How to build a sustainable hiring process as you scale

Written by Alex Cohen

Research has shown that more than 70 percent of fast-growing startups fail early on thanks to scaling that they aren’t prepared for. Those that take their time and prepare for scaling end up growing 20 times faster.

Hiring is an essential part of the scaling equation. Get it right, and you’ll have employees that are engaged and aligned with your company’s culture and vision. Neglect it, and you could be hiring people who are unprepared, uninformed and the wrong fit for your organisation, which could result in two and half times less revenue. 

Here’s how to craft a sustainable, scalable hiring process that will grow as you do. 

Spend time on culture

A recent survey showed that more than half of the millennial workforce considered a ‘sense of purpose’ as one of the key reasons they chose their current jobs. Nailing down a defined company culture sustains your hiring process because it can reduce turnover and draw in excited, engaged employees.

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Finding a succinct way to accurately get your goals and vision across makes it far easier – and quicker – for people to decide if it’s somewhere they’d like to work, and for you to decide if they’re someone you want to work with.

As your company grows, your culture will grow. Starting out with a defined purpose provides a framework to build goals and values upon as your company changes with scale. It provides a lifeline when it comes to hiring, saving hours of rambling in favour of a core set of beliefs and goals that can be easily communicated.

Define the communication process

It’s no good improvising when hiring new employees. A defined, thought-through onboarding process is key, especially as headcount increases. Do what you can to make communication as concise as possible, so long as it doesn’t sacrifice essential information about your organisation, the team a new hire will be joining and the industry at large.

Develop a careers page on your website that reflects your company culture from the outset – it’s a great way to communicate it without having to spend any of your own time, and helps applicants decide whether or not they’re a good fit. Job descriptions are similar and can narrow the pool of applicants down before you even begin spending time on the hiring process.

Once you’ve made a hire, it’s a good idea to have an established next step for communication, whether it be an employee handbook, a video series, or a buddy system with an existing employee. Automate where you can, and you’ll have a hiring process that grows as you do.

Automate the busy-work

There’s no escaping the fact that interviews and a good deal of communication require your time, attention and presence during the hiring process. There are, however, aspects of the onboarding process where that just doesn’t apply.

Take HR, for example. Why waste valuable hours setting up and explaining holiday and expense requests when you could point to an intuitive app that does it for you?

Onboarding checklists can be automated using project management software like Basecamp. Build a standardised checklist that’s ready to go, so that whenever it’s time to onboard a new employee, you can load it instantly and work through it step-by-step, reusing the same list each time. 

Timesheet management can be automated, too. Just set new hires up on an app like Harvest or Clicktime, and everyone will be able to see who’s working when. Using simple, intuitive applications means that you’re not wasting time with HR busy-work, and new hires are integrated as quickly as possible with programs that are easy to use. All of these apps scale alongside you, allowing you to add new users as and when you need to. 

Lay the groundwork

The key to a sustainable and scalable hiring process is preparation. Set up your processes beforeyou need to hire lots of people at once, and you’ll find scaling your business less of a headache. Ensure you’re communicating what you need to and that you have a set of automation tools ready to go, and hiring will become a walk in the park. Ryan Smith, CEO of Qualtrics, sums it up nicely: ‘Nail it, then scale it’.

Bureaucracy must die eBook

Hiring strategy , scalability , hr advice , working with employees

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