In 2021, we have managed to quadruple our headcount and maintain a 4.9 rating on Glassdoor. How I ask myself?

The overriding factor must be the value we place on our people – they simply are eSift’s biggest asset.  

However, it has not all been plain sailing. 2020 challenged us like never before. We simply “fell off a cliff overnight” (The downside of providing businesses with a model that offers agility – switch on switch off!).

The few of us not on furlough had to dig deep and remain positive. It was our resilience, team spirit and most of all belonging, that helped us survive the tough times of 2020.

As a high growth SME, we can’t compete with the benefits package of a corporate business, but our track record of engaging and retaining talent had always been consistent. Top talent will always look to work for top employers but there is evidence to suggest that values, vision, and brand perception is just as important. Given the growth in our headcount was increasing day by day, it was important to set ourselves apart from the competition and become an employer of choice. The simple answer was to remain committed to our values and ensure this was transparent and evidenced in our Employee Value Proposition. How would that look to prospective talent considering a career with us?  

Increased D&I by 42%

(ethnicity, gender and disability) I appreciate that as a small business these percentages are easier to achieve, but eSift was founded in 2008 and at that time the business consisted of mainly “working mums.” Putting aside the benefit of a highly inclusive working environment we have enjoyed a positive impact on creative and innovative thinking, performance and our cross-cultural understanding has increased.

Bespoke training, workshops, and a road map for career development

The retention of staff has enabled the business to see individuals grow and develop their skills. For that reason, we encourage them to play an active part in the training, inducting, and coaching of new starters to the business. A significant percentage of our workforce could be described as  “home grown talent”  These individuals that have joined eSift with no experience in our sector but are multi skilled, uphold our values and have the attitude and desire to drive best practice. For those that want progression, we are launching a management training programme known as the “3 Pillars” (People, Performance, Profit).

“You don’t build a business, you build people, and then the people build the business.”

 -Zig Ziglar

Recognition and a culture to share success

It’s a fact that workplace recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment, and makes employees feel valued for their work. This in turn boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention. We make it our business to acknowledge best practice and heighten the profile of individuals. However, with 30 years of sourcing talent for businesses, there are many employers that underestimate the value or in some cases never acknowledge achievements at all.

Promote a working practice that suits the employee

Like most businesses, COVID made us rethink? Our attitude to this is simple, we are an agile business and focus on output not micromanagement. Given our objective is to retain good talent, why not give them the responsibility to decide what works for them? We have a blend of office, remote or a combination of both. In return for this flexibility they come to the office if required without any resistance.

“Friday feeling”

where employees (based in the office) can remove themselves from their workstation at 1pm and enjoy a beer on us. The remote workers can visit and interact with their peers on a social level, (Pete often treats us to a few tunes on his guitar). The ethos of “work hard play hard” has been instrumental to the well-being and commitment of our employees.  

Underpinning all of this is “feeling valued” and expressing our thanks, it costs nothing!

Some of you may think, none of this is new, its basic. The answer is you are right but it’s how it is executed and communicated to existing and future talent. For that reason, we have produced a very impressive EVP document including feedback from employees to share with future talent.

The reality is we are doing something right with our outstanding 4.9 rating on Glassdoor.  (Don’t just take our word for it, head over to Glassdoor and see for yourself.