JD Duarte


Jose Duarte offers strategies for retaining top talent at an eCommerce startup

Working in a startup is very different from working in a consolidated company. You have to assume the risk that the startup may fail, you have to adapt to changes quickly and it is necessary to always maintain motivation despite uncertainty. Knowing how to attract and retain talent in your startup is the key to having a cohesive and motivated team. Jose Duarte, a successful entrepreneur and eCommerce expert from Costa Rica, provides insight into attracting and keeping top talent in an eCommerce startup.

To have a good team in your eCommerce startup, it is necessary to surround yourself with professionals who are experts in each area. For investors, the team behind the brand is one of the most important elements when deciding which company to invest in, since it is the people who execute the business idea. A team that does not work as such can have serious consequences for the company, such as lack of motivation or reduced productivity, so it is better to be prepared. I’ll tell you how to do it.

Attracting and retaining talent is a challenge for all companies and also for a startup. In addition, in many cases, they initially have no possibility of paying high salaries. There are several key elements that will help you get valuable talent for your startup.

Create an engaging mission. You will already know the “change the world with an innovative solution to an important problem,” but what it is about is that you propose a goal that attracts attention and in which you believe and can make other people believe. You should also highlight the potential. Explains Duarte, “You must convey the idea that your business is fully planned and that it will grow. Obviously, you can’t give a guarantee, but you can convey your enthusiasm for the business.”

Always make the most out of new technology. The new generations are composed of technological natives, so to find them, you will have to use new technologies and social networks. Bet on an attractive brand image, as well. You must give the image (and fulfill it) of a company in which it is pleasant to work, there is a good atmosphere and the work is properly rewarded.

General equality of opportunities in the company will go a long way. “It is important that all team members have the same opportunities and receive the same salary for the same work,” asserts Duarte. “Equality will create a good working environment.”

Consider employees’ ideas as the company evolves. In many companies decision-making is made by managers; however, it is important to involve the team to create a sense of belonging and loyalty to employees. In addition, keep a commitment to innovative structures. Companies tend to have hierarchical structures, but, increasingly, alternatives are being sought that involve employees more, such as structures without bosses, in which they work for projects and employees take more responsibility for their work and can make decisions.

Remember that talent attracts talent. If you want to attract professionals with potential, you must already have a professional in your staff that stands out, since talented people attract other talented people. Employees must also know the company in depth. They have to completely understand the project being developed, the perspectives, the objectives, the customers and the suppliers.

Lastly, always take care of your employees. Make the work environment good, listen to the initiatives proposed by your employees, allow some autonomy, recognize their achievements and communicate the progress of the company. Adds Duarte, “Some of the reasons why employees can leave the startup are include lack of motivation, poorly distributed responsibilities, no commitment to the project, bad work environment, lack of professional projection and lack of equal opportunities.”