Your team is the most critical component of scaling. When you are getting ready to scale, the hiring process becomes a little more difficult, because you will be seeking expertise in strategy and management.
When hiring during the scaling phase, you need to think strategically. There are a number of ways you can do this. It is important to immerse yourself and your team in meetups, industry meetings and events. This will allow you to get to know people on a personal level. As we discussed earlier in this book, strategic hires take time, so you need to plant the seed early rather than posting a job advertisement 3 weeks before you need to hire.
As with every other aspect of running a startup, you need a plan. Your hiring plan should identify which positions you will be hiring for which depends greatly on your team. For example, you may decide to promote employees to management positions – which will leave roles that need to be filled. Whereas you may decide some employees stay in their current roles, meaning you may need to hire for senior roles.
You may also have to make some tough decisions around hiring for the board or begin to hire C-suite executives. Of course, there is a myriad of approaches that are available to you.
Carefully assess the skills of your current team to determine which skills you require to move toward your company’s north star metric. Once you identify the skills gap, you may also consider implementing an upskill training program, or a graduate program to complement your hiring strategy.
Ensure that each new employee is a good fit for your company’s culture to help cultivate it. If your company’s values do not align to the new employees’ values, then it can lead to division within the team. Therefore, map an interview process to assess whether candidates will make a good fit with your organisation’s culture. If you meet potential candidates at an industry meetup, invite them to a social function with your team and take notice of how they interact.
To help build your company’s culture, create small events that your team would like to regularly attend. The trend in some Silicon Valley startups is to have book reading clubs. It can be anything that your team likes to do for fun. If you create a space where people from other organisations can come and go – or join in, then you can attract (and secretly screen) great candidates, while nurturing the company’s culture.