Pros and Cons of Working for a Startup Company

Salary and benefits, job security, and work-life balance are top of the list for most job seekers. Career growth and strong leadership matter too. Generational trends reveal different priorities. Career performance is paramount for Gen X workers. Company culture, growth potential, and work-life balance are important for Millennials/Gen Y. They also thrive at startups.

If you’re entering the job market or making a career change, the startup field can be intimidating, even foreign. Here’s why you may or may not want to work for them.

The Good

It’s a unique experience: It’s not always gaming rooms and skateboarding in the hallways, but startups know how to pull off a favourable work environment. Creativity and innovation grow the business, so a stimulating workspace is crucial.

You learn a lot: Startups place loads of responsibility for their employees. They’ll hire you because of your skills, but founders expect much more. You help with everything at a startup. Often, it’s work outside your job description, so opportunities for learning and growth abound. Founders and employees work together; there’s no middle management, so you learn from the best.

Employees work without supervision: They make smart decisions and take responsibility for the consequences. The chance to steer progress motivates them to perform well.

You can innovate: Startups need to grow fast. If they can’t keep up in the fast lane, they’ll crash out. Employees have the license to show off their brilliance. They deliver results with fresh designs and new concepts that capture consumer interest.

There’s pressure to break new ground, but dynamic energy drives progress at startups. Pride in growing the company and sharing in its ups and downs creates a tight-knit team.

The perks: Money isn’t one, but plenty of other perks keep employees happy:

  • flexible working hours
  • working from home
  • shorter work weeks
  • a casual atmosphere
  • gym and other health facilities
  • employee discounts and free services
  • free food (and sometimes drinks!)
Job satisfaction: Employees share in the birth, growth, and success of the company. That’s why it’s an attractive career path for this generation. They want to belong to something special. When the company does well, they can be proud of their contributions.

The Not-So-Good

The workload is heavy: Expect to work long hours, with few holidays and vacations. Startups must capitalize on trends quickly, and early growth is vital. Employees work around the clock to make this happen, so stress and burnout are possible.

Job stability/security: You’ll love your job, but you may not keep it long. Research suggests that over 90% of startups fail within their first three years! Tech startups, in particular, face the threat of technological advancements and new inventions wiping out their business.

Startup founders have a brilliant idea and secure enough seed money to start a venture. But that doesn’t make them experienced leaders. A lack of strong mentors affects job stability.

You don’t earn much: Investors don’t dangle a huge salary in front of aspiring entrepreneurs. They pump funds into operating costs, product development, and growing a customer base. In most cases, salaries are lower with startups than with traditional companies.

What social life?: You might have fun at the office, but you work hard too. Employees work under extreme pressure to avoid losses, so don’t count on having much of social life. Work-life balance is tough, and exhaustive hours at the office can take a toll.

Startups fight to survive even when they reach great heights and are more established. Technology changes fast, competition is fierce, and small missteps can have big repercussions. That’s why many startups struggle after going public.

Ask questions in an interview that clarify expectations. You can find a job with a startup through SapienHR. Call us for a free consultation.

Original Source: Thebalancecareers

Constructive FeedBack for Fostering Employee Trust And Growth

As part of a good performance management system, it’s a manager’s job to give feedback—both positive and negative—to their employees thus telling them they’ve produced a great work or given less than their best effort.

Constructive feedback should be information-specific, issue-focused, and based on observations.

The Purpose

The purpose of giving feedback should be to begin a dialogue so both parties come to greater shared understanding, where, as a starting point you communicate a) your understanding/interpretation of a situation or circumstances, b) your expectations, and finally c) your appreciation (if appropriate). The purpose of giving feedback to someone is not to change them. That’s not something you can do as a manager or peer; only the person themselves can initiate change.

Tips for giving effective feedback

Remember that you are not the master of the universe. Before giving someone feedback, check to make sure that your expectations are reasonable and not limited by your ego.

Give the feedback person-to-person. Give your feedback directly to the person it applies to, not to their peers, your coworkers, your managers and not through messengers of technology.

Be direct when delivering your message. Get to the point and avoid beating around the bush.

Be specific and give examples. Make sure you tell the person what your expectations are, what you appreciate, or what your understanding/ interpretation of a situation or circumstances is. Using similes and metaphors can be helpful, but you need to make sure you have a shared understanding of what they mean and of their value.

Avoid “need to” phrases. “Need to”send implied messages that something that didn’t go well. It implies that the person did not do something well with his or her reports, but it doesn’t report exactly what happened. Providing clarity on what occurred is the aim of feedback.

Choosing the right moment and frequency. When do you give an employee feedback for a performance effort worth acknowledging? The answer is ASAP. Feedback is meant to be given in real-time, as close as possible to when the performance incident occurs so that the events are fresh in everyone’s minds. And on the frequency front, use constructive feedback regularly to acknowledge real performance.

Be sure to keep notes on the performance feedback that you give. It helps you track what’s happening in people’s performance rather than relying on your memory.

5 Talent Metrics You Should Really Care About

Every HR leader wants some talent metrics in place. But how about in real practice?

According to research, 75% of HR leaders acknowledge metrics are important to the success of their organizations. But 51% have no formal talent metrics plan in place. Nearly 40% say they don’t have the resources to conduct sound metrics.

The truth is that there’s a striking gap between the large number of companies that recognize the importance of metrics and talent analytics and the smaller number that actually have the means and expertise to put them to use and are actually getting a lot of useful information out of their data. But data is just information captured by recruiting system or software already in place. It doesn’t tell any story. Compare data against goals or thresholds and it turns into insight. These metrics or KPIs reflect critical factors for success and help a company measure its progress towards strategic goals.

But the question we hear frequently is “We do have metrics in place. But why does it fail?”

  • The first cause is that the metrics that recruiting team use are mostly tactical or operational and executives outside of recruiting have little interest in seeing these operational results.
  • Secondly, current recruiting metrics tells you “what happened last year,” which again has little value for executives who want to know what’s going to happen next year.
  • Thirdly, after the recruiting metrics are calculated, they are reported and read by people who pays little attention to them.

Make sure your metrics are actionable, so when it indicate a problem, they should be accompanied by an action plan on how the data will be used to actually increase the business impacts of recruiting.

Here is a list of 5 metrics that can help you evaluate the success and understand the faults and weaknesses of your recruitment program so that you can correct them. Keeping tabs on these metrics will ensure you are informed as to how your business is doing on the talent management front and when the metrics are headed in the wrong direction, there needs to be an action plan with someone assigned to make sure that the data is applied in order to actually improve recruiting results.

1. Qualified Candidates per Hire

The Number of Candidates who Make it Past the First Stage of your Hiring Process

This relatively simple number tells you how many of the candidates you sourced, or who applied for your job has the skills and experience required to warrant an early conversation. Qualified candidates are similar to ‘qualified lead’ in sales and shows your interview funnel is filling up with relevant job applicants. This KPI gives you a spot check on the health of your sourcing strategies, as well as the effectiveness of your employer brand.

2. Time per Hire

Measured from sourced/applied to the acceptance of the offer by the candidate

The Time per Hire metric is about tracking the speed with which a suitable candidate moves through your hiring process once he/she has already been sourced or have applied. If you’re trying to gain insight into the recruiting team’s process and throughput or efficiency, Time per Hire does this best. You can also average this out across all roles and get a sense of the true average speed of your interview process.

3. Cost per Hire

Cost Per Hire = External Costs + Internal Costs / Total Number of Hires

Cost per Hire is consistently ranked as one of the top most helpful HR metrics. It helps you to link your recruitment endeavors to cost savings from an organization point of view and it also helps to ensure these efforts are not only feasible for the business, but on par with your industry and location. Apart from external and internal costs one should also consider the time spent throughout the hiring process of potential employees.

4. Internal vs External Hire

Internal vs External Hire is an important metric to monitor. If the majority of your hiring is external, you might not be attending to the potential of your existing personnel. Organizations should have a leadership and development program that encourages existing employees to learn and grow within the company.

5. High Performer Turnover

Total High Performer Turnover = Total High Performer Terminations/Avg. High Performer Headcount

Most everyone is familiar with overall turnover rate, and there is a lot of information on the web and in various sources and research about the impact of turnover. The real key, in good times or bad, is how many high-performing employees are leaving the company. According to one belief, high performers are more likely to stay at an organization, given that there is a clear line drawn from performance to rewards. On the other hand, high performers are more likely to leave when they feel under-rewarded or when there are greater external opportunities. Not only does turnover of high performers lead to costs due to lost productivity, recruiting, and training, but also to losses of overall organizational knowledge and leadership.

Technology & The Recruiting Game

Today, technology isn’t just something everyone is using to get work done and to stay connected, it’s also impacting how employers recruit great talent and how great talent finds the right employer. While the principles of a well-written job posting to attract talent remain relatively constant, recruiting has rapidly changed the distribution model and has brought new, more powerful technological tools to the table for employers.

The job market of today bears little resemblance to their previous avatars. Millennials have a totally different way of connecting with one another than the generations before them had. Technology has evolved, and most people now rely on the Internet — including social networks — to find friends, jobs, and pretty much everything else.

Where once employers used to hold all the control, candidates are increasingly calling the shots.

So, what does this mean for the world of recruiting in the years to come? There will be a plethora of new channels through which to find that next job (if you’re a candidate) and that next candidate (if you’re a recruiter).

Social Media is Still the King

According to the studies, 29 percent of job seekers use social media as their primary tool for job searching and 93 percent of recruiters use or plan to use social media to support their recruiting efforts. Social networks are no doubt great tools for connecting with prospective candidates. It allows job seekers to interact directly with potential employers, read reviews and really see what a company is like before accepting a job there. Millennials have grown up using social networks and technology and savvy recruiters who understand how to connect with this age group in the places where they’re already hanging out will definitely have the advantage.

 Embracing Big Data & Analytics

Until recently, descriptive data analytics failed to provide recruiters with information that provides actionable insights for proactive hiring strategies. The use of social networks has opened up a much wider talent pool for recruiters to draw from, but the time it takes to do that research could end up taking hiring managers away from their most important task: actually hiring. It is not that easy to manually sort through a lot of profiles and social network data. These information will increasingly get the “big data treatment” so recruiters can quickly and easily locate the best people for the job. Big data is the opposite of yesteryear’s performance analytics and will use predictive analytics to help the recruitment team build and manage a pipeline of qualified candidates, do job-matching etc etc and once candidates become employees, the tools can be used to predict the churn, employee longevity and finally to work on retention strategies.

It’s a man-plus-machine approach to big data.

Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Impact

Across the globe, we are seeing a transformation of the world of work, thanks to information and communication technologies. Many employees have grown to see the traditional office as choking and to carry out their job, all the average employee needs is a computer. So, why commute to work, spend hours in an office, and then commute home when you have everything you need to do your job right in your house? ICTs are enabling new, more flexible forms of employment and work and technologies like smartphones, social media, and advanced chat clients give employers the opportunity to widen their talent pools.

Mobile- First Strategy

These days, more and more job seekers are carrying out their job searches on smartphones and tablets as its more of a convenience. In the coming years, we can expect the amount of mobile activity to increase. At the very least, the company career page should be optimized for the mobile experience. This allows you to reach engaging and dynamic passive candidates much more easily and provides a great impression of your brand. Moreover, this could also be extended towards interview scheduling and communications. The hiring process should also be optimized for recruiters to make their tasks easier.


While digital tools will never fully replace the human instinct necessary for identifying the right candidates, an ability to stay on top of technological trends could be a recruiter’s biggest advantage going forward.

Nurturing Your Super Stars

Nurturing your top performers is critical to the long term success of your business. Don’t believe it? Take a look at these statistics.

  • Top performers produce as much as 10 times more than the average worker, while they often require less than two times the pay (Sullivan, 2012)
  • Top performers produce up to 12 times more than the average employee (Corporate Executive Board)
  • The top performer differential is 2.5 to 10 times that of an average employee (Sullivan, 2008)
  • The more top performers you have, the greater the organization’s productivity!

Managers give all of their attention to the weak players – those who need to improve. They draw us in again and again, receiving the regular feedback. But, what about top performers? You may feel that by leaving them alone, you’re paying them the greatest compliment. This is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing and what they are expecting. It’s a fact that organization’s top talent can have the easiest time finding other employment.

So, make a fresh commitment to give them the time, the feedback, and the opportunity to grow in your organization and  nurture them to contribute to the overall growth of your organization.

“The more you know about your employees, the better coach and leader you can be.”

There are many ways to help you understand your employees, motivate them for long-term satisfaction, and to help them overcome weaknesses and making them even better at their jobs.

  • Identify your “A” Players

In an organization, “A” players or “top talent” are typically those with the best performance ratings. Defining top talent should go beyond this single measure. Characteristics and behaviours may also help you to identify these talent among your employees. Some common examples include:

  • Positive energy/attitude
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Innovation or creativity
  • Commitment to your startup’s culture and mission
  • Effective communication skills
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Customer focus and empathy
  • Leadership
  • Potential for growth
  • Job expertise and skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Commitment to deliver
  • A strong work ethic
  • Decision-making skills

Once you have identified the key characteristics or behaviours, measure your employees against these expectations and get a 360° feedback from the managers.

  • Focus on Motivational Dynamics

Once you’ve identified your organization’s top talent, it’s important to focus on the motivational dynamics. Motivational dynamics have changed dramatically to reflect new work requirements and changed worker expectations.

One of the biggest changes has been the rise in importance of psychic, or intrinsic rewards, and the decline of material or extrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards—usually financial—are the tangible rewards given employees by managers, such as pay raises, bonuses, and benefits. They are called “extrinsic” because they are external to the work itself and other people control their size and whether or not they are granted. In contrast, intrinsic rewards are psychological rewards that employees get from doing meaningful work and performing it well. Because intrinsic rewards are intangible, they usually arise from within the person who is doing the activity or behavior. Some examples of intrinsic reward includes:

  • Provide meaningful work
  • Allow workers to make choices through a high level of autonomy
  • Provide opportunities for employees to show their competence in areas of expertise
  • Facilitate professional development so that employees can expand on their level of knowledge
  • Offer frequent opportunities for employees to reward themselves
  • Allow employees the opportunity to connect with those with whom they serve to obtain valuable feedback
  • Give them a path to monitor their progress with milestones along the way

Before you can take action to nurture your top talent, you need to take time to get to know them as individuals and discover what motivates and engages them. Once you know this, it can be fairly easy to address their needs.

  • Provide Continuous Development

Just like all other employees, your top talent need opportunities for development and career growth. If companies are truly serious about retaining, and developing high-quality talent, they need to view themselves as growth platforms where people can develop themselves faster than they could elsewhere. It’s also important to nurture an individual’s development in areas where they are less strong, in order to allow them to make greater use of their strengths. Growth opportunities should occur on the job where employees can learn from coworkers and associates. This on-the-job model of learning can enable people to continually acquire relevant skills and tacit knowledge in their domain.

  • Make them Feel Truly Valued

Employee recognition isn’t rocket science. One of your most important responsibilities of the management is to make your employees feel truly valued, letting them know that without them, your company, your department—and frankly, you—would be worse off.

To effectively convey this, think about how you approach everyday conversations with your employees. When you assign a new task, for example, go beyond the basic and reiterate why you truly value their work. While it’s important for top performers to know they are valued by their organizations, they also need to know that their contributions are underpinned by many other people. Acknowledging the value and contributions of all employees helps your “A” team understand their place on the team and helps all employees endeavour for better performance.