A social enterprises ability to succeed in complex markets is also contingent on its human capital. It is therefore necessary for organizations to develop competitive strategies that enable them to attract, retain and develop employees in a manner that enables them achieve impact and scale. To succeed in every market, enterprises need to invest in building high power teams. Human capital matters as much as the financial capital we raise to run the organization.
In the social impact space, the most effective organizations are built by collaborative, high performing teams that engage the complex systems in which they operate. Social entrepreneurs need to build effective human capital strategies to ensure that they recruit, hire, motivate, develop and retain the best people to help them advance their social impact mission and build successful business models.
Most early stage social entrepreneurs undervalue and under prepare for their internal human capital needs. There is a tendency to take on people based on good will and availability to volunteer or intern with the organization. This is often based on the inability to competitively compensate high skilled labor thus greatly inhibiting the ability to scale up. Often times this is reflected in the absence of a staff person dedicated to human resources and the lack of a budget to spend on recruiting efforts.
The people you hire to help build your organization will be as critical to your success as the money you raise. Developing strategies to attract, retain and develop the right team from the beginning can give a business significant competitive advantage. Your people are critical to your enterprise’ ability to compete, innovate and provide excellent customer service.
Be intentional about hiring people that can help you organization grow and can positively contribute to the culture of the organization. It is better to build patience and avoid panic when trying to get positions filled. Core values and mission should be reflected in the behaviors that employees exhibit every day. Individual employees have the ability to dramatically influence culture and results especially in the early days of an organization.
Investing in a human capital strategy requires time, intention and consistency and to remain relevant, your human capital strategy should always be dynamic and evolving. You will have to adapt your strategy as your organization grows but it should stay rooted in your organizational mission and core values. Building a multi-dimensional talent value proposition is achievable for a social enterprise/ organization.