Not Hiring Key Positions in a Timely Manner Can Keep You from Scaling Up

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On November 22, 2019

Importance of hiring in a timely manner

Why The Timing of Hiring Is Crucial

As an executive business coach, I talk to business owners and leaders regularly about the importance of hiring the right people for the right position.  That’s an absolute must for any company looking to scale up. What many growing companies don’t recognize, however, is that the timing for hiring these key people is critical as well. Not hiring key positions in a timely many can keep you from scaling up. Let’s explore why that’s true.

Understanding Scaling Up

Sometimes business leaders misunderstand that scaling up their business requires them to transform their company. They may not appreciate that it’s a repetitive process. Moving from $500,000 in revenues to $1,000,000 in revenue requires different skills and strategies than moving from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 or $10,000,000. The changes you made to get from one level to the next won’t necessarily take you to the level after that.

Why Key Positions Are So Important

Companies don’t change on their own. They require key people to guide them through the changes they need to make to scale. That means that key people within your organization are the ones who drive the transformation. You may have people in positions who were fully capable of taking you where you were to where you are now. But do these people have the skills necessary to take your company to the next level?

Some of your key people may need to be trained and developed to meet those requirements. That’s why developing your employees is so important. Then again, you may have some people working for you who are at the apex of their capability. They might not have the drive or desire to improve their skills to the level that’s required. That doesn’t make them bad people or bad employees. But if you are determined to scale up, they may not be the right people for that task. They may still be valuable employees, but they won’t be the leaders you need to move the company forward.

Why Timing Matters

Why is it so important to hire the right people in a timely manner? In addition to hiring the right people for the right job, it’s also essential to hire the right people at the right time. What that means is that it matters when you hire certain positions. The key positions you hire early will dramatically impact who you need to hire later.

In the book Scaling Teams authors David Loftesness, Alexander Grosse address this issue.

Teams that need to hire are trying to bridge the gap between what they can do today and what they need to do in the future. These could be skill gaps, such as the group of hardware engineers who realize their product needs a major software component. Or they could be capacity gaps, such as when the founding team realizes they are unable to keep up with customer demand for new features and support requests.

As is the case with so many business decisions, your specific situation will determine which employees you should hire first. You may already have some of the key players in key positions. However, you may have gaps in strategic areas. You must evaluate your people. Do you have the people with the right skills and the right gifts in a position to take your company to the next level? Do they understand what will be needed to scale up your operations so that you’re prepared for explosive growth?

I’d encourage you to click on the Assess Your People button below and take a very short (2-minute) assessment of where your current employees are—and your process for putting the right people in the right place. That’s a great first step to make sure you have the right people in the right place to scale up your company and grow.

Hiring for key positions