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RippleMatch, a New York-based job site for early-career candidates, has raised nearly $5 million in venture funding since its founding in a Yale dorm room about three years ago. As the growing startup heads into a year, employee professional development has emerged as a key focus.
“Our top resolution for 2019 is designing really amazing career paths for our employees. It’s essential for us to figure out how we can give people roles in a growing startup that can be a great fit two to three years down the line,” co-founder and CEO Andrew Myers said recently.
“In the past year, we have gone from six employees to 22. As the company continues to grow, we want our employees to grow with us. So many startups focus on rapid growth at all costs, and employee retention is less of a priority. We feel that in order to create sustainable growth, we need to not only hire the best people, but retain the best people,” he continued.
“A key part of that retention is designing a career path that offers professional development and upward mobility. So in 2019, we really want to dig in and design long-term plans with our employees. We want to ensure that they will be able to grow professionally and gain new skills, and that they can envision what it looks like to go from an entry-level role to a top position,” Myers said.
RippleMatch decided to concentrate on employee career paths after proprietary data on its platform showed students consider professional development and upward mobility the most important factors in a workplace, “far outweighing compensation or company prestige,” he said.
The platform’s candidate onboarding survey of tens of thousands of entry-level job seekers found that Generation Z applicants cite professional development as the most desired workplace quality, followed by upward mobility and a sense of community, according to the company.
“Uncovering that insight made us realize that in order to attract and retain talented individuals, especially as Generation Z comes into the workplace, we need to design frameworks for professional development and upward mobility,” Myers said via email.
A RippleMatch survey of more than 700 entry-level workers who graduated in 2018 similarly found that 69 percent named professional development as a factor in accepting their job offer, 68 percent cited company culture and 60 percent mentioned salary. Half cited upward mobility.
The startup already follows a “hire slow, fire fast” rule, and tries to ensure that every new hire shows long-term potential according to Myers.
“As the organization grows, we are going to really double down on our hiring process and make sure a candidate is interested in long-term growth and their potential aligns with our vision for the organization. Internally, sitting down with employees and having discussions about the ‘big picture’ is important to us.” he said.
RippleMatch also wants to integrate autonomy into employee work streams and give employees, including entry-level employees, the chance to take ownership of their work, he added.
While business development representatives have a structured workflow, for example, the company wants to give them room to set strategy when possible.
“While their day-to-day work will look relatively the same, giving them the ability to pitch new sales cadences or suggest different communication tactics can turn them into sales leaders in the long-term,” Myers said. “This is the approach we want to take with employees in every department.”
(This is one in a series of stories on entrepreneurs’ 2019 New Year’s resolutions.)
December 31, 2018 at 03:44PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs