Social entrepreneurs set out to make a difference in a big way to our world. A social entrepreneur could be giving shoes to children in Africa. They could be taking affordable healthcare into places like Nepal. There are so many ways social entrepreneurs fill the needs of people in the world. It’s obvious that more funding would help these entrepreneurs achieve their missions. However, research suggests that improving talent recruitment processes may be the real key to success.
Recruiting the right employees a challenge
RippleWorks helps social entrepreneurs by pairing them with executives from Silicon Valley to guide them. The foundation surveyed 628 social entrepreneurs, asking them what parts of social entrepreneurialism needed a boost.
Not surprisingly, entrepreneurs saw finances as barrier to success. Securing the capital to make a start was considered challenging to almost half of entrepreneurs surveyed. This was seen as the most difficult problem facing social entrepreneurs.
The next biggest issue facing up-and-coming social entrepreneurs was securing talent, and keeping them. 36% said this was a major concern once funding started to become available. In fact, 75% of companies that have funds consider this a stalling block to success.
While there is often little to be done in regards to funding, entrepreneurs can make changes to solve issues of talent acquisition and maintenance.
Remember funding will only be part of the problem
Funding is something entrepreneurs have little control over. Changing the mind of an investor is not easily done. It is much easier to accept the funds available for the time being. As such, social entrepreneurs often cannot compete with larger companies for salary and benefits. What they can sell to potential employees is a vision. Employees will be part of a well-built, driven, team. Social entrepreneurs are setting out to make change, to do good.
A study from Glassdoor, a career website, found a higher salary only marginally improved employee happiness. Culture and values was the primary factor in employee satisfaction. Social entrepreneurs have something that large private sector companies cannot compete with: the value of helping others.
Talent recruitment is always important
An easy trap for entrepreneurs to fall into is to forget about hiring because positions are currently full. Growing a business is about anticipating change. Gayathri Vasudevan, who won “Entrepreneur of the Year” in India in 2015, talks to candidates for senior-leadership positions sometimes a year in advance. This gives her time to assess their commitment to the company. Hiring someone who is committed to the vision means less time later in rehiring for a poor fit.
Help your employees grow
Employees are full of potential. Like a business, they have the ability to create value, and on their own can become assets. Training employees highlights that there is potential for upward mobility. Creating strong and talented leaders within a business that can take over more senior roles helps retain driven employees. Those who are ambitious will stay for the opportunity for self-improvement and potential promotion. Furthermore, this creates a talented skill-base, and eases hiring.
Social entrepreneurs are already implementing these actions in their businesses. The survey found they would choose training their own employees as opposed to contracting outside help or hiring someone new. It can be a struggle, especially for smaller start-ups, to fit in time to train as well as grow. However there are many external providers that specialise in training until enterprises have the ability to create their own program.
Money is still important. It always will be. However in order to grow a social enterprise, it seems that talent is more valuable. Entrepreneurs need to be prepared for the difficulties ahead of time, working to ensure that when their business is ready, their talent is too.
How to improve the talent recruitment and training processes?
Issues with both talent recruitment and training can be solved by employing the correct software. With Roubler, your social enterprise can post an ad across several sites. Then, Roubler’s algorithm will automatically assess applicants’ suitability to your specific role requirements. You’ll be presented with the top 10% of applicants that best match what you’re looking for. Then, you can onboard your new employee seamlessly with our customisable training inductions. Talent recruitment and training have never been so easy.