How to build a culture that attracts talent at your startup?

Guide, tips and actionable strategies for helping you design a culture.

For startups, finding the right talent is becoming more and more difficult. With a growing number of companies vying for the best people, you’ve got to be creative in your recruitment efforts. You may think having a fun environment to work is what culture is all about, but it is not. It’s more than just about ping-pong tables and free beer, it’s about what you as an entrepreneur value as important.

Why culture is so important?

A survey by Glassdoor recently, revealed that nearly 4 out of 5 employees and jobseekers consider verifying a company's mission and culture before applying for a job. Also, 65% of people between the age of 18 to 34 years are more likely to place culture above salary.

Hence, workplace culture cannot be a secondary affair for consideration for your startup. A strong culture can be a powerful tool to help a company become a profitable, thriving business.

Photo Credit: Tim Gouw, Unsplash

Culture ensures employee retention

Even if one manages to attract the best candidates, a negative workplace culture will always impact employee turnover. Culture helps potential hires see which culture they might thrive in, and it also helps with retention because people don't want to leave a place where they feel happy and fulfilled.

Founder is the epicenter of culture

Founders’ have the most important role in developing the culture of their organization. It's how they behave, how they hire/fire, recognize and reward their employees, is what becomes culture.

Verticals of culture at startups

Values: Define your values and practice every word of it before you broadcast it to your team. If you are new to defining values, and can't think of anything just make sure these values are personal to you. If it's personal to you, it will be for your employees too.

Relationship With Employees: Be inclusive. Concept of Inclusivity is too diverse and huge to implement at once. You can take small steps and implement one section after another. Having employees communicate freely and diversely, opens doors to higher creativity and sense of ownership in the team.

Relationship With Customers: Your communication with customers reflects your culture. Customers are the soul of any business. Keep your communication respectful, problem solving and personalized.

Relationship With Strangers: Be Kind. They may not be your customers nor your employees but these are the people who are going to talk about you. Make noise about you. Good or Bad. This may also be associated with your philanthropic work which you want to associate with in future.

Growth Strategy: Your strategy to achieve growth also sets the tone of your startup culture. Adapting and changing the strategy internally and externally will positively affect your growth. Talented employees influence your internal and external factors all the way through your growth journey that will lead to successful scalability in your business.

Culture as Hiring Strategy

Competitive compensation, compelling benefits, and perks are just not enough in retaining or attracting professionals. These factors alone won’t make employees feel satisfied in their jobs.

As per a research conducted by Robert Hall on workplace happiness, professionals meet job satisfaction with many intangible factors too, such as

Having pride in what they do and who they work for

Feeling appreciated inducing sense of accomplishment

Being treated with fairness and respect

Keeping engaged in interesting and meaningful work

A great workplace culture brings job satisfaction and creates a good word of mouth in hiring. Your culture will be of higher contribution in attracting the right talents.

6 steps to design a culture for your startup

Set your mission & vision along with do's and don'ts for your workplace.

Encourage a community culture where everyone in your team could bond together with a sense of purpose

Be purpose-driven by identifying your business's purpose. Integrate it within the planning, R&D, marketing and operations team.

Avoid cultures of hierarchy. Create a process that connects leaders with employees, rotate accountabilities, reward team achievement, and so on.

Encourage self-accountability. This although is difficult to implement yet promotes innovation and creativity.

Design a plan to manage risk to people, process and product. In startups, it includes raising funding on time, generating enough revenue, etc.


Email us to discuss your culture as hiring strategy approach, we are always eager to learn about your startup journey. Also, we at ImpactInsta are here to help you with your hirings and finding right candidates using our A.I. powered skill assessment tools.