are no exception to this. 

Since start-ups specialise in innovating pre-existing business processes and procedures through digitalisation and the latest technology, data-driven technologies could also drastically improve the team-building exercise. 

Data Analytics Makes All The Difference 

The start-up ecosystem is often full of fierce competition among top enterprises. Hence, attracting, recruiting, developing, and retaining key people could be quite challenging. 

However, a data-driven approach could be quite successful in addressing such challenges. It helps recruiters in engaging the best candidates that suit their mission and vision. 

Let’s look at how the food delivery sector manages its talent, especially its fluid fleet drivers and gig workers. Market leaders like Zomato and Swiggy have successfully introduced data-driven techniques for building efficient teams and managing the workforce. 

As per industry reports, both companies have a substantial workforce, anywhere between 4000 to 5000 employees. Moreover, they constantly deal with the threat of high employee turnover. 

Swiggy uses sophisticated data analytics in its recruitment process to streamline hiring and ensure they onboard individuals who are a great fit for the company culture

Zomato has introduced weekly anonymous surveys to tackle it, creating a safe space for employees to voice their opinions and concerns. The insights derived from these surveys were crucial in shaping company policies, leading to an improved work environment. 

Swiggy, on the other hand, uses sophisticated data analytics in its recruitment process to streamline hiring and ensure they bring on board individuals who are a great fit for the company culture. Using these tech tools, the food aggregator platform has created accurate job descriptions, identified the right platforms for recruitment, and shortened the hiring cycle.

The tussle for employee engagement does not end after hiring the correct person for a position. In fact, it is even more critical for a start-up to ensure that it retains the employee for a substantial period. 

In the hospitality industry, OYO has introduced a mechanism to address the critical issue of employee attrition. The company identifies patterns and potential reasons for employee exits by analysing turnover data. Hence, the company can be proactive in its approach to develop measures that help increase employee satisfaction and engagement. 

Employees' Progress Analysis

As per a survey reported by Lorman, around 76 per cent of employees feel more connected and engaged with an enterprise when it provides them with learning and skill development opportunities. 

When a start-up hires top talent, it is critical to focus on the skill development of such employees and executives. Using a data-driven approach can be more effective for organisational learning, making it easier for decision-makers to track employee progress. 

Let us consider the example of edtech UpGrad, which has introduced a well-designed learning management system (LMS) for promoting in-house training and development of employees. It offers personalised learning paths, tracks progress, and provides feedback, enabling a continuous learning environment. 

UpGrad introduced a well-designed learning management system to promote in-house training and development of employees

This system, combined with UpGrad's strong learning culture, has proven successful in keeping employees engaged, fostering innovation, and promoting a growth mindset.

Another data-driven approach that could be critical in ensuring high retention and engagement rates of employees is through periodic assessment of performance through digital tools. Such an approach eliminates any chances of bias in the review system and ensures that an enterprise has enough time to take corrective action against underperforming employees. 

For instance, Flipkart has a performance review system that is based on individual data related to the employees. The company also strongly focuses on goal-setting, where each employee's objectives are linked to the broader organisational goals.

Introduction Of Predictive Analysis

Crystal balls could be quite efficient in looking at the future for psychics, but unfortunately, companies rely on data-based solid forecasts and numbers. 

Hidden data and patterns within hiring choices, performance reviews and employee engagement surveys can help employers make strategic, evidence-based decisions about the future. The usage of predictive analysis in all core business processes has increased by almost 50 per cent in the past three years, according to a 2022 SkyQuest Technology survey.

ShakeDeal, a Bengaluru-based supply chain start-up, has effectively introduced predictive analysis in understanding cultural fit and undertaken the entire employee screening process. The process is faster, swifter and eliminates any redundancy in hiring and employee engagement processes. 

In the complex and dynamic world of start-ups, particularly those in India, data-driven technology is emerging as the game changer. It's redefining how these young organisations attract, recruit, develop, and retain their most important asset—their people. 

By leveraging data, start-ups are overcoming significant challenges and positioning themselves for long-term success. There are numerous examples where Indian start-ups have successfully leveraged data analytics for different HR-related functions. This is something that could be reciprocated and adopted by businesses across different spheres. 

-Param Bhargava Co-founder of T.A.C- The Ayurveda Co. 

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