Building a Team from Scratch: How To Hire for a Growing Business

Jul 12, 2016

Building a Team from Scratch

Startup companies are built on the dreams of their founding entrepreneurs and are often fueled by the passion and knowledge of a few people. But what happens when success arrives and the need to expand quickly becomes a top priority? Without a doubt, building the right team is crucial to the success of a rapidly growing business. How do startups identify and hire the best candidates to meet their increasing need for top talent?

No one knows the challenges of hiring for a startup more than an entrepreneur. Alon Alroy, a cofounder of a successful startup, discusses his recruiting philosophies in a June 6, 2016, Entrepreneur article, 6 Ways to Hire the Talent You Need to Scale Quickly. Like most entrepreneurs, Mr. Alroy faces balancing the scaling of a growing business while building the right team. He has developed key principles, including the creation of a recruitment marketing plan, which he uses when selecting new hires. Having a plan that defines the ideal candidate profile, sets hiring deadlines, and establishes the activities needed to accomplish goals will help attract candidates who are a better fit for specific positions and the organization.

After defining an ideal candidate profile, incorporating pre-employment testing, such as the ZERORISK Hiring System, can be a valuable addition to the candidate selection process. Pre-employment tests help determine whether a candidate is a good fit for a specific position and management style by uncovering behaviors, personality, and even how someone thinks—all of which are key indicators of job performance and success. Pre-employment tests can even shed light on whether a candidate is a good fit with a company's culture. By hiring people with values that echo the company's values, new hires will help shape the company's culture down the road, which is vital for a new and growing business.

Having a company culture that promotes from within may also be a consideration for startups. Finding potential future leaders is another hiring principle Mr. Alroy uses in his startup. He emphasizes in his Entrepreneur article that companies should avoid hiring employees who lack the capability to lead in the future, even if those individuals appropriately fit current positions. When searching for leadership qualities in candidates, pre-employment tests can offer an insightful solution by detecting key characteristics, including communication abilities. By hiring future leaders, startups can establish a company culture of promoting from within, which is a characteristic of many successful organizations.

However, as Jonathan Herskovitz points out in his June 18, 2016, Texas CEO Magazine article, How to Maintain a Startup Culture in a Growing Company, startups need to be aware of a common pitfall of promoting from within.

As a startup scales quickly and employees take on additional responsibilities, the organization needs to recognize the Peter Principle. This principle, formulated by Laurence Peter, is a concept whereby candidates for a particular position are identified based on their current performance, rather than their aptitude for the role for which they've been selected, writes Mr. Herskovitz. Simply put, as individuals within a startup are promoted from within, it is not uncommon for those individuals to eventually fill roles beyond their scope of abilities. Training and development, therefore, are crucial to enabling startup employees to grow as quickly as the company.

Successful companies are only as strong as the people behind them. Identifying and hiring the right talent from the beginning will help ensure a startup's success as it develops into a larger, stronger organization.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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