From climbing a ladder to parcouring

With the changing talent landscape where the demand for digital talents often exceeds the supply and with a new attitude towards careers and work life, all organizations need to rethink how to retain their people. Even if many startups are better off compared to big enterprises, as they are not stuck in old traditional ways of doing things, it is still vital to keep this in mind, after all, your biggest asset is often your people. Succeeding to keep them - at least longer than your competitors - will be a competitive advantage for you no matter what business you are in.

How many of us haven't heard that you need to stay at least 3 to 5 years in a job before you
leave - if you don't your resume will be crap and recruiters will think that there is something wrong with you. Some of us didn't follow that advice, and we made it anyway. And some of us stuck with jobs that we disliked and left when “time was up,” and now probably standing high up the ladder looking down in fear and realizing we climbed the wrong one. Today, this advice is no longer seen as a good one and the more sound “who cares, I want to have a job that I like” is more valid. Changing jobs and even career paths are much more common today, on an irregular basis, which companies need to consider when designing the internal career paths and development tracks.

When I worked with recruitment at a prestigious Swedish law-firm 10 years ago, the classic
career path setup actually worked as a retention strategy for the ambitious law students that we hired. “Yes, you can become a partner here after 10 years of tough work”. YAY!If you say this today the ambitious student will look at you with distrust, thinking “if I am here in 10 years, please kill me”.

The new way to look at your career requires companies to rethink the way they promote,
communicate and develop their employees. Competition for the best is fierce, and loyalty
to an employer is low, the real commitment is to your own skill-sets and to keep up to date
with the latest technology and software becomes more important than a title. You still needto have a competitive compensation package but today talents look for a job where theycan learn new things, where the people they work with inspire them and where they can have an impact on their surrounding. The work life should be fun, dynamic and
adventurous, a parkour journey on rooftops - far from climbing carefully up a ladder.

Startups can benefit from this trend given that career paths are less traditional and roles can be more dynamic covering areas that usually are not found in the same job. Combining that with a lot of responsibility to design your own way of doing things makes it even better. The challenge can be when you reach a more mature phase and need to implement processes and structures. If your talents feel that their development pace slows down, you are at risk of losing them.



Pernilla Ivarsson