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11 Key Hires to Consider for Your Growing Business

Written by on November 08, 2021

Hiring under a talent crunch can be incredibly brutal. Finding the right people for high-level positions, like chief operations officer and product manager, takes a lot of manpower and capital. However, the only way your business will see a considerable level of growth is if you rip that band-aid off and buckle down. In the end, your hiring craze will pay off if you do it properly.

Senior executives don’t just drop out of the sky, and they won’t be interested in your startup unless you offer the right incentives. Although you may consider hiring temporary employees for these spots until you have the money to support great candidates, think otherwise. 70% of businesses fail within 10 years, so if you want long-term growth, you need to hire good people.

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The hiring process can be intimidating, but we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll go over some tips on how to hire people with outstanding personalities. Then, we’ll discuss the key positions to fill. Soon, you’ll have enough knowledge to hire a great team that will stick with you.

The Types of People Your Need for Your Growing Business

Employers often prioritize educational qualifications over all else, which isn’t bad advice on the surface. Your growing business needs employees that possess the kind of job skills you’re looking for, but experience, tact, and a “can-do” attitude can often make up for a degree.

While looking through resumes, pay attention to how the candidate describes themselves in tandem with their industry experience and knowledge. If you see any of the following 5 traits, they’ll likely do well in many of the 11 key hires you’ll need for your startup. 

The Eager Self-Starter

Self-starters are people who can work independently and take the initiative in projects. They feel compelled to take action in the workplace and have enough confidence to trust their intuition. As ambitious people, they are highly driven to achieve their goals and can set realistic milestones for others. Finally, they’re resilient, adaptable to change, and are competent leaders.

The Adaptable Globetrotter 

Most Americans are changing jobs several times in their careers, and this isn’t just limited to the younger generation. On average, baby boomers have had 12 different jobs in their lifetime, which means they’ve spent less than 5 years on the job. Most workers leave their jobs to seek out better opportunities. These employees aren’t unfocused; they just won’t settle for less.

The “Ask Questions Later” Risk Taker

The term ‘risk taker’ is often seen as a negative trait, but all aspects of our personality could damage ourselves or others if taken to extremes. In truth, a risk-taker is someone who isn’t afraid of failure, dreams big, and is highly adaptable. They are capable of learning as they go and have a lot of passion for their roles, which is precisely what you need in a growing business.

The Passionate Go-Getter

We often have dreams that remain unfulfilled for years because of adult obligations. Did you want every job you had? Probably not, but you made the switch to pursue your passions, and many of your projected hires are doing the same. Someone who prioritizes passion over money will stick with you and your team long-term like you have with this venture.

The Empathetic Moralist

The volunteer section of the resume is often overlooked, but it can tell you a lot about what a new hire values. For example, if they’re a volunteer coach, they are probably great with children or enjoy giving back to their community. Even if they have no customer service experience, they are still interested in making a difference and want to do the same as an employee.

The Importance of Hiring the Right People

When hiring for various startup roles, your main focus should be strengthening your internal and external relationships. Both your employees and customers/clients need to trust the people you hire. They need to be leaders within their department and feel comfortable in the driver’s seat.

Without taking personality into account, your startup has a high likelihood of failure. In fact, venture capitalists attribute 65% of business failures to poor management. Startups live and die on the backs of the type of people they hire and not based on educational requirements. Most entrepreneurs have no management training, yet they create and change industries daily.

The 11 key hires below use a top-down initiative because management issues often start from the CEO position and trickle down. A customer service agent won’t have the same power as a chief marketing officer, but if entry-level employees trust that their grievances will be heard at the top, the workplace will function at its best. Always focus on quality over quantity.

Look for people who will accurately represent your brand and strengthen your team.

11 Key Hires That’ll Upgrade Your Startup

There are 11 crucial roles you should consider as you start to hire in bulk. If you feel that we’re missing an essential role, take a look at our “Positions to Outsource” section. 

To help you with the recruitment process, be sure to use tools like HRIS technology. HRIS helps recruiters scan resumes, perform preliminary candidate screenings and conduct background checks during recruitment and onboarding. With HRIS, you can cut the time it takes to find quality candidates by half, and you won’t even need an in-house HR department to use it.

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The chief executive officer is the highest-ranking executive in the company, whose responsibilities revolve around the company’s direction. A CEO will manage overall operations, resources and is in charge of making major corporate decisions. They are the main point of communication with the board. CEOs are the face of the company and are often elected by its shareholders.

It’s common for the founders of the company to assume this role, but if they wish to step down, they may hire internally. Bringing on an external hire early on in your business’s growth cycle may destroy your company or prevent you from scaling immediately, so choose wisely.

2. Chief Operations Officer (COO)

A chief operations officer is tasked with overseeing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions in a business. COOs are typically senior-level executives that report directly to the CEO. Sometimes a COO will handle all internal affairs while the CEO will act as a public face for the media. COOs are considered the second chain of command next to the CEO.

Like the CEO, the COO position is often taken by the founder of the company. As the business grows, the CEO may have to hire someone else to handle internal communications. If the business has co-founders, one of them could transition into the COO role instead of hiring out.

3. Product Manager

A product manager makes strategic product decisions and provides cross-functional leadership between engineering, sales, marketing, and customer service. Product managers examine the market and competitive trends while shaping the vision of a product. They are capable of innovating and managing the lifecycle of unique products based on the customers’ demands.

CEOs should find a product manager immediately for non-bias criticism of the company’s products or services. Oftentimes a CEO will be too attached to their offerings and may be unable to judge them critically, which will make it harder for the business to innovate. 

4. Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

A chief technology officer is a high-level executive who’s responsible for businesses research and development and its general technological needs. The CTO examines the short and long-term goals of an organization and uses capital to make investments. They may also act as the customer relations liaison, strategic planner, and as overseer of infrastructure.

Although this position used to be taken by the chief information officer, a CTO is explicitly needed for advanced technology. A CTO is necessary for any growing business because they evaluate and implement new technology to improve the customer’s experience. 

5. VP of Engineering

A VP of engineering is responsible for leading a team of developers and engineers who collaborate with product managers for the improvement of company standards. The VP of engineering helps with recruitment opportunities and provides management and mentorship for the IT department. They are also responsible for preparing and optimizing the teams’ budgets.

To help with costs, you can combine the CTO and VP of engineering roles, but as your IT department grows, you’ll need to split them. Many businesses hire freelancers to fill out their IT sector, so it’s vital that managers in the IT department know how to run remote teams. 

6. Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

A chief marketing officer is responsible for the marketing activities in an organization. CMOS will lead a department made up of brand managers, marketing communicators (PR and advertising), product marketing, market research, pricing, and customer service. They are adaptable individuals who can react quickly to changing market conditions and trends.

The CMO spends a lot of time with customers, so they need to be friendly, empathetic, and considerate. Product managers may give CMOs customer feedback, which would limit the time they spend around others. Still, they need to understand the needs of the consumer.

7. Community Manager

A community manager provides management to an organization’s social media presence. Community managers support communications with multiple social platforms and ensure the content meets the standards of a business’s branding and values. They will monitor social channels and increase engagement with followers by speaking to the customer directly.

Many CMOs will start off as community managers and transition into the higher-level role, so you can combine both occupations into one. Most businesses won’t have enough work for the community manager but split this role right away if you already have an active social presence.

8. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

A chief financial officer is a senior executive responsible for managing the financial decision of a business. CFO’s are tasked with tracking cash flow, financial planning, and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s finances. They are in the third-highest position in the company and play an essential role in its strategic initiatives and growth strategies. 

CFO’s are very important to your business because they handle your financial matters. A CFO may be an accountant or payroll specialist or transitioned out of those roles. However, what separates a CFO from other financial positions are their management and leadership skills.

9. Sales Manager

A sales manager leads the sales team and provides mentorship, training, and guidance to other sales staff. Sales managers are responsible for hitting sales quotas for goals that they set. They also need to make sales plans, analyze sales data, and expand their sales offerings. Sales managers may promote and market their products with the help of other team members. 

This is probably one of the hardest positions to hire for, but it’s worth the effort if you find the right person. Experienced sales managers can help you earn enough capital to expand exponentially through the leads they obtain and the staff they acquire underneath them.

10. Business Development Manager

A business development manager is the first point of contact for new clients who want to seek information on a company’s products or services. Business development managers respond to requests for proposals, tenders, and help in the development of new sales territories. They develop quotes for clients, establish goals for their team members, and train hired personnel.

Like a sales manager, you need to take your time while recruiting a business development manager. A great business manager can find new opportunities for your company and consider new markets and client types, which will rapidly increase capital and help you scale quickly.

11. Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representative jobs range from entry-level to senior management. They are tasked with interacting with customers, providing information and responses to questions about products and services, and handling complaints. Customer service representatives may also complete sales, data entry, report drafting, research, telephone, and troubleshooting tasks.

Customer service representatives are critical to your business and should be treated as such regardless of experience. Without them, your business couldn’t build long-lasting relationships with your customers or turn a negative product or service experience into a positive one.

Positions to Outsource – For Now

Several roles can be outsourced to whole agencies or individual freelancers while you staff permanent employees in your business. Independent contractors and Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) don’t require you to pay benefits and certain taxes. Look to outsource any role you don’t feel comfortable performing in as soon as you have the capital to do so.

Consider outsourcing the following roles for your business:

  • Human Resources and Public Relations
  • Payroll Services/Administration
  • Web Designers, UX Designers, Programmers 
  • Administrative Workers
  • Digital Marketers and/or Social Media Managers
  • Content Writers (Copywriters, Social Media Writers)
  • Accountants and Financial advisors
  • Attorneys and Legal Advisors

Only outsource roles that aren’t essential to your core business. For example, If your business offers hands-free accounting services, then you should hire in-house accountants. However, most companies only require an accountant for end-of-year tax services, which any freelance financial advisor can do. As your team grows, you can start hiring permanent employees.

The Value of Company Culture in Remote Work

Remote work is becoming more common, and a blended workplace is starting to emerge. If you choose to hire both in-house and remote staff, it can be difficult to include workers who operate beyond office walls. However, you should still keep them engaged in company culture by interacting with them through email, remote workplace apps (Slack), and Zoom calls.

Always listen and respond to remote worker feedback because they’re impacted by your policies, as well. Little things like care packages, office-party invites, and online events can help make all staff members feel a part of your workplace. Finally, connect remote employees with each other and in-office staff so they can collaborate on projects and take on leadership roles.

Final Thoughts

Bulk recruitment costs you time and money, but when done right, the rewards are worth the effort. Not only will you have enough quality high-level staff to support your growth, but these candidates will be experienced enough to scale your company further. Eventually, you’ll have enough capital to turn all of your freelance and remote staff into permanent employees.

A growth hacker at heart, Jess helps SaaS companies rapidly scale their inbound leads through lean marketing strategies. She views content marketing and advertising as the perfect concoction of growth, and loves to write about her insights and experiences.

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