Growth Frameworks

The Essential Role of Communication in Your Human Capital Strategy

In one of the most dynamic and complex talent markets in recent history, many growth companies are navigating the dual challenges of retaining great talent and recruiting new members to their teams. Across our portfolio, we’re seeing human resources, marketing and talent acquisition teams collaborating more frequently and more thoughtfully to develop content and communication strategies designed to build inclusivity, celebrate company culture, expand the recruiting funnel and improve the candidate experience. Below, we share several key areas where we believe this collaboration can make a positive and meaningful impact on the success of your human capital strategy.

Communicate to Retain:
Driving Inclusion and Engagement

At a time when organizations and employees are rethinking their connection to physical workspaces – and weighing the benefits of in-person, hybrid and remote work – it is arguably more important than ever to ensure that you are clearly, consistently and intentionally communicating with your team. Strong communication can support inclusion and strengthen employee engagement, helping to connect the work of your team to the mission of your organization and acknowledge the important contributions from individuals across your organization.

We encourage growth company leaders to consider the following areas in formulating their internal communication strategy:

  1. Emphasize belonging and recognize achievements: A recent McKinsey study highlighted that relational elements, such as a sense of belonging and feeling valued by an organization, are often more important to employees than their employers think. Clear communication of your company’s mission and purpose, recognition of individual achievements, and celebration of company milestones can go a long way to increasing feelings of inclusion and belonging.
  2. Highlight what’s new and improved: Companies large and small are examining, adding and upgrading benefits – from health-and-wellness to community involvement to professional development opportunities and more – as key tools for both retention and recruiting. We encourage HR teams to work closely with their marketing and communication peers to describe new benefits in a compelling and accessible way. You are investing in these resources; make sure people are aware of (and understand) them!
  3. Consider your cadence and your channels: Intentional, regular communication – both formal and informal – is crucial in keeping your team connected in a constantly evolving environment. Marketing and HR leaders should collaborate to determine the appropriate frequency and format of communication to ensure that employees are informed and included – keeping in mind that key messages and updates should be reinforced and repeated through multiple channels. Formal communications – weekly emails or videos, or monthly all-hands calls – can be supported through more informal channels, like Slack or social media, in reinforcing messages of connection and inclusion.

Communicate to Recruit:
Attracting Candidates with Your Company’s Story

Just as you communicate your brand, products and features to potential customers, we believe it’s important to ensure you are communicating a strong and authentic employer brand to potential talent. Thoughtful recruitment marketing can help reinforce your company culture and build visibility for your business and your talent needs.

We encourage growth company leaders to focus on the following key areas in crafting an effective external (candidate) communication strategy:

  1. Strengthen your career page: For many candidates, your company’s careers page is often a first stop in getting to know your business and determining whether they could see themselves as part of your team. It’s important to leverage this page to clearly convey your company’s story and mission – and to help sell your organization. In addition to emphasizing aspects such as benefits, perks, professional development opportunities and DEI initiatives, consider highlighting the momentum and growth trajectory of your business, including key customers you serve or funding raised. Together, marketing and HR teams can deliver stronger content, optimize these pages for SEO and help identify channels to reach both passive and active candidates.
  2. Develop compelling job descriptions: The job description is an often overlooked but crucial marketing tool in the candidate lifecycle. For every role, we recommend investing the time to create a well-articulated job description that describes who the role is for (including mission-critical mandates and skills required), who it is not for and the part this person will play in your company’s growth journey. Great job descriptions should be written with care in your company’s brand voice and, when done well, can help persuade the best-fit applicants to apply.
  3. Make interviewers your brand ambassadors: Help ensure consistent communication of your organizational values and goals by arming interviewers and hiring managers with key messages around the value of joining your company. Candidates increasingly view the interview process as being as much about evaluating the opportunity for themselves as it is about demonstrating their qualifications as candidates. At every step of the process, it’s important to authentically convey your company’s story in a way that motivates and excites candidates to be a part of it.

Strong internal and external communication requires thoughtful planning; we often say, “it’s hard to make it feel easy.” Collaboration between your human capital and communications teams can help. Ultimately, we believe clear communication can serve to re-establish the sense of community and connection that many lost during the depths of COVID-19 and – as employee surveys indicate – that many employees and prospective employees crave.

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Cae Keys

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The content herein reflects the views of Summit Partners and is intended for executives and operators considering partnering with Summit Partners. For a complete list of Summit investments, please click here.

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