One of the four tenets in our People Strategy is talent attraction. All four tenets are of equal importance, yet talent attraction remains top of mind, especially when you’re in a state of (prolonged) hyper-growth.
When I first joined the band two years ago, one of our leaders told me to remember that as a company, we already had over 3,000 recruiters. Confused? For a split second I was too, before it quickly sunk in that the point being made was not that there is a team of people with a recruiter as their job title, but that attracting talent is a part of all of our jobs. Every single band member contributes to attracting new band members, and our talent attraction strategy starts with that mind-set.
In the same way that the foundations to our overarching Spotify’s People Strategy exist in our company values, mission, and the Band Manifesto, the foundations to our talent attraction strategy are reflected here too. Our strategy is based on the ideology that it’s a partnership across the entire business, that the talent acquisition team is not in it alone.
Growing from 3,000 to close to 7,000 Spotifiers in these two years, I can genuinely say that we walk the talk. We’ve also gone from receiving 29,000 to over 60,000 applications per month. The growth we’ve achieved would not be possible if we weren’t singing from the same songbook together – relying on our company culture, mission and the band manifesto to bring us together and act as our guide in this collaborative work. I can not stress enough the importance of this ‘all-in’ attitude across the company, to be able to seek the talent that the business requires.
Set Your TA Compass
There is no one size fits all – what is right for you might not be right for someone else. A solid talent attraction strategy is bespoke to your requirements, driven by your culture and business strategy. Once you’ve assessed the talent requirements for your company and decided what is right for you, use that as your compass – and don’t let it go. Yes, you may need to change the direction sometimes, but you should never, ever put the compass down and find yourself wandering aimlessly!
At Spotify, we look for awesome people (why not set the bar high?!) that align with our core values: Innovative, Sincere, Passionate, Collaborative, Playful and our Band Manifesto (which outlines our ways of working). We focus on values fit and culture add. Aligning your talent to your values creates an emotional connection with your culture from the start of an employees journey. Sharing that common purpose will result in a hire who is happy in their environment, productive and more likely to remain dedicated on those rainy days.
Don’t Miss Out
The Shakespeare quote The world is your oyster sets the tone perfectly. Far too often companies let schools (Ivy leagues), grades or specific companies do the vetting for them. Assumptions are made that because a candidate went to a certain university, earned an A+ or worked at a certain company, that they are the right person for the job. Spoiler alert! That’s not the case.
If this is the approach you take, you will inevitably miss out on some brilliant and extremely talented people that chose a different university, an alternative path, didn’t have the same opportunities afforded to them, or learned and gained their skills in other ways. This talent is equally smart, skilled and eager to do great work.
The same goes for location. We can all likely rattle off in seconds global hubs where employers will start their search. I’m not suggesting that you don’t look there, however we shouldn’t stop there. Silicon Valley, CA has good talent, so does Phoenix, AZ. London has good talent, so does Krakow (Poland). I hear people talk about how narrow some talent pools are, but we think like this: they are only narrow if we make them narrow. Leveraging the world as your talent canvas versus a specific university, company or location boosts the diversity of the talent pool while making your workforce plan a competitive advantage. It’s a no-brainer.
Build Your Band
It starts with the environment we create for our candidates. The environment is a reflection of what a candidate can expect as they become a band member. Creating an environment where innovative and passionate people can do their very best is the core of our People Strategy. As such, it lives in our approach to talent attraction. For example, exploring whether or not Spotify is right for you shouldn’t be an intimidating process. Therefore, we lead with inclusive hiring practices that are transparent and empower candidates to bring their authentic selves to explore further.
It’s incredibly hard to bottle up and capture an entire company culture in a job ad or an interview, so find a multitude of ways to showcase and give a glimpse behind the curtain to potential candidates. Embed this experience as part of the whole process and at every touchpoint with potential employees. And don’t forget the value of your existing employees in terms of credibility, tone of voice and reach.
At Spotify, our strategies to identify and attract our talent is always based on our relentless focus on finding the right people. We focus on what makes our company and team unique; we don’t allow other companies and standard paradigms to define what a successful candidate is for us. We don’t spend our time and energy collecting resumes. Instead, we are building a band.