Top 5 Steps to Scale
Ready to scale? Strap yourself in for a fun & wild ride
Any successful business leader will tell you successful scale lies in your ability to attract, hire and retain world-class teams. The businesses success is no longer reliant on the extreme capabilities of the co-founding group anymore.
However, people process, and hiring is often so undervalued or misunderstood causing companies major issues in achieving milestones.
At Bond we help companies scale from the inside using our embedded methodology. We have helped some of the world’s coolest startups across CleanTech, BioTech & DeepTech scale and build technology to help unf*ck the planet.
Check out our 5 steps on how to get started
1. Employer Brand & Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
In short think objectively …. “Why the hell would someone want to come and work for you vs joining one of the of 1000’s of great companies out there?”
EVP is the foundation everything is built on. Not only in hiring but also in retention and daily motivation of the team. Your EVP needs to have a greater purpose and energy that keeps people aligned and motivated to the mission every day.
Top Tip – This messaging and narrative won’t sit too far away from why people have given you funding. So put a spin on that messaging and tailor it to your employees rather than venture capitalists and other funding partners.
What is needed – careers website, job descriptions, candidate pack, interview questions, interview sales pitch, onboarding, performance reviews, town halls. (any and all internal messaging this needs the EVP to consistently play through)
2. Hiring Plan
The lack of clarity and detail in scale plans is always surprising. Because the scale journey is littered with so many unknowns this can often lead to a lack of detail up front on the hiring plan. Don’t make that mistake.
The starting point of a plan often looks like an excel spreadsheet with the below detail which isn’t enough detail to execute against it successfully:
- Roles: We need 15 of these, 10 of these and 3 of these
- Salary: We will pay market rate and but here is a rough guess on salary
- Date to start: ASAP
When building a new product would you let the manufacturing/ R&D team get away with saying….?
- I think I’m going to need 5 screws, 10 bolts, 6 wheels
- The price will be what it will be
- It will be ready ASAP
Top Tip: Build a plan with detail. If you want a team to execute a successful scale up give them the detail upfront. You will want to consider trigger points for when talent is brought in. Underpinned by financial modelling &/or product milestones.
What is needed: details on roles, volumes, hiring managers, salaries, benefits, bonus, shares, visa support, date to start hiring, target date to land in the business.
If you don’t have accurate information to complete that detail using a specialist partner or having someone knowledgeable in house could plug these in a matter of days.
3. Extreme headhunting capability
The first 20 hires for a scale-up are normally pretty easy. They are often friends, friends of friends, family, ex-colleagues, old buddies from school, and old professors. They are normally pretty cheap to hire, fearlessly loyal and totally buy into the founders and the missions.
However, the immediate network of these people runs out fast.
Guess what, the next 20, 30, 40 hires will be much harder to find and the process will be more expensive. Talent will expect to be paid market rate, get strong benefits, be supported, trained and nurtured. They will be much more demanding and the amount of time and effort needed to actually find these people will be much harder. That’s if you can convince them to join you and not another cool company round the corner.
Top Tip: Don’t underestimate how hard it is to attract top talent and don’t expect them to just apply to a job ad on your website.
What is needed: At this stage you will have to start spending money to get access to talent.
- You will need to work with recruitment agencies.
- Build your own internal talent team.
- Use an awesome embedded talent consultancy like Bond!
(P.S there is a 50% cost saving Vs using agencies or ore Vs specialist head hunters )
4. Hiring Process
It’s likely you already have a hiring process that works well for you and may continue to work well for you at scale. However, don’t take that for granted and review what you think your hiring and onboarding will look like through data.
When you look at the hiring process in data form, people are often shocked and realise your current (small) leadership team won’t be able to tackle the end-to-end hiring process & do their day job well.
If your CEO currently likes to interview everyone and then take them for lunch or you currently do a panel interview with 5 people on it. Or the CEO has to interview everyone in the final stage. Get stuck into the data and see if you think it’s operationally possible to do that at scale.
Further read on process design – https://bond-global.com/insight/process-design/put-a-zero-on-it/
Top Tip: Reverse engineer the hiring outcome needed over 12 months. Work back through the process using conversion metrics and each stage. This will give you the data at each stage to then design a process that will work.
What is needed: A clear process that has speed and scale. But, this process must also retain all the important cultural elements required. 2 stages, with a strong pre-screen from your talent partner is more than enough to execute successfully. Again, someone experienced in your team or as a partner could build a data funnel and bespoke process for you to work on in a matter of days.
Are you ready to onboard multiple people in quick succession?
Often a lot of our scale planning with partners will be determined by how many people they can physically onboard in the early stages.
“we only have the capacity to onboard a maximum of 5 people every month right now until we fix our processes for scale”
Before you know it these new amazing hires will be landing in the business and if you haven’t got around to that bit yet it can be a painful process and not leave the best first impressions. Data shows that candidates that had a great onboarding experience build a stronger connection to the company and team and therefore end up being employees over a longer term than those that didn’t have a great onboarding experience.
Top Tip: Make sure you live up to the expectations and what you have sold them through the process in their onboarding. This part is just as important as the upfront work in hiring.
What is needed: You have to have the admin and organisation elements sorted. IT setup, payroll, systems access etc. You also need an onboarding process that can be delivered at scale. Day 1, week 1, month 1 and beyond.