Successful Recruitment for rapid growth Tech Companies
Here are 6 key recruitment strategies for rapid growth Tech Companies that we have found to be highly successful.
Take time to understand how people get things done
Sorry to break it to you but some people embellish on their CV’s, stretch the truth in interviews, and take credit for things that might not have been their achievements. Many of these people also interview very well. We’ve heard many stories from companies who told us they hired people in good faith only to end up having to let them go 6-12 months later as they didn’t have the expertise that was inferred at interview or on the CV.
Did this person really deliver what it says on their CV or were they just along for the ride? To get to the truth and identify the real A* talent it’s critical to take the time to understand how people get things done. Ask deeper and more probing questions about their achievements. You want to understand their methodology of thought, how they made decisions & the granular detail of how they executed. Ask the right ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions and it will become apparent whether they really are a superstar or a pretender.
Don’t hire too Quickly
This may seem counter-intuitive as often you might be under massive pressure to hire, and the classic market narrative always pushes speed speed speed. But hiring too quickly often leads to firing too quickly. Measure twice and cut once as the old proverb says.
Don’t hire slowly either, but it’s important to make sure that there is a process in place that stops you from immediately making someone an offer after meeting them for an hour and being really impressed. Remember that many people can interview extremely well and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right person for the job. Design a few well thought out interview stages that each test different parts of their skills, experience & behaviours. Have them meet a couple of the key decision makers within the organisation. This will stop any ‘impulse buys’ that may lead to expensive hiring mistakes. A great hiring process should not only find a great candidate, it should do it whilst minimising risk.
A common problem in business, particularly within rapid growth and venture backed firms, is the desire to hire the best people but not having the budget to achieve it. So, what do you do?
Get creative and be flexible. Instead of trying to hire someone who has the perfect track record, hire someone who can be a future star. Source candidates from your competitor companies & related periphery companies who are a level below the role in your company. It is highly likely you will still hire a high calibre individual, with the added benefit that they will be hugely motivated to achieve something they haven’t done before. You will not have the comfort blanket of a proven track record, but you may actually get a better and more motivated performer out of it in the long run.
On the other hand, what if you have interviewed someone who is over the budget you have but they are an amazing talent and you really want them in your business? A client of ours was recently in this position with a leadership level hire. Their solution was to expand the individual’s role to take on large parts of another leadership position that they hadn’t yet hired. This allowed them to allocate budget from that role to match the candidate’s salary requirements. The client was happy to get the individual on board, and the candidate was ecstatic to be given a role with even greater responsibility.
Behavioural Fit not the same as Personality Fit
Personality fit is someone that you might enjoy a few drinks with on a Friday evening. This does not mean that person will be the next star employee at your company. We all have different personalities, but you will find top performers have similar behavioural traits. Too often companies will hire someone because they feel them to be a good personality fit, where they actually should be looking at whether they are a good behavioural fit. To determine that we need to analyse their behaviours in the workplace, what they have achieved and how they have done it. Their behavioural patterns need to align with your firm’s attitudes and processes.
Careful reference checking is one of the most underrated & underutilised tools in ensuring a successful hiring process. We typically check references given by a candidate, but also make a phone call to someone we know who might have worked with them in the past. We also encourage clients to do their own ‘back channel’ reference checking. Speak to people within your own network who have worked with the candidate or who may have crossed paths with them in a business capacity. If you really like the candidate do this as early as possible in the process, don’t wait until you have made an offer which is what most do. Better to find out about something that could derail the process at the start rather than at the end.
Have a hiring model & don’t compromise on it
Do you have a hiring model?
There are 6 things that we always look for in Senior Executive candidates:
– Honesty, integrity & shared values. If these aren’t in place then you should never move forward.
– Intellectual horsepower. Not just book smarts, but the ability to cut through complex business challenges
– Energy & passion. Demonstrating a real passion to achieve, and a contagious enthusiasm.
– Leadership. The ability to fuse those different personalities around them into a cohesive unit. The ability to grow teams and put the right people into the right jobs
– Data Driven. The ability to understand and evaluate data, as well as recognising its limitations in the decision making process
– Humility. The best leaders tend to be humble. They are aware they are not infallible. They are autodidacts by nature and always learning. They understand areas in which they are weak, which is one of the reasons they tend to hire the best talent as they can see the gaps that need plugging.
This hiring model has served particularly well when applied to rapid growth companies who can’t afford to have passengers. If you are trying to grow very quickly it always pays to hire a great candidate if you meet them and they fit your hiring model, even if they don’t fit a job profile completely. You will find that the most talented A* candidates will find a way to adapt and be successful.
Whatever you decide your hiring model to be though, stick to it at all times however tempting it might be not to. The pain & financial cost of a poor hire because a talented candidate is not culturally right within your company is not worth the risk.
Hiring great leaders & game changing talent is a hugely complex & often time consuming process for businesses; a topic on which you could write almost endlessly, and go into far greater detail than in this blog. As with anything though simplicity of thought is vital to execution, so let’s boil the above down into 3 simple ideas:
1. Have a sourcing process in place that ensures you are able to identify the very best people within the marketplace/sector you are involved in.
2. Think of the hiring process as a way of minimising risk. Have the assessment structure & interview techniques in place within the process that allows you to understand exactly what the candidate has personally achieved, how they did it and whether their methods of working will fit in with your business culture.
3. Don’t be afraid to hire A* Talent that fits your hiring model, even if they may not tick every box on your job specification. Great talent adapts to succeed.
Find out more about how we build rapid growth Tech companies – https://wyatt.partners/what-our-clients-say/