Staffing for Scale in Small Business
Exponential growth in sales also means exponential growth in the amount of work to be done. As you scale, it’s important to increase your staff size appropriately to keep up with customer demand. Hiring without a clear plan in place can lead to poor choices and more recruiting work down the line.
These 4 tips will help you make wise hiring choices as you scale your team along with your company.
1. Hire for the Long Term
If scale is one of your primary goals, your first few hires will be crucial to your success. Each member you bring on will become a key player on your team. During the hiring process, be sure to ask yourself: Is this person someone who can fill a short-term need, or someone who will help me achieve my long-term mission? Hire only the people who fall into the latter category.
2. Hire Strategically
At first, your open positions will be created to take work off your plate, so you’ll be bringing people on who can do what you do. The next phase of hiring should be strategically oriented to recruit people who have skills or experience that you don’t have. These people will help bring fresh insights to the table and provide complementary viewpoints to your own—two things your business needs in order to thrive.
3. Hire for Culture
When there’s pressure to add heads quickly, it’s easy to take the first qualified candidate who walks in the door. If you want to maintain a great company culture as you scale, you need to keep hiring people who will make a positive contribution to that culture. In addition to considering individual skills and personalities during the hiring process, think about how each person will mesh with your company’s ethos.
4. Hire to Keep Up with Demand
As sales increase, your staff will quickly become maxed out. It’ll make the hiring process easier if you can come up with a formula early on to determine how much work each person can do so that you know when to add more staff members. For example, you might calculate on an hourly basis how many customers a salesperson can help, how many orders a register clerk can ring up, or how many haircuts a stylist can give. These estimates will help you determine when and what kinds of new hires to make so that quality and efficiency remain high during the scaling process.
The Bottom Line
Building a strong foundation of staff members who are there for the long haul, dedicated to your mission, complement your skills and expertise, and mesh well with your company culture is essential to being able to scale quickly and stably. As you project growth for your business, you’ll want to similarly project growth and allocate resources for new heads to ensure that your business continues to operate smoothly.