Richard Prime, co-founder and co-CEO of Sonovate, explains why hiring the right people is essential when scaling a business in today’s competitive tech world.

The focus of any new business is to find the perfect market-fit for its product or service. Once this has been successfully achieved, it’s time to scale. Transitioning from a startup to a growth-stage business depends on building a strong team of people to lead the business in the right direction.

The challenges at growth stage are different. Everything gets bigger: the risks, the client base, the office space and, of course, the headcount. My business grew from startup to industry leader in a few short years and a key factor in our success was our hiring strategy. Within a single year, our number of employees grew from 23 to 100. Of course, size is not necessarily synonymous with success and strategic recruitment is about more than simply increasing your headcount.

As the CEO of a fast-growing business, you need to pay careful attention to who you hire – especially if you are looking to disrupt established industries such as recruitment and finance. Your product or service will never be more important than the people who are designing, testing, marketing, supporting and selling it. With that in mind, you need to consider how each and every prospective new hire can, and will, contribute to the continued success of your business. Scalability is about being able to deliver consistent growth despite larger operational demands – and for that you need competent people.

Here are five guidelines to help you recruit the right people to scale your business quickly:

Industry experts

If your business is trying to break into an established industry, then you’ll need people on your team with the relevant industry experience and core skills. Your employees need to be able to understand the market, assess existing business practices, highlight important trends and identify unmissable opportunities before your competition.

To get the most from your experts, keep them focused on what they do best. Avoid the temptation of promoting them away from their core competency once they start delivering great results. Instead, find ways to leverage their talent and train others in your company to emulate their success.

Company culture

It’s important to establish a positive company culture from the get-go. The smaller your business, the easier it is to set the character and tone you want to carry forward. A good company culture includes keeping the lines of communication open and transparent from the top-down. This will unite your team during challenging periods and keep it committed to your business’ ongoing success.

When making new hires, remember that part of what makes a business an attractive place to work is the quality of its culture. If you want to attract the best people to come and work for you, make sure your business is the best place to work.

Agile, able and adaptable

Change is inevitable, especially in a young, fast-growing business. To meet and overcome its challenges head on, you need to work with people who are not afraid of stepping into the unknown and enjoy a fast-paced working environment.

When you want to expand your business into a new market, launch a new product or service, or set up a new department, you want the right people on your side. You don’t necessarily need to hire managers; you need to look for people who have the potential to become managers. To support your business’ growth, your employees need to be flexible, willing and able to take on new responsibilities as opportunities arise.

Training and on-boarding programmes

The faster your employees understand their roles and goals, the sooner they’ll start delivering great results. Successful recruitment is proven by how quickly a new hire gets up to speed. Relevant training and on-boarding programmes are a vital ingredient in building a positive company culture – they help increase productivity and motivation across the business.

Strength in diversity

It can be tempting to hire the same type of person with the same range of skills, but a full-house of salespeople with an IT background, for example, could be limiting. It is more effective to hire a team of people with varied experience across multiple sectors, who can bring new ideas and concepts to the table. Hiring people with specific core competencies is important, but flexibility is always an asset.

In today’s competitive business world, you need to ensure that your business is always moving forward. The best people to hire are those who can roll with the punches and rise to the industry’s challenges. Recruiting to scale is all about hiring talented people who are loyal, committed, and who can keep up with constant change.

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