Virtual Frontier

How To Become An Attractive Workplace in 2021

Episode Summary

What does it take in 2021 to become an attractive workplace? Many things have changed and shifted during the last year and the topics of attracting and retaining talent have become even more complex. Find out what you can do and be a changemaker in your industry. In this special #AskTheCEO Manuel and Daniel are getting to the core elements when it comes to the attraction and retention of talented employees.

Episode Notes

Every week one specific business trend is examined and explained in compact and in detail. 



00:00 Intro 

01:57 What changed during 2020?

04:46 The war on talent just started

09:08 Changes in the hiring and onboarding  

12:45 Getting rid of bureaucracy and foster self-management

15:06 Find the right people that want to work self-driven

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Episode Transcription

[00:00:27.030] - Dani Guaper

Hello out there and welcome to a new episode here at the Virtual Frontier, the podcast about virtual teams created by a virtual team. Today's topic of our Q&A session is how to become an attractive workplace in 2021. What can you do? So your organization becomes a place where people love to work and you really cherish the people that work with you? Also why it will become more difficult to find and retain talent in the future and how you can establish an environment where people can feel safe, happy, and fulfilled.


[00:00:59.780] - Dani Guaper

Those and more questions are answered by Manuel in this episode. So without further ado let's dive into the next CEO Q&A  session here to the Virtual Frontier. I hope you enjoyed the conversation.


[00:01:15.000] - Dani Guaper

Hello, Manuel. Thank you for joining another Q&A session here at the Virtual Frontier here today. Happy to have you again. Our topic today is how to become a more attractive workplace in 2021 or in general. In general workspace has shifted a lot during the pandemic and over the last couple of years, and it becomes for employees more and more important to be an attractive workplace. It's not just you hire someone and they get there and just do their . There's a lot a bunch of things that come into the play.


[00:01:57.460] - Dani Guaper

So my first question just to start off today is what changes you might have observed in the world of talent search, find attract during the last year and so many things have change, and especially we all shifted to remote work, and as it appears now, it will still stay for while and more that everyone or a lot of people will work from home office or wherever. So what change might have noticed in this space?


[00:02:32.310] - Manuel Pistner

Good question. I think there are so many change that I don't know where to start. But I think the biggest change is that people see remote work is possible. They know and understand how technology can make remote work possible, how to make it easier. And I think that triggers the need for more flexibility for more self determination of employees. And you know, it's also the case that employees, especially those with high skills, they can find a job in days. And that makes it even harder for employers to attract these people and to keep these people.


[00:03:12.960] - Manuel Pistner

So I think since years there is no guarantee anymore. There is not even a trend anymore that employees stay for years in the same business. I mean, ten years and more as it was. like I think 9019 and so. But businesses need to be prepared more that their workforce change their freelances join. Then there will be employees that stay in the business for a year, maybe then they have another job. So it cannot be just that the business consists of people that somehow try to get the work done.


[00:03:48.570] - Manuel Pistner

There must be systems that make knowledge persistent. And most importantly, these systems need to allow new talent to get onboarded fast and  offboard them fast when they want to leave, but keep the knowledge in the business so that someone else that takes the job.  The person leaving can be onboarded fast and efficiently. And I think a business needs to become more like a platform with tools and systems to attract the right clients. That's what you do with sales funnels with automated calls, funnels same methodology.


[00:04:22.010] - Manuel Pistner

And on the other side you need to have tools and systems to attract and find the right talent at the right time to deal with the services and products the clients wants. So the business needs to become a platform using technology and funnels to attract the right talents and the right clients and then let them collaborate efficiently on the platform on the business.


[00:04:46.260] - Dani Guaper

Some businesses will probably sing. Maybe this whole war of talent and searching for talent is just like a period and it will be getting better in the near future or whatever change. But why will get only harder to find new talented employees in the future?


[00:05:06.330] - Manuel Pistner

Because real work is getting more and more complex. So you need the requirements for talent that works in the business increases while the stupid work will be automated anyway in the future. So it's getting harder because requirements to talent increase and talent has way more opportunities to find a job that aligns with their needs and their interests. Then employers have opportunities to find the right talent. In the past it was completely different. Talent where  they could be happy to have a job, they could be happy to find a job today. So there is an opportunity for talent to work with any kind of business in the world as the world shifted to a remote work environment.


[00:05:54.160] - Manuel Pistner

But it can also be a big opportunity for businesses that typically limit themselves with a recruiting radius of 100 km around their office. Now their entire world can become a talent pool. So the question is just why should talent  with you? How do you find the right talent? How do you onboard them? And how do you stay independent from individuals? Meaning when they leave? Your knowledge needs to be persistent in the business and your business needs to continue. So that's the big challenge with it?


[00:06:26.610] - Dani Guaper

Especially if you're I was imagining in the preparation your small mid size company locally based one province in Germany, whatever. How can I as a company stand out as an employer in this time when probably someone would leave to a big tech company somewhere else? What could be my benefits on the employer side and also on the employee side.


[00:06:57.050] - Manuel Pistner

Yeah. The question is very similar to how can I find the right clients? Right. You need to have a marketing funnel for winning employees as well as you have a marketing and say it's funnel for winning clients. So there is no way to become attractive for any kind of talent. You need to understand who is your target market for talent. So basically what you do in marketing is to define your persona, to understand the needs and the goals and the fears of your perfect client. Right.


[00:07:26.450] - Manuel Pistner

So that you can attract them with a proper message. You need to do the same. Meanwhile, to attract the right talent, you need to understand who you are talking, what the interest should be, what their fears are, what their goals are in their personal life and in their job, and then create a marketing message that really fits. But now it's not just done with a marketing message because you might attract great talent. But if they come to your business and they see that was just a marketing fake and what they see in the business just chaos and nothing is real.


[00:07:54.520] - Manuel Pistner

They might live faster, then you hire them. And the same is true for clients. When you promise them the world and deliver nothing, they leave same for talent. So I think businesses really need to become great at marketing, of course, market to client market to talent and really understand how their business works in terms of how talent creates the services and products and delivers them to the client. Right. This is all about workflows and alignment. And when you manage to build a business that aligns with the interest of talent, with the interest of clients and with the interest of stakeholders of the business, then you have a truly valuable business because the business brings everyone together with aligned interest and creates value for them.


[00:08:43.480] - Dani Guaper

Okay. On the one side, chances, you get your interviewees physically in front of you have decreased a lot. And on the other side, the talent pool has expanded to the whole world literally over the last year. What do I need and just mentioned some of the parts, but maybe we can put some more additional content there. What do I need to change in my hiring and onboarding lifecycle when I have this huge shift in the hiring process.


[00:09:17.660] - Manuel Pistner

I think your onboarding is a very crucial part because you can have the best talent. If they come to your business, they have no idea what you expect from them. They have no idea whom they can ask. They have no idea how they collaborate with others, and most importantly, they have no idea when they get a good rating about their job because there is no transparency and no proper expectation setting. That's the worst case. If you don't have that you are lost, you can attract the best talent.


[00:09:43.530] - Manuel Pistner

They won't be successful in the business. What you need is once you attract them, you need to onboard them and onboarding needs to happen digitally. That means you need to have a structured process that consists of general onboarding to the business, like getting people access to all the tools, explaining them all the tools they need to use to do their job, explaining their role and then onboarding to the team so they can understand how they collaborate with the team, the team workflows, etc. Now the big challenge is that most businesses, managers, business owners, they don't know that they just know that they need some talent that get some work done.


[00:10:20.870] - Manuel Pistner

But they are not specific about what they want, which skills they require, which KPI's the person should monitor how the onboarding needs to be done, which training they need to provide, which coaching they need to provide. Because all these things that I just mentioned didn't exist in times when we have managers just telling people what they do and they were executing things with , dump labor. But right now you want to have people that are able to manage themselves and work towards goals, not just work with command and execution.


[00:10:54.890] - Manuel Pistner

That's a different thing. So you need different kind of people. And that requires a different kind of onboarding. Basically, you need a self onboarding. Literally, that's video trainings with tests, self tests, not tests that I can tell you. Daniel, you failed haha. But tests where talent can see.  I didn't understand that completely. So I ask my contact person and I go through the material again so that I can make sure at the end I passed this test. That means make knowledge persistent in a structured way specifically to the roles that should onboard themselves.


[00:11:28.800] - Manuel Pistner

Then you have completely digitized onboarding process. You can digitally attract talent on onboard them automatically coach them, train them or digital.


[00:11:40.940] - Dani Guaper

So it's a whole whole education process to training education to get your employee fit and they get fit by themselves.  What happens when I forgot about things like obligating employees to be present a certain amount of time per week in the office, get rid of vacation limits, approvals, office hours when they need to  login. And isn't that going to result in a total mess? I asked that because I know we have already implemented several of those things in our company.


[00:12:22.160] - Manuel Pistner

I didn't get a question. To be honest, just a lot of words. I didn't get


[00:12:27.290] - Dani Guaper

What happens if you forget about, like obligating your employees to be present in a certain amount of hours per day in the office. Get rid of vacation limits and approvals office hours when they need to log in. So isn't that going to result in the total mass?


[00:12:45.890] - Manuel Pistner

I see. Yeah, of course. I mean, if you have a culture where everything depends on that, where everything depends on the presence of people for specific office hours in the office where you have all the rules, who can go on vacation, when and you have the process to approve vacation, et cetera. And you like, don't do this anymore from one day to another, I would say yes, you create a total mess and nobody knows what to do that might rearrange in the future, but it will take some time, and I would say it creates a huge amount of chaos.


[00:13:14.660] - Manuel Pistner

But the thing you need to do first because , people are used to getting told what they are allowed to do and how they should do it. That's what happens in a typical hierarchical organization. But when you shift your workspace and your culture to a result driven culture where you don't have managers telling people what to do but you have coaches  helping people to get the work done and deliver the results they committed to because they want to deliver the results and do this work. Then you have self managing teams and with self managing teams you just need to have rules what they should do when they leave.  Find a replacement for this time when you leave. But there is no other person that does a central resource management, so that when you leave  I as a resource manager care that someone else is there to replace, you had to organize that.  You go on vacation, say, , I still take accountability for my work because I can work anywhere and everywhere. That is a choice of the person that is also possible.


[00:14:15.460] - Manuel Pistner

And once you have this culture result driven culture, I think then it's not a big deal to really get rid of an office and availability hours. I think you just need availability hours when you guarantee a specific response time for your client.  That's what our teams do.


[00:14:35.070] - Dani Guaper

I just came up with a different question when you have an employee that has probably worked before in a more  hierarchical company with a lot of structures and everything is organized for them. They want to onboard onto a new company. It's a completely different culture, how you can help them to get used because it's completely new there for them. Maybe they just arrived into the mess because they don't understand right now they want, but they don't how tools. A self organized approach works.


[00:15:06.580] - Manuel Pistner

I think that's the challenge. But these people that apply for these kind of companies, they like this challenge. I see that when new people join Bright Solutions, some realize, wow, that's not for me because I really have to care about myself. There are not people telling me what to do, but on the other side, we are also very well organized so structures give people safety and security and structures manifest that the right things are done in the correct way every time. Otherwise, if you don't have this like your onboarding, it's a structure.


[00:15:36.810] - Manuel Pistner

It's a process, right? It's a system. Because it needs to do the same things again and again to deliver consistent quality. Otherwise it's just pure coincidence what you get at the end. And I think people that Apple to such a kind of business, they values and appreciate the flexibility and the freedom and the independence they can get with these structures and systems. So I think in your employer marketing, you really need to make transparent and put this as a value proposition out to attract talent that really wants to have this kind of culture and you will repel others that are not a fit for this kind of culture.


[00:16:18.890] - Manuel Pistner

Same as when you market two clients.


[00:16:20.880] - Dani Guaper

Yeah. Terms like employee happiness, satisfaction, and also the fulfillment are not only a nice to have a new company rather than really pillars of success, what practical steps can you share on how to get better in making these pillars more strong in your company?


[00:16:45.560] - Manuel Pistner

The pillar of customer satisfaction and no employee satisfaction  and delivering according to quality standards.


[00:16:54.950] - Dani Guaper

What do you mean with delivering?



No in general, like how you make sure that the pillars that your company has happy employees, that employees are satisfied and fulfilled with the job as those are the pillars that makes really a successful company. How you can make sure that these pillars are getting stronger and stronger inside your company.


[00:17:16.360] - Manuel Pistner

I would say first, provide a culture and the leaders need to be first where it's okay to may have failures, where it's Ok  to be not happy in the day where it's  to openly speak about things that concern you. Where it's  to be transparent about your personality, right. In the old school businesses where you have hierarchical setups and managers that treat people like resources, et cetera. I saw that people never talk about no, I don't talk about my personal life, right? I don't talk about personal things.


[00:17:46.350] - Manuel Pistner

I want to keep myself in the background, right? In Germany, we say "Ich halte mich bedeckt". I keep my self covered. I'm not sure if it's the right word. But they are afraid that opening themselves will result in consequences, punishment, whatever. And if you bring an atmosphere or a culture into the business where it's  to talk about these things and manages first or leaders first. I think that is the most important part that people open themselves and then you can openly ask them, how are you doing?


[00:18:18.430] - Manuel Pistner

And , we do this even automatically.  In weekly check ins, we ask people, how are you feeling today?  Scale from one to ten. One is I'm almost dead,  ten is  I'm almost the happiest person in the world, right. And that brings transparency. When I were to see a person checks, you Daniel in the last week, you always gave a ten because I don't know. You are pretty happy. It looks like other people. They give a five or six and then I jump in and ask them, is there something I can help you with?


[00:18:45.720] - Manuel Pistner

How can I support you? Sometimes they have personal issues with their family or whatever. And of course, I also try to help them and they appreciate that. And I also do the same when people ask me, sometimes they're . Today is not so good. And then they ask me the same questions and then we all feel that we support each other and that brings, that creates a strong culture.


[00:19:06.920] - Dani Guaper

Nice.  Manuel, I think I had already my last question.  Thank you again. Very much for joining us today and hope we see each other next week with a new topic.


[00:19:18.720] - Manuel Pistner

Yeah. Thank you much. Take care. Bye bye.


[00:19:20.800] - Dani Guaper

Have a nice week.


[00:19:22.640] - Dani Guaper

I hope you got some helpful takeaways on how your organization can become a more attractive workplace where people actually love to work and engage. Check out also our in-depth  blog post with ten practical steps and activities to work on your workplace attractivity.


[00:19:40.120] - Dani Guaper

Now, before you leave. Hit the subscribe button. Give us a thumbs up or share it around with your friends and colleagues. Sign up for a free business builder training on and learn more about how to scale with your business at any time, working with global top talents and make work better. On the behalf of the team here at the Virtual Frontier, I want to thank you for listening. So until the next episode, keep exploring new frontiers.