Saying you want to grow your business is one thing, making it happen is another. Here is food for thought to grow your business by hiring the right people.
I believe having the right people on board is critical for business growth. I recently read about OPOWER, a US-based start-up whose growth was powered by people. In 2009, OPOWER employed 30 people, but two years later it employed 210, and in 2016 it was purchased by Oracle.
On their hiring strategy, its former CEO and co-founder Dan Yates, said in an interview: “We hired really talented people and gave them responsibility and authority, as well as great co-workers.” OPOWER only hired ‘A’ players and had the patience and discipline to wait for the right person, rather than settling.
So what can you learn from OPOWER? Here’s a few takeaways:
1. Look at how you’re managing your team
Is it time to replace B players with A players? Will you need additional staff to reach your projected growth? Now is always the time to secure the talent you need.
2. Keep your pipeline full
If you hang a ‘We're Hiring' sign, will you get the right people walking into your door? Consider using recruitment strategies that will reach today’s best job seekers.
Keep in mind: Your job description is your company brand. Create job listings that draw people into the picture, so they can see how they will fit into your organisation. Content marketing that promotes your company culture will give an insider's view of your business and your people.
Related: Everything you need to know about the next generation of employees: Gen Z
3. Keep your pipeline from leaking
Employee turnover will take some maintenance on your part as the economy peaks and troughs. Make yourself (as a business leader) more visible and be sure to check in with your people to see how things are going. To retain top employees, pay particular attention to their comments regarding their direct supervisors, as this is the number one reason people leave their jobs.
4. Provide people with what matters most to them
As a small business, you can't compete with the big boys for talent solely based on money. Which is good news, because money is rarely the reason why people stay or leave a job.
You can use employee surveys to discover the environment they seek and then implement what is possible. For example, if employees value time-off during summer to be with their families, and this is typically a slow time for your business, consider implementing ‘Summer Fridays’ and allow employees to leave early on Fridays.
5. Always demonstrate trust
It's difficult to let go of everyday business decisions, especially when you are the founder. However, this is non-negotiable to grow your business. Yates pointed out in his interview that he trusts his 'A' players to make the right decisions. He also knew that to do so, they must have the tools and information necessary to make sound decisions.
Company culture (built on respect and trust) begins with you
Publically celebrate successes and work together to learn from failures. When you foster a culture of talent, respect and responsibility, you’ll find people rarely do things that will embarrass the company. Instead, they will take greater risks, which lead to greater financial rewards.
Related: Why Donna Rachelson believes the secret to your business success lies with women
When you look at small businesses that have grown into highly valuable companies, you see a common thread. Committed people who are willingly giving 100% of themselves to achieve outrageous growth. If you want to grow, begin looking at your people.