How to Empower People and Companies, No Matter What You Sell

Attracting and retaining Top Talent

In today’s Information Age, the quest for companies to attract and retain top talent is far more difficult than ever before, and the problem rests solely on the company for the following 2 reasons:

The first reason that makes it difficult for companies is that there is an ever increasing amount of choices of where the employees can choose to spend most of their waking hours, not even mentioning the option of the employee working for themselves in the Information Age.

And the second reason is that most companies are doing nothing to better articulate or create their Own Unique Culture that would either attract or retain Top Talent.

So, as an employee, your 2 most important questions remain unanswered:

  1. What company should I choose to work for?
  2. What would it be like to work inside this company?

The Solution is pretty simple:

Attract and retain Top Talent by letting them know what it’s like to work inside your company by clearly articulating and creating and articulating your Own Unique Culture.

The place to Start:

Vision, Purpose and Values.  They are 3 out of the 5 structures with in any company or organization that create any great Culture.

Then employees and perspective employees can know, this is what they do, why they do it and what they value

Step 1

Create a Vision statement that let’s everyone know…this is what we do. If it is Grand enough, it will attract Top Talent that wants to help create the Vision. Don’t forget to make sure your Vision isn't “transaction based”…it needs to be “experience based” in order for it to truly  attract employees.

Once they are on board, the employees just keep creating, reinventing and deliver the Vision or what you do. After all, it’s something they wanted to do, and it’s what attracted them in the first place.

Step 2

Everyone wants a Purpose in their lives, so create a compelling Purpose statement that serves a higher purpose, like a purpose that would “empower people”, “make the world a better place”, “decrease the carbon footprint”… something that will really attract those that share the same sense of purpose. Make sure that your Purpose compliments your Vision and is in alignment with it.

This will give the employees a reason to join your company as it is why you are doing what you are doing. And it they are attracted to it, it will help retain those who chose it.

Step 3

Create some meaningful Values. You can create 4 or 10, all up to you. Make sure the Values will help empower the employees and help them reach their full potential. If your Values are all company-centric – they will attract no one.

A good idea is to have all of your employees come up with your Values to begin with, after all they are the ones that will be living in the Culture with the Values that are created. This leads to much less resistance than telling your employees which Values they are going to be living by at your company.

Also the Values should also compliment, help drive and be in alignment with your Vision and Purpose.

Let them know what you do, why you do it and what you Value as a company and you will attract and retain Top Talent, allowing the employees and the company to reach its full potential.

Engineering Candidates Aren’t Sold - They Buy

As a startup company, you are in a war for talent and recognize how vital it is to attract top caliber talent to your team. You also are probably adept at extolling the perks of working at your company and your mission to change the world through technology and innovation.

While putting your best foot forward, your efforts may not ensure success in closing top candidates. Why?  Because the best candidates are not “sold” on an opportunity; they “buy” into the opportunity.

What do I mean by this distinction? All too often, we see clients pitching a candidate based on a “one size fits all” approach to why a candidate should accept an opportunity. This generic pitch will often be about the funding of the company, its potential for growth, its leadership, and so on.

These factors are worth discussing, of course, but it’s not enough. Candidates are individuals, and the higher caliber talent you are dealing with, the more discriminating they will be in evaluating an opportunity from a personal and professional standpoint.  To effectively close top candidates, you have to know what makes them tick. What are they motivated by? What do they fear? What are their hopes, dreams and aspirations?

Your message needs to be tailored to who a candidate is and his or her view of the world. If you do not connect the dots for candidates in a way they can relate to, you are “selling” a generic idea, as opposed to motivating them to “buy” an opportunity that they inherently believe in.

As a result, you are likely to prolong the time it takes to fill a position and, in many cases, you will lose a candidate to other opportunities even when your position may include a higher title or more money. We have seen time and time again that top candidates will be willing to trade off rewards in countless ways when opportunities are presented to them in a customized fashion.

Keep in mind that candidates will not immediately divulge their innermost thoughts on what they value most unless you have spent the time to build trust and rapport throughout the recruiting process.  If you treat a candidate relationship as a transaction, then you are handicapping your ability to convince the candidate that it’s in their best interests to join your team when you get to the offer stage. At offer stage, this personalization becomes even more critical and it may be helpful to refer back to the candidate’s original feedback on their motivations and criteria for picking a new role.

When it comes to recruiting, a “one size fits all” message simply does not work. Speak to candidates as individuals to motivate them to “buy” into the opportunity you are presenting.  To get candidates to “buy,” clients need to make each interaction highly personal and suited to the individual’s unique mindset and motivations.

By doing that, you are not only more likely to land a candidate but, even more important, will begin your employment relationship on a mutually positive note. This leads to more loyal, productive, candidates and ultimately maximizes your return on recruiting investment.

Company Culture in 20 Minutes

Riviera Partners has been fortunate enough to have had pleasure to share the last few years with Dr. David "Doc" Vik as our very own resident Culture and Strategy Advisor. Under his guidance, we have seen tremendous growth among across several different aspects of our business. We have leveraged his teachings to help us expand our client base, continually attract great talent, but most importantly, create a collaborative team culture that allows our business to reach its full potential. With the release of Doc's new book, The Culture Secret, Svetlana Saitsky of Great Place To Work shares her own encounters with Doc and her first-hand account of the culture at Riviera Partners.

(Great Place to Work) - My Inspirational Culture Experience visiting the former Coach at Zappos

The last time I was in this particular office building in San Francisco, it was a completely different experience. I was sweating bullets, and not because I was nervous; it was because I was running to work at 7:28, worried that I would clock in one minute late and thus not get my commission for the month. Long story short: I left that company because the culture was based on distrust and fear, and it wasn't working for me.

It’s three years later and I am sitting in a chair that reminds me of the famous “Royalty Chair” at Zappos, which I sat in when my team at Delivering Happiness toured the Zappos facilities last year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here I am, one year later speaking with Dr. David Vik, a wildly-successful Chiropractor, turned Zappos Culture Coach, turned Chief Strategy Officer at Riviera Partners and author of a book called The Culture Secret. The book is about empowering people and workplaces, and helping create that WOW experience that has made the culture at Zappos so coveted.

Read the full article here...

Want to ‘Change the World’? Come to San Francisco

Riviera Partners was once again tapped by the Wall Street Journal in a recent publication titled “Want to ‘Change the World?’ Come to San Francisco.” The article discusses a trend that, according to LinkedIn profiles, people who include the keywords “change the world” in their profiles are far more common in the San Francisco Bay Area than other parts of the country.

Several industry leaders weigh in as to why this trend exists, including Managing Partner Ali Behnam, who points to the Bay Area’s technology accessibility and cheaper costs as factors driving forces. “There are few places in the world where a developer or a single individual can make a huge impact,” he said.

(WSJ) - Silicon Valley dreams bigger than the rest of the country, according to an analysis of LinkedIn profiles.

People who include the keywords “change the world” in their professional profiles on the business-networking site are far more common in the San Francisco Bay Area than in Greater New York or Los Angeles, Venture Capital Dispatch found. Out of about 8,300 people in the U.S. who use “change the world” in their profiles, 11.5% reside in the Bay Area, 10% in greater New York and 6% in Los Angeles.

Compared with the total number of LinkedIn profiles in each region, San Francisco has twice as many such profiles in its area as do New York and L.A. The amount of change-the-world profiles is still a tiny percentage out of the millions in the three urban areas.

Read the full article here...