Before a business starts hiring, it is key that the founder or management team thinks hard about requirements. Great businesses are teams of people with a range of talents, says Emma Robinson, founder of Red Diamond Executive Headhunters.
“The list will differ slightly from business to business but, in general, every team needs a good leader, MD or general manager, a very good salesperson and someone behind the scenes making it all happen,” she says.
“In the early days, this tends to be reactive; you bring in people as you need them, once you start having the working capital that enables you to do more. Usually, companies start with the commercial teams.
She suggests a flexible approach at the outset, working with people on a short or part-time basis and hiring consultants. However, she also recommends business owners keep their ear to the ground for chances to hire top talent.
“Gaps in the market and opportunities are what we should be looking for – the opportunity to snap up a sales manager of one of your competitors, for example. Covid has changed lots of things – smaller, agile, entrepreneurial businesses are being seen and getting the airtime. They are also winning contracts from those who have let customer services slip.”
With so much talent coming on to the market, now might be a great time to find new people. But, as we move into an entirely new phase for the global economy, fast growth businesses need to think carefully about their hires. Interestingly, while much is made of tech skills, often recruiters speak of the need for soft skills.
As Jackson concludes: “With technology doing so much of the work, the people we hire are going to be the problem solvers. What businesses really need are those who can think differently, communicate ideas and learn new things. These are the people growth businesses really need.”