If your business is considering moving into a hypergrowth phase, then it’s time to start planning for hiring. You need to build a roadmap that lays out all the necessary tasks. You should know who will be responsible for what, and by when.
Many of your upcoming challenges will need to be delegated to employees that you haven’t even hired yet.
These pivotal staff members will need to be recruited, interviewed, hired, and onboarded to help you achieve hypergrowth success. However, hiring for hypergrowth isn’t like traditional hiring. It requires a different mindset and a different approach.
Let’s take a look at some of the hypergrowth hiring factors that most business owners have never even considered.
During a move to hypergrowth, most business owners feel like the keys to success are in new technologies and optimized processes. They end up devoting most of their time and effort in these directions.
These areas are essential, but they should never be considered as the number one priority. Instead, hiring should be your primary focus.
After all, it’s the people in the organization that will run the technologies and oversee the processes. They are the ones that will identify how to continuously improve various parts of your different business systems.
By hiring the right people, you ensure that the other pieces fall into place seamlessly.
You are likely to spend half of your time hiring and fortifying your workforce during hypergrowth. You are responsible for forming stronger and stronger teams under increasingly tighter deadlines.
In most cases, you will need to bring on outsourced recruitment professionals to help you hire at high speeds without sacrificing employee quality. You should make sure to set aside time to review your hiring processes and work with these professionals to make adjustments as needed to ensure hypergrowth success.
It is obvious that your hiring process has to be sped up to meet the needs of hypergrowth. But you also have to handle this process carefully. Hiring is the first real interaction that a prospective employee has with your company. It sets up their expectations and builds their view of your company, its culture, and what you expect of them.
You need to be sure to build a successful foundation in all of these areas. You will work with your recruitment professionals to intentionally craft a successful hiring experience. The employees involved in direct communication with new recruits should never seem stressed, rushed, or negative in any way.
Recruit-facing employees need to exemplify your company culture. If they fail to do so, new recruits can adopt their negative attitudes. Recruits with a negative attitude can shift the company in a detrimental way as they come on en masse.
This emphasis on attitude goes both ways.
Employees of the company should present a positive attitude and appearance. Likewise, candidates that are hired must be positive, excited, and passionate. You are looking for more than a strong background and solid skills. Potential employees must be excited about making a contribution to the company. They should be looking forward to collaborating with other members of your workforce. Their goal should be to create something truly special throughout this process of hypergrowth.
Historically, your hiring process would start with the job description. This doesn’t exactly work well when you are in a hypergrowth phase. Your company’s priorities and needs can change dramatically during the growth curve. The best candidates will be able to handle and embrace this change. They will be agile and able to shift their focus while learning on the fly.
A steadfast job description can prevent a business from hiring individuals like this. Your hiring team can begin to prioritize the candidates that best fit the description even though the description may not be applicable in three months.
Instead, you need to build jobs around the individuals that you hire. You should obviously provide job titles and general expectations, especially for more senior and administrative positions.
Outside of this, you should focus on building jobs around great candidates that are passionate and have shown a history of pursuing growth. They should be experts in meaningful areas that could serve the business in the short and long-term.
This is also a smart way to adjust to the career trends that Millennial’s — who now make up the largest portion of the workforce — have embraced. This generation is very different from their parents and grandparents.
Instead of sticking with a single company for their entire lifetime, they tend to move from job to job to job within a single decade. Giving them the freedom and flexibility to adjust their position with the incentive to stay. This will significantly lower employee attrition and recruiting costs.
Like we just talked about, being positive is paramount to the hiring process. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be naïve to your weaknesses. You need to spend time identifying the hiring challenges that you are likely to face — this includes challenges that are common across your industry, as well as ones that may be unique to your organization.
You can start with the job titles that will be the hardest to fill. This might be because most of the professionals in that career are concentrated in another city or because it is a niche field.
You can move to budgetary challenges, workforce acceptance of new hires, office space, and any other number of issues after you have identified who these difficult to hire employees will be.
After you have your list of challenges, you can start working on finding solutions. Facing hiring challenges head-on will help you improve your process as you work to remedy various issues one by one.
Hiring during hypergrowth is about more than just speed. Instead, you need to hire intelligently.
One of the smartest ways you can hire is by hiring in strategic areas. Instead of just trying to double the size of every department as quickly as possible, you should be focusing on the departments that need the most help.
Consider your company’s growth plan. Make a list of the departments that you need in your company and rank them by hiring priority.
Your list will often start with your research and development team, then move to the marketing and sales teams, and slowly spread across the company before circling back again.
When you are only hiring a few employees each month, it’s easy to let your normal hiring team take control of things. They have a hiring process that is very manageable and it’s easy for them to onboard new team members. New hires are easily assimilated into the existing staff and things run relatively smoothly.
With hypergrowth, the situation is very different — for several reasons.
First, hiring en masse is harder on your hiring team. You can fix this by involving other employees in the process. Specific departments can review candidate resumes instead of HR. Lower-level employees that are going to be working with new hires can participate in the interview process. Spreading out responsibilities makes everything more feasible.
Secondly, it can be hard to integrate so many new hires into the company’s culture. It’s hard to get your workforce fo fully embrace the newcomers. When the whole workforce is involved in hiring, it reduces these issues dramatically. Existing staff members feel invested in the new hire and want them to succeed.
It is important, however, to work closely with your recruitment team to develop processes to ensure high-quality hires even with so many people involved. They can help you make sure that you have standardized processes for reviewing candidate resumes, conducting interviews, hiring, and onboarding new team members.
Some business owners see hiring as a pretty flexible concept. They will put one candidate through a single interview whereas other candidates may have to go through two or three. They may hire based solely on the resume, or base their decision on how a technical interview goes.
This kind of flexibility may work okay when you are not in a hypergrowth phase, but it can cause a lot of problems when you are.
You should look at hiring like a funnel. There are various steps that every candidate must go through at each step in your funnel. Following this type of process will keep your hiring organized, systematic, reliable, and scalable.
While you’re in a hypergrowth phase, the end picture can be hazy. It can be difficult to know when the phase might slow down or pick up. Even though there are a lot of uncertainties, your leadership team must work together to identify a few hard numbers.
They need to know a fairly accurate estimation of how many employees they will be keeping over the long-term and how many employees may just be brought in temporarily. Temporary employees must be informed of their short-term situation.
If this is unclear, it can create an issue with future recruiting. Potential employees will be hesitant to apply once they have seen mass layoffs. It can also weaken morale across the workforce, causing fear and competition that is detrimental instead of beneficial.
During hypergrowth, you have to juggle an endless number of tasks, strategies, people, paperwork, and so much more. A lot of this is uncharted territory for you — there is no go-to strategy. The process of hypergrowth is unique for every business.
For this reason, it can be helpful for organizations to partner with specialists that can collaborate with them on the various aspects of hypergrowth. The process of hiring can be one area that benefits the most from a strong partnership with outside experts. For more information on getting hypergrowth hiring right, please contact us.
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