How to Rapidly Scale Your Team Without Sacrificing Sustainability

You may not realize what rapid scaling is to you, but if you hire more than three people at once, you could be facing severe sustainability problems in the future. These include major business issues like missed growth targets, customer turnover, or crippling Glassdoor review.

If you hire just one or two people, it is possible to control the entire process. If you hire three or more members, it is essential to delegate some of these hiring responsibilities. You can make critical errors if you don’t give your hiring staff a guideline.

This is the most normal mistake I have seen in my 14-years of experience setting up and scaling up businesses. Take their lessons and use them to help you achieve intentional sustainable growth. Here are the four steps to achieving sustainable development.

1. Gut check

Let’s think about this for a while: Should you be hiring? Are you sure that adding more people to your staff won’t cause problems? Answer these questions:

  • Do you use the phrase “wear many different hats” when describing these new positions?
  • Does your non-executive team member serve customers both internally and externally? Does your team suit both the needs of customers and employees?
  • Take a look at the calendars of three teams you are hiring for  Do meetings take up more than 50% of their day?

If you answered no to any of the questions, then you have failed the gut-check. Don’t hire until you know what lies ahead. These are signs that your organization doesn’t function well together. It means that there is too much collaboration between your teams. Collaboration is a waste of time, and time is money.

The number of jobs you are hiring for will make the problem worse. If there are more than ten positions, I recommend that you address them first. If you need help with this, seek the guidance of an organizational design firm. Do not look for one that specializes in HR. Instead, seek out one who is experienced in strategy and operations. HR does not run your company. Why would you want them to design it?

You can use temporary staffing or a fractional workforce to address short-term staffing requirements. There are many options available, including gig workers and fractional executives. This will address the immediate need while protecting your culture.

2. Avatar hack

If an avatar is something you’ve never heard of, it’s a profile or person. This isn’t a job description. A job description details the duties, roles and responsibilities of the role, while an avatar describes the perfect candidate.

Avatars for every role that you are hiring will set your team up for success. You don’t want them to be the hiring manager. You will also save time by giving the avatar upfront. It’s easy to make an avatar.

Step 1. Find a LinkedIn profile for your ideal candidate

Perhaps this person is already part of your team. If you don’t know the name of someone, try a title search. Check out the profile of a competitor in a related role. It would support if you were sure that the candidate is a match for your requirements. Are you unable to find one in all three areas? You can find three profiles and then combine them to make one.

Step 2. Describe your profile using your own words

Reread the profile(s), and open a new document. Now describe the candidate’s personality, background, and values. You don’t have to make it look great. However, it would help if you were as detailed as you could.

Step 3. Socialize the avatar and your team

You can share the avatar with all your coworkers in a document. This will ensure that they are on the same page. Allow them to make suggestions for changes in the paper. The manuscript should be merged with your recruiter.

3. Standards for hiring

Your culture is protected by hiring standards. This means that you can control how you grow. You don’t want your culture to be left to chance. Write and follow hiring rules. A dysfunctional culture results in customer turnover and the infamous Glassdoor reviews that last a lifetime. This can quickly lead to disaster and high costs.

You can quickly create hiring standards by listing your deal killers. Think about what would cause you to walk away from a candidate in these categories: core values and compensation, personality, start date, and personality.

4. Interview sequence

You can’t afford to do your best in the interview sequence. A common mistake made by companies is to assume that a good interview sequence will consume more time. So they limit the number of interviews. Here are some interview strategies that will preserve your time and protect your culture.

30-minute screen

This is not the job of the recruiter. You can have anyone on your team check the hiring standards and assess culture fit.

Work assignment

Send the candidate a work assignment if they pass the 30-minute screen. At least three case studies should be included to illustrate the candidate’s difficulties in the role. It is important to remember that you are not trying to steal work products. These can be customer-service scenarios, employee scenarios, or technical scenarios. SaaS testing providers are available that can provide assessments if you’re willing and able to pay.

Three-person panel

A three-person panel should review the assignment and conduct interviews to give the candidate an overall pass rating. They can also protect their time by only interviewing the top candidates.

This group should not include the hiring manager or any other person directly reporting to this new role. While you want to have two people with whom the candidate will work closely, ensure at least one is not from the same team. Also, ensure these three people represent your diversity goals. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to find candidates that look like your panel.

If you don’t have the resources to do this in your company, you might consider hiring an external recruiter to screen candidates with your avatar. Protecting your culture is well worth the investment.

Hiring manager interview

Only candidates who receive two out of three passes from the panel will be allowed to interview with the hiring manager. This protects your time and culture, as well as your hiring manager’s time.

Your hiring manager must have read the panel’s notes and reviewed the candidate’s resume and application. Also, be prepared to answer at least ten questions during interviews. Then, make the offer to two to three final applicants.

This four-step guide will help you quickly scale your business while ensuring sustainability long term. This guideline will protect you and your culture while you grow with intention. Enjoy your growth!

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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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