How to Attract and Retain the Best and Brightest Talent

November 29, 2021 Lydia Adams

manager talking to employee about how to attract talent

Engagement, transparency, trust and communication: Do these values sound familiar? Many businesses claim them as part of their culture, but not many follow them. And then they wonder why people leave. To attract and retain talent has become more than a simple technical process.

To get the best, you need to go beyond the common. How to do that? Our guest today reveals some valuable insights.

Naveed Tejany is the CFO at OJO Labs. As CFO, Naveed oversees financial reporting, financial planning, corporate development, and business operations. Over the years, he has recruited top talent and established critical financial and human resource systems.

Under his leadership, the company has raised over 130 million dollars in venture capital from top-tier mission-aligned investors. They have also successfully acquired and integrated four companies. When looking for investment partners, Naveed understands that raising capital from the right partner is critical.

In this episode, we discuss OJO's distinctive business model, how to hire the best talent for each role, insights on how to retain talent, and the contribution of engagement and transparency in retaining talent.

Leveling Up the Real Estate Playing Field

real estate talent quote

OJO is a company that provides solutions to homebuyers, sellers and owners to navigate the complex real estate landscape. It works on a technology basis to gather people's preferences about a property and connect them with the right real estate agent. OJO also connects the client with other service providers, such as mortgage professionals, to ensure they have everything that’s needed to complete the transaction.

OJO's culture is value-driven by five core values. These are higher grades, showing compassion, embracing discovery, relentlessly improving and earning trust. Furthermore, the company believes in a culture of transparency.

''At OJO, we're transforming the way people buy and sell homes. Our mission is to level the playing field in home buying, selling, and owning, and we strive to serve a hundred out of a hundred consumers.''

Hiring the Best Is a Result of Top Preparation - Attract Talent the Right Way

Hiring the best talent quote

Naveed states that OJO is very intentional and structured about its recruiting process. The company ensures that its internal processes are equitable and objective. The recruiting team needs to be incredibly thoughtful on the questions they ask to evaluate a person's competencies. They also train their teams on the art of interviewing. The other thing the recruiting team does is practical exercises for every single role. As an example for their financial planning candidates, they do a financial modeling exercise and a data analysis exercise.

''We hire the best and brightest talent that we can find and align with our values. And that is what I'm most proud of. The people that I'm looking at when I come to work motivate and get me going right.''

The Second Part of the Equation - Retaining the Talent

Retaining talent quote

Beyond its compensation models, OJO gives active feedback to its employees and has career discussions that are ongoing. To retain talent, you need to make sure that people are getting feedback on how to improve. Otherwise, they won't feel that they're learning or growing. The last advice Naveed shares is to be transparent with people. It's also notable having one-to-one communication to ensure that everyone is engaged and feels good about their job.

''What I've learned is when you treat folks like adults, when you are transparent about why you made some decisions or where the revenue of the company is, or the challenge that we've faced with an investor or a process, they become more invested in your company, in the purpose and the vision, than if you hide behind a wall and share only when needed to.''

For more interviews from the CFO Weekly podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player!

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