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Growing your team

To hire effectively your business needs a robust hiring practice.

26th February 2020

In our last article of the Growing with Intent series, we looked at how Internal Operations Overload can be managed in a high growth business. In that article, I established the need to look at your team and establish clear roles and responsibilities to allow them to appropriately delegate their work. Naturally, this is likely to require hiring new employees to take over those responsibilities. Tape City is taking the next step towards growing its team and has used Crowd2Fund to raise its capital.

In order to hire effectively, your business should have a strong grasp of what you’d consider an appropriate role fit, and cultural fit. Taking that a step further, and perhaps most importantly, you should develop your hiring practices so that you can grow effectively.

Role fit

As we established in Internal Operations Overload, you should always hire to fill gaps and allow your existing employees to focus on their strengths. This might seem obvious, but the simple act of defining the future hire’s responsibilities before you start looking will help you sell the role to the right candidate when you find them. 

Some aspects to keep in mind for role fit:

  1. Don’t hire opportunistically without ensuring you have role fit first-and-foremost.
  2. Establish what you consider a necessity and which capabilities could be developed over time.

Cultural fit

Your company culture is important, and when you’re still growing, every person will have an impact on it. 

An effective strategy you can take to assessing cultural fit is to avoid having one person interview each candidate. You might consider holding a “resume” interview (focussed primarily on the role) and also hold an informal cultural interview. This will allow multiple people from your team to assess the candidate and for all parties to get a flavour for the other’s personality. In addition, if they do eventually become your selection, they’ll be starting with a few more friendly faces. 

Developing your hiring practices

Putting the time into developing hiring practices that allow the role and culture to be at the forefront of your capabilities is important. Hiring can be extremely time-consuming, so establishing some basic structures early-on will help reduce the resource drain. 

Have a job description template

When a potential candidate looks at your company, you should be conveying enough information for them to make an informed decision on whether your business is right for them:

  1. The mission and values of your business.
  2. Your working environment.
  3. All the perks to your company.
  4. Policies that might affect their lifestyle; remote-only, working from home, leave and parental policies.

A standard job description will speed the process of getting an advert off the ground. It’ll also improve the quality of the candidates coming through, like Silo’s zero-waste restaurant, who can attract candidates looking to follow their passion.

Develop a pipeline of potential network hires

Have someone speak to each employee and collect anyone they have met in a former life, and would recommend for a job. This process will develop a pipeline of quality hires, that is considerably more cost-effective to hire from than externally sourced candidates (i.e. recruiters). 

And while we’re on the point, if you haven’t already, get a referral bonus in place!

Consider an exercise or test

Exercises and tests with standardised assessments will cut some of the unknowns out of the equation, and they are considerably more efficient than holding “qualitative” interviews. The test should be aligned to their potential future role, but don’t shy away from something that draws out someone’s efficiency, comprehension or technical literacy. 

Separate your feedback to avoid “Group Think”

If you’re holding multiple interviews with multiple interviewers, it’s easy to end up with “group think” influencing your hiring decisions. You can avoid that easily, by requiring interviewers to compile their feedback separately, before consolidating feedback and proceeding with the next step in the process.

Treat your poor hires as a learning opportunity

No one wants to hire the wrong person for the job, but when someone leaves shortly after they’ve joined the team, you can use that opportunity to improve. In addition to assessing their purpose for leaving, you should also consider what might have been missing during the hiring process to alleviate the risk of a poor fit in the future. 

Growing your team can be an enormous burden on a team that’s already stretched (which is probably why you’re hiring!) If you’re clear about what you’re looking for from a role and culture perspective, and you establish some processes, you can hire more effectively. The processes I’ve suggested are only the beginning of a structure for hiring, but they will develop over-time into a robust pipeline.

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