The War for Talent: Are Start-ups Winning It Over Enterprises?

Start-ups vs Enterprises
Start-ups vs Enterprises

Startups are to enterprises what mangoes are to pomegranates. In short, the two are least similar or even congruent to each other. But that essentially does not mean that the two cannot learn from one another, especially when it comes to hiring the best talent.

At the core of these differences, lies one fundamental difference in how the recruitment process is approached by these organizations.

Talent Acquisition is more important than ever before

Why would any organization want to attract the best of the best?

Simple. To beat its competitors!

Disruption is the way of the world. Be it the IT industry, the transportation industry, the hotel industry, or even how we search for information. This kind of mass level disruption can only be expected to accelerate over time, especially with major brands calling the shots in unexpected markets, clearly an exhibit of a startup mentality embedded deep down their DNA.

Enterprises have never before had such interest in understanding or even becoming an integral part of the disruption in their own industries, in order to remain relevant and competitive. And to make sense of the disruption at hand, talent plays pivot. As a result, finding ways to attract and retain young talent is of utmost importance.

War for Talent: Advantage Start-ups

Start-ups are mostly fuelled and driven by ‘the idea’, an idea that sets them apart in a way or more. In a successful startup, this ‘idea’ is usually disruptive at some level. It challenges the definitions and principles of how things are done in a given space. In the words of Bill Gross, “the start-up organization is one of the greatest forms to make the world a better place. If you take a group of people, with the right equity incentives, and organize them in a startup, you can unlock human potential in a way never before possible. You can get them to achieve unbelievable things.”

The idea behind start-ups has the potential to create an ‘impact’ and the opportunity to create this ‘impact’ is highly attractive to fresh and young talent.

Related: Recruitment Technology: Changing the Hiring Way

Enterprises are larger, more established organizations that have instilled stability in their workflows and processes. Such organizations are usually seasoned industry experts with a fairly long and illustrious history of doing what they do well. Because they already know what they’re doing, they are often perceived as immutable environments.

The prospect of making it big, working hard as an integral and indispensable part of a team and create impact – the very idea is lucrative enough for today’s talent. Start-ups are known for their open-ended culture that not only caters to this very idea but also encourages donning multiple hats, failures, and innovation in contrast to an enterprise’s apparent stability in terms of risks and experiments.

Start-ups vs Enterprises: The Size Quotient

Startups are small, close-knit organizations. The organizational structure is flat that focuses more on teams than functions. Ownership, be it ideas or tasks, is imperative. Leadership is more often more like peers working towards common goals. As a result, good ideas are rewarded and bad ideas are considered experiences and opportunities. Lackluster performances are quickly identified and dealt with in such scenarios.

Enterprises, on the other hand, employ multitudes of talent. The approach hence is way more complex and compartmentalized. This, in turn, leads to a more top-down structure where supervisors are responsible and accountable for proactively leading their teams of reporters.

While working for an enterprise has its own virtues, today’s talent is more inclined towards working in startup environments which promises more responsibility, higher impact quotient and a substantial amount of influence/disruption to the process.

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