The pain of growth is the paradox of success. It’s at your busiest times, when facing new deadlines, you also have the greatest opportunity. When under that pressure, it can take super-strength not to buckle. What alternative do you have? You have come this far.
Companies grow by stretching themselves. Branson famously said ‘If someone offers you an opportunity, say yes, then figure out how to do it later.’ Today, not selling is not an option. You might as well go next door and hand your keys to your competitor.
But we all know about the companies who grew to fast – service suffers, clients are mismanaged, and before you know it, your growing pains become just pains, and you stop growing. Because things start going wrong. And for the most part, it’s human resource that holds growth back. Growth needs to be managed at a manageable pace, and in many industries, the largest and most important component of delivering growth, is your staff. The minute you start employing people, the quality of your output is determined by the quality of your last employee. Do not make the mistake of hiring too fast.
Yet it confuses me how many companies don’t recognise the link; between the attention to detail they pay in building their staff, and the attention to detail their staff pay to their work. Companies know that they should, because they write about their staff on their homepages and in their brochures. But there is a shortage of companies who really embody these values. Why is this? Why the disconnect?
Employing people is complicated. The time invested in the process and the man hours lost in training juniors is a strain on every business I know. But the shortage of Managers, who actually get involved in the strategy of building their workforce, is a mystery. HR and recruiters have an important role to play, but they need commitment from the Managers, and they need time. I don’t just mean time spent interviewing; I mean actually thinking about strategy. Thinking how they can build their teams with the same minds and mindfulness they use to build their clients, the same energy they use talking to their analysts, financiers, lawyers. But their staff?
They are willing to put their biggest factor, in delivering their growth, outside their own scope? In someone else’s hands?
All market leaders I know spend good time thinking about, and developing their recruitment strategy. Companies like Google are famous for theirs. Why is it taking so long for everyone else to catch on? Do you think Google grew that fast by having an average talent pool? Just numbers? Do you think they barely knew their recruiters, or just hired the best of a bad bunch? I doubt it. If the business doesn’t drive the strategy for recruiting talent, how good do you think that strategy can really get? It’s really simple – these days, the companies who get people decisions right, are the ones who win. Recruitment and HR isn’t fuzzy nice talk, this is capital gain.
If you are a senior decision-maker who has never really got involved in hiring, you might want to pay more attention to this. Because right now, the world is in a massive state of change, and for the first time in a long time, it is happening at the human level. Really. Ever noticed how hard it is becoming to hire well these days? This is actually a double-blog, I had to cut it in two, because the second part, that is coming next, is even more interesting and requires it’s own space, I’ll put that online by this time next week.