Following the recent launch of the four-day week trial for UK employees, it’s clear the recruitment landscape and candidates’ expectations are changing following the pandemic.
But what else can we do to attract top talent to our industry? Polly Barnes, commercial director at Riskhub, explores how having a clear purpose that improves people’s lives can support business recruitment.
It’s no secret that purpose-driven companies are rewarded with more loyalty from their customers and employees. People are more focused on being socially- and environmentally-conscious and are making better-informed decisions about who they work for, as well as where they spend their money.
We are in a buoyant job market and we want to keep our talented employees not just working for us, but also working with us. With candidates having high expectations when it comes to flexibility, salaries and benefits, we need to look at what else we, as employers, can offer. We expect companies to offer something distinctive and rewarding to retain top talent, and in turn, expect the talent to stay loyal to us because they not only feel valued but also have a sense of purpose.
What do we mean by purpose? We all need jobs, but why are we working in the housing sector when there are thousands of other avenues open?
I think it’s because we’re united by a desire to improve the lives of everyday people. That might seem a stretch when we’re bogged down with day-to-day work, but if you scratch beneath the surface, it’s not hard to see how important our work is to uphold some of the most fundamental values of our society and help make it a better place for others.
At Riskhub, we provide the UK’s leading compliance data management platform to social housing providers, and this is something we are incredibly proud of. In the hopes of inspiring and attracting top talent, we talk about why we do what we do, not just what we do. We want to ensure candidates buy into our business for the right reasons, and in turn, we aim to retain good people and allow them to grow with us.
Despite working with data and developing software, we also thrive on real-world connections. We ensure that we remain mindful that housing sector data is not just a set of numbers on a spreadsheet, but rather vital information about safety, structure and the homes people live in.
We stand behind the software we’ve developed because it makes a real difference in people’s lives. Our customer feedback indicates that we really simplify companies’ compliance data, removing the risk of error and stress with how we handle risk assessment data. The work we do could save lives.
We hope the people that choose to work for us are proud of this purpose and ultimately want to help us reach our goals and ambitions. We try to weave that throughout our culture and will always be looking for ways to relate our everyday tasks and responsibilities back to why we are doing them.
Communication is the cornerstone of every business, and this means working hard to make sure it feels easy, no matter what life throws at us, whether people are in the office full-time or working more flexibly. We’re mindful of celebrating the small successes, building relationships and reiterating our ‘why’, regardless of what form it takes – something that is more important now than ever. But we can always get better, and you can never rest when you’re trying to cultivate a thriving, purpose-driven business.
Retaining top talent
Working in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business, from sales and marketing to product and support, everyone touches a part of every project. When we make even the smallest of updates which move a customer’s business forward or make someone’s life easier, the entire team knows about it. This makes the team feel valued, seen and celebrated. They understand what we are doing and why it matters – it is essentially motivating.
And when we say everyone, we mean everyone; finance, HR, facilities, support, product development—it goes on. You can’t release a successful update without every person doing their part, and it’s surprising just how many companies forget the importance of that interconnection as they grow. And most of the time, it can be as simple as acknowledging the work and saying, “Thank you, great job.”
So, whether you’re hiring IT professionals within your housing organisation, finding technology partners to help you solve a problem or are a technology company in our sector, we all have a unifying, real-world purpose in common; our business is people’s homes, and making their lives easier or safer.
We can and should be able to attract fresh new thinking and talent into our sector from diverse corners of the market and drive improvements for the future because this is ‘technology for good’, and there are some unbelievably talented people out there who I know will share that passion.
Because although not always directly, we are all working towards a better society through everything we do. That is our purpose, whether we realise it or not. We must get it right, and spread the word to bring the right people in. How motivating is that?
Polly Barnes is the commercial director at RiskHub.