When you start to scale your business it’s an exciting time to set the stage to support future growth. A scaling business requires planning, funding, partners and having the right systems in place. The most crucial component however is having the right people behind you, people that will propel your business forward. Building a team is the most important part of building a business because it’s your people that determine your company’s success. They determine your customers’ experience, efficiency, productivity and scalability.
However, while you may want to grow your customers rapidly, you will also be wanting to keep your financial investments to a minimum. A scaling business needs to be growing quickly and increasing revenue without sending costs soaring. To make the transition from startup to scale-up however, you will be feeling more confident about your return on investment (ROI), and therefore more positive about the decisions you make regarding your budget. So why should your biggest investment be in finding the right people to join your scaling business?
“A culture is the unseen, unspoken way in which your team think and feel about one another”
Skills and behaviours
The roles you recruit for during this time are vital for the future growth of your business. You need people with the right skills and behaviours that are going to support you through this journey. It’s important to think about what it is you want to achieve, starting with the end in mind. This will give you a clearer idea of what resources you’ll need to reach your goals, and what specific skills you’re looking for. However, for someone to add real value to your business you need to look beyond the skills. Agencies that focus on behavioural recruitment are able to think outside the box. They will recognise it’s not always the obvious choice candidate on paper that is right for the role. Making sure the candidate has the technical ability to deliver the role is important, however, ensuring that person will share your values and add to your company’s culture is vital.
A vital part of your business scaling strategy is building your culture. You need to have a strong culture in place that will make your life easier, not harder. A variety of factors create an organisational culture such as early values, goals, founders’ values, industry demands and assumptions. A culture is then maintained through leadership, onboarding, attraction-selection-attrition and reward systems. However, above anything else, culture is the unseen and unspoken way in which your team think and feel about one another. This is not something you can buy with material objects, and you can’t drive high performance with flashy gimmicks and incentives.
“You need people that can bring something to the business that you can’t”
Employing people that will be a positive influence on your company’s culture will improve a number of areas, such as staff retention. If the team all have a voice, feel rewarded and are given the opportunity to work on their own personal growth, it is much more likely you will retain great people.
Important reminder: Not only is culture important for those working within your business, but also for potential employees.
Candidates are not only focusing on the details of the job role but also what it’s like to work for you and the values you might share. Websites such as glassdoor exist because people want the inside scoop on your company, and they want to know the experience other employees have had. The best small-scale business will understand that employees will become their most powerful brand advocates.
The focus you put on inclusion and diversity will impact the success of your scaling business. In recent years we have heard a lot more about diversity in the workplace and the incredible benefits this can bring to your business. Therefore, you’ll want to invest in reaching out to a wider pool of candidates to build a more diverse team, improving innovation and overall productivity. A mistake many people make is that they hire people too similar to themselves. Although you need people with complementary skills and experiences, you also need people that can bring something to the business that you can’t. The strongest team to have around you is one that brings a different perspective, a broader set of skills and creative solutions to your problems. Employing a recruiter that will help scale your business will improve your outreach to diverse candidates, and also help to eliminate the problem of unconscious bias. To avoid unconscious bias during the hiring process it’s crucial to use gender-neutral language, advertise roles through new channels and structure your interview process. A recruitment agency will be in touch with candidates from backgrounds who wouldn’t normally be attracted to your brand, and present shortlists from various industries with relevant skill sets.
Learn more about our consultancy services and how we work on improving diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias.
“It’s not always about who you hire, it’s also about how you hire.”
How you hire
Paying attention to how you hire at a time when you’re scaling up your business will make a huge difference to who you hire. During the recruitment process, the candidate experience is critical. Not responding to applicants, poor communication and no feedback can leave a negative impression of your business. Unfortunately, recruitment processes are rarely reviewed. Quite often new tech, tools and tactics are thrown at the problem rather than looking at the actual process, and this costs money. Looking after your candidates, successful or not, is not only the right thing to do for them but also the right thing to do for you.
However, to scale a business you need resources because having the time to deal with a large number of applicants can become unmanageable. It can also detract from the focus on other tasks, such as building a strategy, managing costs and getting to know your team. Not only will the support of a recruitment agency save you an impressive amount of time during a scale start-up, but also further down the line. Recruiters that also offer training to your team will empower them to become the future recruiters of your business. Building an internal culture where everyone feels responsible for recruiting great team members will propel you forward. What better way to recruit and retain staff than to get your staff to do it for you.
Whether or not you currently have a scaling business, building your team and looking after your team is crucial to the success of your business. Investing in finding the right people to join your organisation will set down strong foundations, from which you can build on and continue to grow.
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