At the beginning of any business, it is hard to know what direction your company will go. One decision that can make or break a company’s success is choosing your leadership team. There are many factors to consider when you hire a leadership team, such as skills and experience, but how does one know if they’re suitable for the job? This blog post will give you three steps on how to hire a great leadership team with no regrets!
Define Your Needs Before You Hire
Many small businesses owners start their business with a team of helpers, those who get the job done under direction. Usually, by employee 15, it gets far more challenging to lead such a diverse group and keep them on task when you are at the helm for all decisions. As an owner slows down progress due to a lack of time or resources, they find themselves less capable as entrepreneurs while watching growth slip away from them like sand through fingers in the hourglass.
That slow down in progress is your warning sign as an entrepreneurial business owner. It’s time to bring on some leaders to help you get to the next level. So what is your first step?
You want to bring leaders who can help you in areas that are taking up a lot of your time, but you don’t add much value based on your expertise. If your strength is sales, don’t make your first hire a sales leader. Perhaps you bring them in someone to help you lead the financial aspects of your business if that is not an area of strength.
Other criteria to consider may include adding someone to your leadership team to lead the areas in which you don’t have much interest. You realize the function is essential, and you understand how to do it. It just takes much energy for you to lead it. That creates an excellent opportunity for a leadership hire.
Be Intentional When You Hire a Leadership Team
One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a business owner is who to hire in your leadership roles. They must bring experience and skills and, importantly, align with the culture of your team and your vision for the business.
Before you start collecting resumes and speaking with people, know what you want before interviewing candidates. What skills are essential to the role? How much experience should they bring to the table? What functions will they be responsible for, and what does success look like in part? The answers to these questions will allow you to build an effective job posting.
Once you receive applications, spend time reviewing resumes and conducting phone screenings with potential candidates so that you don’t waste time on unqualified prospects. Close in on a small list of finalists you will bring in to interview and meet the team.
For your in-person candidates, I recommend a consistent set of interview questions. These will help you understand the skills, experiences, and motivations most critical to success in the position. And, as you interview, prioritize qualifications over personality traits during interviews.
Finally, I encourage the use of an assessment tool like the Core Values Index. I don’t like them used as a first pass, in our out, test. But, as they have passed your early interview screens, an assessment serves as a valuable tool to guide your questions in a second interview.
Build a Proactive Transition Plan After the Hire
Transitioning new hires into your organization is an essential step in building a leadership team. The best way to do this is by creating a brief orientation for the newest member of your group and then assigning them projects to help with their transition process.
Your onboarding plan is the first step to welcoming newcomers into your company. Every business needs a strategy for introducing new leaders, and at one level, that’s as simple as filing paperwork so they can enter your system. But there are so many more details to consider. How will you orient them with coworkers and their team? What are your expectations of them in the first 30 days? In the first 90 days?
Next is integration. The One Page job description is the starting point for this. Based on that plan, where do you need them to start working? Culturally, what experiences do you want them to have? The tasks they perform upfront should start building them into the company and its culture, so be sure not to rush past these early stages of their time with your organization.
Leading a diverse team can be overwhelming. During the integration period, your goal is to ensure that new leaders understand how to make decisions and what priorities are. It’s crucial they know all these details because once they’re up-to-speed with how this office operates, it will allow you more freedom when delegating responsibilities down the line. For example, early on, there may only need to be daily check-ins; then, as time passes, extend those meetings out into weekly or monthly ones depending upon project timelines and cycles.
If you’re in the process of hiring a leadership team, it is essential to be intentional about your hiring process. Hiring leaders can have significant impacts on an organization, and you should not take them lightly. To ensure this transition goes smoothly, build a proactive transition plan after the hire for new leaders by having them shadow other staff members first or invite senior management from outside companies into meetings with key stakeholders early on so they can learn how others do their jobs as well. The final step is to schedule an introductory call to discuss what you need out of your next leadership team and whether my services would meet those needs!