A business can only be as successful as the team leading it. Often management teams consist of those first through the door, and many of them make excellent managers, but as a business grows it needs leaders as well as managers and many of those in at the beginning won’t make the grade. Appoint senior managers based on what they can do for the business going forward not what they did in the past. It’s unrealistic to expect that everyone remains fit for purpose in their roles in growth business. Situations change, business needs change and often its some of the leaders and managers need to change to meet those needs. Generalists rarely become specialists, and ‘doers’ can’t always become leaders. Be honest about what’s needed and appoint or recruit based on that alone.

Do it again

Building the right team is hard, but here’s the really bad news – you need to keep doing it. As your business evolves and grows, your organisational structure will need to do the same.

Finding good people is hard, finding great people even harder, so how do you go about it?

It may sound obvious but start by knowing what you’re looking for. Too often a role is identified and recruited for without due thought given to the problem you are trying to solve and the output you expect from that role. ‘Find me a good FD’ is not a recruitment brief, and without one it will take you much longer to find the right person, or result in wasted time and money while you make a few, often expensive, mistakes. Take the time to articulate exactly what the requirements of the role are, the experience you need to enable the job to be done well and the type of person you want to fit with your company culture.

And again

Given how tough it is to find good people you need to put recruitment and development front and centre of your business strategy. Understanding and accepting that the current roles, and the people in them, may need to change significantly down the line to support your plans is vital. Take the time to continually assess and develop your team – understand what you have, what you need and where the gaps are. Staff development will ensure good people are used effectively within your business, and well-planned recruitment will find the talent you need to fill the gaps.

So remember….

  • Appoint senior managers based on need and upside potential
  • Accept that not everyone will be able to step up
  • Specify the requirements of each role in detail
  • Regularly assess organisational needs and gaps
  • Keep recruitment and development front-of-mind
  • Build the right team for the situation
Anna Cornwallis
25th February 2023