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How to Attract and Retain the Best Talent at Start-ups


By Saumya Khare

Be it an early stage startup, an established one or even a conventional organisation, hiring and retaining the best talent is a key to the progress to any workplace. A lot has already been talked about in terms of employee culture, good leadership, the effectiveness of mentoring, healthy relationships and so on. But what is the real key to unlocking the trend wherein top professionals opt to work for your company and decide to stick around?

There are some obvious factors that employees look at while joining any company like compensation, bonuses, perquisites, vacation benefits, flexible work hours etc. But these are not the reasons via which companies can retain employees, specifically for a fast growing startup like Moglix. Some of the initiatives Moglix, a B2B commerce company has undertaken over the last three years to attract and retain high-quality talent are:

  1. Talent galore: Hiring and retaining the best talent at Moglix differentiates the company from other startups. Since the company has a close-knit senior management group, mostly from premier institutes like IIMs and ISBs with an illustrious career with global companies, it helps attract talent from the premium institute and established companies. The success of business as well as a strong leadership team, and the environment of intrapreneurship enhance the trust of the prospective employees to be a part of the winning team with great future.


  1. Aligning with the mission & vision of the company: A company’s success is dependent upon the vision it crafts for itself eg. Moglix wants to be the next Alibaba in India. It is important to have the employees aligned with the company vision and mission so that everyone is on the same page and working to make it a reality. Every one’s KRA, be it a function or an employee should ultimately lead to translate the vision.


  1. Culture of transparency: Promoting a culture of transparency at workplaces helps in building and earning the trust of employees in the management as well as the company. Sharing important announcements, company progress, clear policies, regulations, appraisal system, crisis management are some way through which employees stay connected at Moglix and believe in the company.


  1. Fast track growth: Millennials, who are touted to have more than 50 per cent of the workforce, in India, join startups to grow and be a part of a growth story as well. Moglix makes sure the employees are passionate about the work they undertake and learn alongside. We have various mentorship and skill-building programs that engage all the departments, offering people the opportunity to grow. It is important to let the employees know what they are a part of and how it becomes important for their personal growth journeys as well.


  1. Mentoring program: Moglix is a firm believer that mentoring goes a long way in creating future leaders in the shortest span of time. Each member of the leadership team undertakes a few employees and coaches on various professional and personal aspects for a sustained period to make them more confident of taking on the challenges ahead, depending upon the interest of the mentee the person is given a bigger responsibility when he/she is ready to fly to the new horizon.


  1. Flexibility/Autonomy at work: Working at startups demands ownership of your own work. It does away with micromanagement and furthers the aspect of autonomy and flexibility. At Moglix, whether it’s work from home or office, the employees make sure to get the work done.


  1. Recognition and appreciation: It is important to make employees feel that they are an asset to the business. Their efforts need to be acknowledged, appreciated and honed on regular basis, thereby boosting them at their best capabilities. Also, at Moglix, we try to get our employees’ feedback on policies and rules inside the company and understand what better can be designed as reward and recognition to make them feel connected all the time.


  1. Employee engagement initiatives: Moglix undertakes many initiatives that help build a friendly, more productive and motivational environment. Some worth a mention are:
  • CEO Connect: The Founder & CEO ensures that he knows all the employees well and for this reason, Moglix have introduced a CEO Connect program wherein either the CEO interacts with a group of eight employees at a time per week or individually, this helps in creating personal touch and better understanding of each other’s perspective better informally.
  • Conversation with industry leaders: We invite industry veterans/leaders to our office at regular intervals to interact with employees for sharing their experience, journey, learnings, knowledge exchange wherein the employees get a perspective from these leaders on various industry trends. We have had IT Veteran Neelam Dhawan and Amit Singhal aka the God of Google Search and Google Maps very recently.
  • Team all hands: This is another initiative wherein every team member meets the team head at least once every quarter for better bonding and understanding of the next course ahead.
  • Training session: Moglix hires a lot of fresh talents directly from B- Schools and other premier institutes, for whom the company conduct training sessions on various topics ranging from soft skills to functional to day to day needs such as advance excel, communication skills and accelerated leadership programs.

Above all else, the foundation of all these exercises depends on the right talent acquisition i.e. making sure the right candidates are hired for every role, which in turn helps in the overall business growth.

The author is Director – Operations & Strategy, Moglix

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