It’s a common misconception. Fast-growing companies have found the recipe for success. They know exactly what they need to do, and they don’t face any challenges.
In reality, fast-growing companies have a list of unique challenges they must overcome. One of the biggest is finding, engaging, and retaining top talent. Fast growth is often driven by a unique offering, filling a previously unfilled gap in the market, combined with clever marketing. Turning that zeitgeist into long term stability requires the best people, and it requires them to stick around. Companies that overcome these talent challenges can finally become stable and succeed in the long term.
Hiring the Best Talent
Every company tries to hire the best people, but many fall short. It ultimately comes down to time.
In the beginning, the founder is involved in all hiring decisions. The founder has a very specific idea of who he or she wants and is willing to take the time to land the best talent. That’s why so many startups end up with Rockstar teams of innovative thinkers.
As the company starts growing, though, the founder no longer has that kind of time, so it’s passed on to managers. Managers in rapidly growing companies are often new to the position, and likely don’t have the same clarity of vision as the company’s executives. They want to find great talent, but there are barriers. Some managers don’t want to be overshadowed by the people they hire. Others don’t have experience evaluating soft-skills that make or break a new hire.
To avoid unintentional bias, wildly varying criteria in the hiring process, or short-term talent pickups that balloon HR expenses, a clearly defined process is needed. Use assessments to take the emotion out of the process. Also, allow time for the managers to transition into their new role. Don’t just hand it over to them at once. Sit in on interviews and provide feedback so they know what you expect during the hiring process.
Filling Top-Level Positions
These companies grew quickly for a reason. They have great talent, and these people provide the necessary support. With that in mind, they need to promote from within.
This will do two things. First, it will cut down on the training necessary for top-level positions. Yes, they will still have to train promoted employees, but it won’t be as extensive since they are already familiar with the company.
Second, it will keep top-level employees happy. They won’t look for work elsewhere, so management can maintain one of the best talent pools in the industry. If hard working employees see that their dedication is rewarded and their career plans are taken into consideration, they’re more likely to stay with the company.
Promoting from within is a good strategy in many cases, but it can create additional talent challenges to be aware of. Many of the best performers, no matter how great they are, will lack management experience. Executives should be prepared to invest additional time coaching and supporting these individuals as they make the transition from individual contributor to people manager.
Finding Enough Space for Employees
This is something most companies don’t think about until it’s too late, and they then realize just how serious it can be. When a company grows quickly, it’s normal for it to outgrow its space. Of course, leases are in place, so they can’t just open up a new office space. That puts them in a bad position. They need new employees to manage the growth, but they don’t have space for those people.
Fortunately, technology has opened up the door for a virtual workforce. Forty-three percent of employed Americans worked remotely at least part of the time in 2016, and it’s a great way to manage a fast-growing business. You can add talent, even if your office can’t accommodate the extra desks. Plus, it will help you be more competitive in your hiring. Remote working opportunities make employees more likely to take jobs.
Just keep in mind the potential issues faced with a large remote workforce. Employees are less likely to feel like part of the core team unless you make a concerted effort to involve them, and management of a remote team can be more challenging without processes in place designed for such a setup.
Hire the Best Talent for Your Company
The right talent will put a quickly growing company in the position to jump out in front of the competition. That will give them the type of staying power that new businesses crave.
Learn more about how to get more out of your one-on-one time with staff and boost the factors that most influence retention. Download our Performance Management Hacks white paper: