How to avoid choosing the wrong people as you scale your business

When a business grows, one thing that is inevitable is that it will need to hire new people.  No matter what industry you’re working in, in order to take on extra work, adopt new markets and even scale your current offering, your business will need more people power.

When scaling up a business many business leaders often look to hire quickly, to solve a problem. They know they need an individual with a certain set of skills and advertise quickly, hiring one of the first candidates to apply. However, this often leads to poor quality hires. In the world of business, the people that help you to deliver your mission can make or break you. We know that’s blunt, but it’s very true. People are what make your business succeed. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people is one huge potential downfall in startup businesses or scaling businesses. Plus, poor quality hires can lead to higher recruitment costs (as you’ll eventually want to replace them) and can reflect poorly on your employer brand.

When we say the wrong people, we don’t mean people that aren’t skilled. Obviously, you’ll hire people who have the necessary skills to get the job done. However, when a business is scaling and in the stages of growth, you need passionate and dedicated people to help push it forward. It’s not enough to be good at your job, but instead you need the determination to see the business to succeed. When a business is in the crucial stages of growth, having passionate and driven people around can make a huge difference to business success. So, how do you know if someone is the right fit for your business or if they’ll hinder your growth? How can you avoid hiring the wrong people and give your startup the best chance of success?

Create a plan for your hires

Like anything in the world of business, the best thing to do when you’re thinking about scaling is create a plan. Think about the direction you’d like to take your business as it grows, and the roles or types of people you need to get you there. While your business plans may change, and that’s alright, this plan will keep you on track to achieve the goals you set for your business. It’s so easy to get distracted by what other scaling businesses are doing, but just because you see other businesses are looking for an extra software developer it doesn’t mean you need to as well. Work out the types of people or variety of roles that will help your business in future stages and try to stick to this plan as much as possible.

Communicate your employer brand

When it comes to attracting the brightest and best talent to a scaling tech business, you need to ensure that the people you are hiring understand the ins and outs of who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. This is when your employer band will come in handy. If you’ve done a good enough job in defining your mission, values and company culture then it should become the foundations for your employee value proposition and your employer brand. Your employer brand represents how your employees and external candidates see your business, so in order for it to be authentic it should show who and what you are, what’s important to you and how your people work. A well communicated employer brand will show candidates all they need to know, and will attract likeminded people that are more likely to feel a personal connection. For a scaling business, the best people to hire are people that treat your business as more than just a 9 to 5 job and are excited about helping your business succeed.

Look for all-rounders

When a company is growing and scaling rapidly, the positions you’re recruiting for may change quickly too. As your business model changes, so will the need for certain roles and individuals. Therefore, instead of hiring for very specific roles, look for candidates who have a wide range of skills or a skill which could be essential in a variety of different ways or no matter what happens. For example, scaling tech businesses will never regret recruiting skilled software developers as you know this is something, you’ll need regardless of your business model. However, it could be beneficial to look for a developer who knows multiple coding languages to ensure they can solve a variety of problems. For less niche roles, consider more transferrable skills that could be suitable for a range of roles within your business. This way you’ll avoid large recruitment costs and having to let people go as your business develops.

Hire for attitude

You know what they say, skills can be taught but attitude cannot. When a business is scaling, this could not be more important to remember. While the essential skills for your business will be constantly evolving along with your business model, the attitude you need your people to have will never change. In a scaling business you need hard workers, that are driven and flexible. Look for smart people who will do whatever it takes to get the job done and can easily communicate their concepts and ideas. These are the talented people that will be valuable in any setting. You need to look for shared passions and even that cliché twinkle in their eye; if a candidate is really excited about the opportunity it will shine through in their interview.

Craft your job descriptions perfectly

We appreciate that sometimes in order to scale your business you will need to fill a very specific role and find someone with a precise skillset. You will need to craft some job descriptions to advertise for these roles and in doing so you need to make sure they are written well. Firstly, they need to be clear, if you are vague on what you’re looking for you won’t attract people with the desired skills and you’ll likely attract candidates which aren’t relevant. When it comes to writing your job descriptions, make sure that you fill them with personality and showcase who you are. Mention your company values, emphasise that there may be opportunities to learn and show that you are a growing company; this will appeal to those who are passionate and seeking an opportunity to make their mark rather than those that are craving a stable 9-5 opportunity.

Outsource your recruitment

Now we know what you’re thinking, if you outsource your recruitment will that really ensure you’re hiring the right people for your scaling business? How will people from outside of your business really know what talent you need to take you to the next level? Well, with quality outsourcing of your recruitment process, you will have access to expert recruiters who have helped many other businesses like yours to scale. Choosing an RPO provider with experience in scaling tech businesses is crucial; they’ll know more about the skills and qualities required for a successful hire. However, it’s also important that this RPO provider takes the time to understand your business, as any quality RPO provider will do. This way, they understand your company culture and the key players in your business which means they can help you find talented people that are not only a fit on a skills level but fit your company culture too.

Talent Works are experts in helping scaling tech businesses find the best talent to take them forward, through innovative recruitment marketing, employer branding and sourcing strategies.

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