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How To Hire The Talent You Need To Scale?
Scaling a fast growing business is tricky. It’s a point at which the business has overcome it’s initial challenges and is ready to grow into a business opportunity. Having a sustainable recruitment strategy is essential in realizing that opportunity. Finding the right pace of growth and the right mix of hiring is a challenge: Too fast and you can fail, too slow and you miss out, and the wrong mix of people and it can all fall apart.
Hiring decisions are vitally important. The people who work in your business are the people who build it and ultimately are your business. How do we try to find the right talent we need to scale? What skills do we look for, how much weight do we put on experience and should it matter?
You won’t get all the answers from this article, but hopefully, our thoughts and tips on how we do things might be helpful.
What’s it like to work for you?
The job market is rapidly changing. People’s’ expectations are changing. There are many talented people out there looking for the perfect next job, the job that pays the bills and comes with new experiences that open up more career opportunities and further professional fulfillment.
The new wave of employees, millennials between the ages of 18 and 30, are changing jobs faster than ever before – on average they change job every 1.5 years according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. They have a different approach to employment and so should you: They’re looking for the next interesting challenge, so you need to provide a workplace where they can build part of their career and develop professionally before staying OR going on to the next challenge.
You need to showcase the reasons why it’s great to work for you at their current career stage. There are quite a few ways to do this: your own website, employer profiles on job search sites, social media communication, recruitment fairs etc. The most important is to know exactly what the role is and what you are really offering and how you will challenge your new would-be-employee.
Careers on your website
Create a landing page for career opportunities. Its obvious and extremely important Treat this page as if you would if it were talking to a potential customer: Your current opportunities are essential, but also include reviews from your previous and current employees. Give people the opportunity to get to know what working with you might be like. On the 10to8 Career Page, we’ve incorporated pictures of our office, a review badge from Glassdoor and a ‘Meet The Team’ button for those, who’d like to know more about their colleagues-to-be.
When we’re actively recruiting, we also place a ‘We’re Hiring’ tab on the main website navigation to further highlight the opportunities.
Job search sites like Indeed and Glassdoor are great for getting in front of candidates at the point of job search. Having a fairly detailed and frequently updated employer profile on such sites can help a lot with successfully recruiting talents, due to their audience.
Of course, you share your job posting on social media, but it looks much better if it is surrounded by exciting content about what’s going on at your company. Each content has a target audience.
For example, when we share a new feature article about what improvements have been released to 10to8 appointment scheduling software in the last month, that might attract web developers. When we showcase our big partners that can be appealing for sales and business development candidates. Support videos can invite in talented customer service specialists and the overall communication may be exciting for marketers seeking a new job.
We also have our own hashtag to gather behind the scenes pictures about #workingat10to8.
At Job Fairs
The amazing thing about job fairs is that they open up serendipitous opportunities. You can meet so many talented people without having to schedule an interview. Interact with as many people as you can, talk to job seekers, other companies, do some networking. Even if you don’t find the person that you were looking for there, you will most certainly learn from the event, meet new people and possibly get tips on how to find your perfect fit.
Look beyond experience & focus on talent
“The conventional approach to recruitment is flawed – it’s too much of a one-way street and the candidate has to effectively sell themselves to the employer. I want as many candidates as possible, and then assess them on a talent basis, as opposed to experience.”
“There’s so much talent out there, in people that perhaps didn’t do so well at school but intelligent and have a lot to offer. When you hire based on talent, you have a much bigger pool of people to choose from. We look at their motivations, intelligence, and personality profile. We use Arctic Shores, a game-based psychometric assessment – it’s interesting for us but also gives something back to candidates, giving them access to a session to understand their own motivations.”
According to Alister Esam, CEO of Process Bliss, this approach is highly successful.
Figure out what skills you need, if the candidate should fill a gap in your team’s skill set or they need to have similar capabilities. When it comes to experience, bear in mind that with good onboarding and training program you can address some experience gaps. To address issues and help people grow it is essential that you identify potential weaknesses up front and discuss them with your potential employees. Putting areas for improvement front-and-center and, ideally, as part of an onboarding plan can help new joiners integrate and grow professionally fast, helping you scale.
Remember to focus on the future. Does the candidate have the drive and motivation to help your company scale? Keep in mind that the new team member not only needs to be a perfect fit for the current position but has to kind of grow out of it too. This means that a cultural fit can be more important than a precise skills or experience fit.
Do interviews your way
The most important thing you can do as an interviewer is to help your potential employee to relax and be themselves. Once you know what your ideal candidate should be like, you need to tailor your interview techniques to check specifically for the attributes you are looking for.
For example, at Process Bliss, they have a rather specific way of interviewing talent.
“They aren’t CV-based interviews, and we look carefully at how we interview people. People have a different conversation when they are stood up, for example, so sometimes we will walk with a candidate and see how they react in that context.”
“We gather several candidates for a talk on what the business is all about and see how they interact. Then each person will go for a walk with someone to interview them, we’ll then swap candidates and walk again, and then make a final decision about who to recruit.” – says Alister Esam.
Never settle for somebody just because you feel under pressure to find someone. It’s a sign that you need to put in more effort to recruit talent that fits your company. Recruiting is hard work. It’s much more worthwhile to spend time interviewing dozens of candidates and finding the right one, than hiring somebody who can do the job and realizing in 2-3 months that they are just not good enough.
You shouldn’t rush any process, but be ready to be bold and confident when you meet the right candidate. When you’ve found the talent you need, act quickly. At 10to8 we have a rule: We only bring in a candidate for an interview if we could, theoretically, have them start that day. That includes a plan for their first 3 months employment and how we would assess weaknesses, identified at the interview, in their first year. We usually won’t make offers like that day but the preparation required focuses our interviews and means we can act faster than any other potential employer. And yes, we have had someone’s final interview date and their first day of employment be the same day. .
Build a positive company culture
Make the company culture you aspire to have clear. Discuss it at the interview. Make it a part of your review process. Talk about it. Ask how candidates can help you develop it. Review performance based on it. Company culture doesn’t happen by accident. If you let a company culture evolve at best it will be the founder’s personality in team-form, and at worst the worst elements of every new hire’s working practices. Work at it.
“Having the best vision and strategy is all well and good, but if your culture is not right, the chances are that business growth will be seriously affected. And over the last 20 years, I have seen it happen on several occasions.”
“So why do businesses struggle to create the right culture? Probably because it is often intangible, whereas defining a vision and strategy is very visual, you can measure progress easily by setting goals and key performance indicators and everyone can see the progress being made.”
Amanda Brooke, Commercial Director of Extramile Communications Ltd. shared her two foolproof tips to building a positive company culture:
Underestimate the power of your people at your peril.
“Bringing together everyone in the business to get a selection of different viewpoints is highly beneficial. The cultural web developed by Johnson and Scholes is one of the best tools to help define culture because it clearly outlines the different elements a business needs to consider. I use this as an interactive exercise to get employees firstly to describe their present culture and secondly, to look at how they need their culture to be in order to deliver their vision.”
Process challenge helps to create new habits
“The people who operate processes are normally the best people to know how to improve them. Challenging and changing processes creates a strong team culture of proactive problem-solving.”
Positive company culture will not only help to bring talent on board but will improve employee loyalty. Furthermore, in a company where there’s a well-established culture, senior employees will be ensured that new team members will be hired to fit this culture.
Hiring the talent you need to scale and building culture are tied together. Why not read our article on how to build a positive company culture then?
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Matthew Cleevely founded 10to8 with a few friends to help simplify managing bookings and make the world a little bit more organized. He helps out where needed across the business in strategy, accounting, finance, compliance, fundraising, and people.
Outside of 10to8 he works with a wide range of high growth businesses to help them achieve their goals. He's also got an MEng in Engineering from Oxford and MPhil in Economics from Cambridge.
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