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Important Talent Strategy Considerations For Startups


by Chiara Toselli, Head of Marketing & Sales at Pavestep

One of the most important assets in any business is its people. However, early-stage companies often deprioritize proper talent management and place all their focus on the daily operations of the business. These companies eventually find themselves reaching a cruz where their talent management processes aren’t keeping up with growth.

Recruiting and retaining the right talent for your organization is just as crucial as having a great service or product, especially in the early stages of building a company. In this article, we list some important steps for startups to consideration as they build out their talent strategy.

1. Define company values.

Startups should define their company values early on. Values are the fundamental beliefs of an organization, and startups need to find people that embody these values and have the right aptitudes. Company values help shape company culture, which will influence employee experience, engagement, and productivity.

In addition to defining values, companies need to communicate them frequently. Only 27 percent of U.S. employees strongly agree that they believe in their organization’s values. Values should not just be listed on your website; they need to be integrated into the day-to-day of your company so that employees can live by and practice these values. Some ways to showcase your company values are to:

  • clearly and frequently communicating the company’s values
  • aligning core values with behaviors expected from employees
  • continuously monitoring employees’ actions and behaviors

During the hiring process, startups can write the values in the job description and reiterate these values during the recruiting process. Candidates and current employees should always be aware of the fundamental beliefs of the company.

Being a great place to work is the difference between being a good company and a great company.– Brian Kristofek

2. Create goal alignment.

Having clear goals and objectives is imperative. Half of the workforce doesn’t know what is expected of them. Managers should understand the company’s mission, clearly communicate the objectives, and make them easily accessible and visible for all team members. Having a goal management software that allows managers to track and adapt goals in real-time is critical. Remember that effective performance management begins with effective goal management.

3. Develop and sustain robust feedback processes.

How will you manage the performance of your employees? How will you develop and motivate your employees?

Feedback helps develop and motivate your talent, and it’s a critical part in talent management. Developing a culture of feedback is easiest when it is done early on. Creating a culture of feedback in which people feel share feedback in real-time has many benefits including:

  • helps improves employee performance
  • increases employee motivation
  • increases employee engagement & productivity
  • enables better work relationships
  • helps create better leaders

Feedback also is your employee performance data. With that data, you can make better strategic talent decisions. Establishing this culture of feedback may be easier than you think as the majority of employees want more feedback. To create a culture of feedback, enforce the right processes and rituals early on (i.e., hold people accountable to 1 feedback a week). Overtime, sharing feedback will become second nature and people will share feedback because they want to, not because they have to.

When it comes to documenting feedback, pen-and-paper approaches or Google Sheets can be sufficient for early stage companies. As a company begins to grow, having a robust performance management solution would be beneficial as it will store all performance data in one place, and it will simplify and streamline employee performance management processes.


Your talent cannot be replicated, and talent is one of the defining features that separate your company from your competitors. Investing in your talent strategy is worth it.


Chiara Toselli is the Head of Marketing & Sales at Pavestep, a performance management solution. She helps organizations manage their most important asset – their talent.