Hiring the right team is key to any business’s success, but it’s essential for a high growth business. Without the right team in place, it’s going to feel like you’re trying to grow your business by banging your head on a brick wall.
Why? Because staffing a high growth business requires a different strategy than a business experiencing average growth.
Of course, you’ll still hire based on skills and experience, but you also need to go deeper. You need to hire based on your business needs right now as well as where your business will be in 6 to 18 months. Each team member your hire needs to meet both of those needs.
And then, you need to add one more layer: you need mentors who will bring your team along as the business grows.
So, let’s take a look at how this all works.
Is your business a high growth business?
First, it’s helpful to determine where your business is on the growth scale. The average small business can grow 10 to 15 percent without much change to its organizational structure. But, the higher your business is on the growth scale, the more challenging growth becomes.
While average growth rates can vary significantly based on industry, here’s a breakdown of generally accepted growth categories:
|Annual Growth Rate||Growth Category|
|Less than 20%||Average|
|20 – 50%||Rapid|
|50 – 100%||High|
|Greater than 100%||Super high|
Even if your business is running at peak effectiveness, the minute you cross that 20% threshold, you need to adjust every aspect of how you run your business to accommodate the rapidly changing, constantly moving parts of a high growth business.
Your team grows your business
If you could achieve all your business growth goals by yourself, that would be great. But we all know that’s a fantasy, not reality. You can’t grow your business yourself; you need a team. And while you may provide the leadership and direction necessary to achieve business goals, your team are the ones who actually grow your business.
As a leader, your job is to ensure you’ve got the right team of people in place for what you need right now and what you need 6 to 18 months from now. You need a blend of entry-level team members, subject matter experts, and mentors to help run your business today and guide it toward tomorrow.
Two key attributes of entry-level team members
In today’s high growth business world, hiring the cream of the crop is a must for any company looking to stay competitive. But that’s not always a budget reality for small businesses.
Small businesses often hire entry level team members with minimal skills and experience planning to train them on what they need to know. It’s a good solution for financial constraints and can definitely work, but only if those team members possess two essential attributes.
First, they have to be highly self-motivated. No, not basically self-motivated – extremely self-motivated. They must be the embodiment of a go-getter who takes responsibility for creating success in their job. Without an extreme level of self-motivation to balance out their lack of skills and experience, an entry-level individual will negatively impact business growth.
Second, they need to possess a high predisposition for personal growth. Not only will their skills and abilities need to grow as the business grows, but their so-called soft skills will need to improve too. They’ll need to develop more advanced critical thinking, collaboration, and delegation skills to keep up with your evolving business.
So, when you’re hiring entry-level team members, make sure you’re screening for self-motivation and a predisposition to personal growth.
Invest In subject matter experts
Running a high growth business is no easy feat, and that’s why as you grow, you’ll need to hire a subject matter expert (SME) for some functional areas. SMEs are knowledgeable and experienced professionals who can provide the tactical guidance you need to achieve your goals faster and with less stress. They provide sound advice and valuable support in a high growth environment and can help develop strategic solutions to advance your small business quickly.
Additionally, subject matter experts can help you maximize the potential of entry-level team members more quickly. If your entry-level team member reports to an SME, they’ll be getting daily on-the-job training and can ramp up their skills more rapidly than if they were learning from you or a structured course.
If your entry-level team members do not report to an SME, put your SMEs and entry-level team members on the same project or task groups. Ensure that your SMEs are working with entry-level team members to guide them in their areas of expertise. This will enable entry-level or even mid-level team members the opportunity to learn industry best practices firsthand. Investing effort in subject matter experts is a smart step towards achieving your business goals.
5:1 mentor ratio
Mentoring is an essential tool for rapidly growing businesses; because no matter what industry you’re in, your business runs on people. The individual skills and abilities of your team are what create the intellectual horsepower of your business.
Having one mentor per every five employees enables a company to create a positive impact by providing valuable resources, guidance, and support to help them reach their goals. Mentors can provide employees with the necessary motivation and critical thinking to succeed in high-growth environments.
As well as providing accountability and feedback on performance, mentors can help set achievable goals that can be reached by recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses so that no employee is left unsupported or undervalued. With the added insight of a mentor, high-growth businesses have a more significant opportunity to improve productivity, efficiency, team morale, and overall business success.
A high-growth business is constantly expanding and innovating. It can be challenging to maintain this pace, but it’s doable with the right team in place.
That’s why you should hire entry-level employees for your business; you want them to grow with you as you expand. And don’t forget about subject matter experts! They can play a valuable role in training your entry-level employees and helping your small business grow. If you want your company to reach its full potential, make sure you have one mentor for every five employees. This will ensure that everyone on your team has access to the resources they need to succeed.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Schedule a problem-solving conversation today, and let us help you get there!