4 Steps To Hiring A Rockstar Team
Hiring the right team is THE most important piece of the puzzle – especially when you’re just starting to expand.
At this stage of your game, you're going from a small group of one to two people, to a tight but critical nucleus that will propel your business forward.
But most businesses don’t take the time to hire properly.
Many owners don’t have a clear business mission and so their business isn’t strategically aligned to their mid- to long-term goals. They may not even have clear long-term goals.
Instead, they hire people who can who solve their short-term needs. For example, they’d hire someone who knows how to build their tech infrastructure instead of someone who knows how to maintain those systems.
Think about how hard it is to grow your business and maintain a rockstar team if you are hiring for short term needs instead of the long term!
Part of the reason is also the frenetic pace that most businesses have at this stage. Many owners feel like they don’t have time to focus on anything other than the fires in front of them.
So they hire quickly and often with the fires in mind.
Over the course of helping hundreds of companies expand their teams, I have found these four steps to be effective in hiring a skilled, passionate, and cohesive team that can propel your business forward.
If you want help to implement these steps, reach out to our team here.
1. Evaluate Your Current Team
I bet that most people on your team don't remember the original roles that they were actually hired for. They're probably all wearing multiple hats – the techie doubles as your marketing guru, the sales guy is also doing social media strategy and at the same time is heading your operations.
Maybe you’re doing all of those roles yourself.
Before you expand your team, it’s important to move everyone back to the natural position that plays to their strengths.
It may seem like a no brainer, but I see it happen over and over again. Take the tech guy who is leading the marketing. Instead of pivoting him back to tech and hiring for someone who excels in marketing strategy, many businesses hire a tech person because they “already have a marketing guy”.
Crazy, right? But when we are in the trenches, it can be hard to see clearly who belongs where.
So prioritize the time to evaluate your team. Once you’ve decided on where your current team members fit, and where their value to your company best plays to their strengths, you can see more clearly who you need.
2. Create A Recruiting Roadmap
Think about your 1-2 most important business goals for this year. Make sure those goals align with your business mission. Now look at the skills you have on your team to achieve those goals, and then identify the gaps.
Hire for the gaps.
It’s important to think past the burning fires that are pressuring you right now. Sure, there are priorities that need to be done yesterday, but there is a difference between putting out a fire and creating a team that will build your company and advance its mission. The first is tactical and the second is strategic.
It’s also important to not try and save money now by trading away control tomorrow. I remember talking to an entrepreneur who needed someone to help with building tech needs. The entire job only required two months max, but because she couldn’t pay, she wanted to offer him to be a business partner.
Think about that. To save money in the short term, she was about to offer him a seat at the table for all decisions in the company.
Would you want the person building your website to have decision-making authority for your company in perpetuity?
Where possible, consider contracting out your short-term needs. And keep your hiring eye on the long game.
A recruiting roadmap will keep you aligned with your business mission and help guide you to making smart, long-term hiring decisions.
2. Don’t Compromise Your Team Culture (Team Over Superstar, Every Day)
Prioritize strong team culture over individual technical skills.
One person on a team with a poor attitude can slash team productivity. It weakens team trust, it threatens team chemistry, and it can produce a toxic environment.
You probably know someone like that right now. Remember how miserable working with them made you and your team feel?
A toxic environment seeps into every corner of the business...from company politics to your revenue.
That’s why building a strong team is more effective than hiring a superstar. Many businesses fall in love with the superstar but don’t see how the superstar’s positive results can come at the expense of a strong team dynamic.
But here's the thing: you don't have to hire a superstar. Technical skills can be learned on the job.
But it's extremely difficult to teach intangible skills like attitude and high emotional intelligence.
Culture starts with you, the leader. And there’s no better way to create and foster a strong and productive team culture than by prioritizing it when hiring.
3. Be patient
Hiring someone new isn’t only about delivering results, it’s also about weaving her into the fabric of the team. And that takes time.
This person is new to the mission, the business culture, and the team. So set her up for success by taking the time to map out how she fits within your long term business mission and your mid- to long term business goals.
Trust her to do her job and understand that there will be a period of adjustment.
Listen to her new ideas, especially if they challenge your business dogma. After all, that’s what you’ve hired her for.
She doesn’t have any street cred with the team yet. But few things build better team chemistry and trust than solving ever-complex challenges together.
Set up regular check-in meetings to answer any questions.
Once that person plugs into the team, once she becomes a productive, enthusiastic, passionate member of your workforce, your business culture will flourish, and you will see how that your productivity and on your bottom line.
A strong team is the heart and soul of a thriving business. These four steps will help you bring smart, passionate, and skilled people to your team.