Getting the talent strategy right when scaling up your business

Getting the talent strategy right when scaling up your business
Spencer Riley
July 31, 2023
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Scaling up a business is an exciting yet challenging endeavour.  As your business grows, ensuring you have the right talent in place becomes paramount. A robust strategy is key to attracting, developing, and retaining top performers who will drive your business’s success. In this comprehensive guide, we, at Spencer Riley, provide you with the essential aspects of developing a talent strategy that will help your business scale effectively and sustainably.

1. Understanding the Scale-Up Phase

The scale-up phase is a period of rapid growth when a company expands at a faster rate than average. This stage is typically the most significant and challenging period for businesses, as they must navigate several hurdles while maintaining their operations and staying competitive in their industry.

1.1  Key Scale-Up Challenges

Businesses face numerous challenges during the scale-up phase, including: 

  • Determining the right time to scale
  • Managing costs and time associated with scaling
  • Staying competitive in the industry
  • Identifying appropriate roles to hire for
  • Maintaining operations during the scale-up phase
  • Building and maintaining a great company culture

To overcome these challenges and ensure a smooth transition, businesses need to develop a robust talent strategy that addresses these issues head-on.

2. Developing a Scale-Up Recruitment Strategy

A successful scale-up talent strategy involves finding the right people to help your business grow and thrive. Align your talent strategy with your business strategy.  Your talent strategy should support your business goals and objectives. Here are some essential steps to improve your recruitment strategy:

2.1  Define your Growth Vision

Before embarking on your scaling journey, clearly articulate your growth vision. Understand where you want your business to be in the future and what skills and expertise will be required to achieve those goals.  This vision will serve as the foundation for your talent strategy.

2.2 Analyse Your Challenges

Understand the unique challenges your business faces and plan your recruiting efforts accordingly. Consider your long, medium, and short-term goals, and determine whether you need to make strategic hires quickly or hire a large number of people over time.

2.3 Be Strategic from the Beginning

Ensure sustainable growth by developing a detailed recruitment plan that accounts for the size of your business, the skills required for success, and the order of importance for hiring new employees.

2.4 Build your Employer Brand

To attract the best talent, you need to build an attractive employer brand. Craft a compelling narrative that communicates your business’s mission, values, and unique selling proposition. Leverage various channels, such as social media and networking events, that enthuses and impresses potential candidates. Create an engaging candidate experience and showcase the opportunities for growth and development within your business.

By partnering with Spencer Riley, we are acting as your brand ambassadors and communicating with the marketplace on your behalf.

2.5 Focus on Impact Hires

Aim to recruit future leaders who can drive significant long-term results for your business.

2.6 Foster a Learning Culture

Invest in the development of your employees to nurture a learning culture. Provide opportunities for ongoing training, mentorship, and skill-building programmes.  Encourage cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing to foster innovation and growth.  Recognise and reward employees who demonstrate a commitment to personal and professional development.

2.7 Experience Days

Think about offering paid ‘experience days’ to assess candidates' work styles and culturalfit with your business.

2.8 Build Your Company Culture

Shape your business’s culture now by hiring employees who share your values and vision for the future.

2.9 Seek Expert Help

Consider partnering with Spencer Riley to help you scale effectively.

3.0 Look for Diversity of Thought

Hire candidates from diverse backgrounds to promote innovation and creativity in your business.

3. Establishing Systems and Processes.

A solid foundation of systems and processes is crucial for effective scaling during periods of hyper-growth.

4.Talent Selection and Retention

Investing, selecting, and retaining top talent is crucial for sustainable growth.  Offer a competitive remuneration package that includes salary, benefits, and perhaps performance-based incentives. Create a positive work environment that fosters collaboration, recognises and promotes work-life balance and provides opportunities for career progression and ensures your employees feel valued and engaged.  We would also advise you to keep the following factors in mind:  

4.1 Maintain Talent Selection Standards

Resist the temptation to fill seats with subpar talent when under pressure. Be intentional and strategic in your hiring process.

4.2 Drive Engagement and Performance

Focus on employee engagement to optimise their skillsets and improve team performance. Provide interesting and meaningful work that aligns with your company's mission and values.

5. Long-Term Strategies for Scaling Up

Develop enduring programmes that support the growth and development of your employees.

5.1 Diversity and Inclusion

Nurture employee resource groups(ERGs) to promote diversity and inclusion within your business.

5.2 Learning

Invest in learning programmes to foster employee loyalty, improve collective abilities, and enhance the employee experience.

5.3 Mentorship

Encourage mentoring relationships to inspire and develop your employees.

6. Avoiding Common Scale-Up Mistakes

Be mindful of typical pitfalls when timing a business scale-up, such as:

  • Focusing too much on short-term goals
  • Expanding too quickly without proper planning
  • Failing to build a strong management team
  • Neglecting access to finance
  • Not meeting real customer needs
7. Quick Wins for Scaling Up Successfully

Implement these strategies to improve your chances of successful scaling:

  • Standardise your products or services
  • Boost efficiency through tools and processes
  • Engage and develop your staff
  • Involve your suppliers
  • Don't wait for the perfect time to scale
8. Reviewing and Adapting Your Talent Strategy

Regularly review and adapt your talent strategy to address new challenges and opportunities that arise as your business grows. By working in partnership with Spencer Riley now, and in the future, can you be assured that we will guide you and help build your business with talented, capable and enthusiastic future-fit executives at every opportunity.  Read our full article here on our process for helping you.

9. Final Thoughts on Scaling Up Your Business

Scaling up is a complex process, but with the right executive talent strategy in place, your business can overcome challenges and achieve sustainable growth. By following these tips and refining your scale-up recruitment strategy, you can be sure to find the right people for the right roles and help take your company to the next level.  Remember, getting the talent strategy right is not a one-time task; it requires continuous evaluation, adaptation, and investment.  By having Spencer Riley by your side will you achieve all that you wish for your business.

Contact us today

Spencer Riley’s team of highly dedicated, specialist consultants’ pride themselves on gaining a full understanding of our client’s business,

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