Stop Capacity Crisis Hiring

If you’re like most business owners, your organization has developed almost haphazardly. You’ve hired who you could when you could, usually in response to your most immediate capacity crisis – your most urgent need. You call the plumber to repair the gushing water pipe. Face it. Despite all of your most grandiose goals and visions, you are reactive.

People in your orbit take on responsibilities simply because they’re willing to step up. They may have the skills to sustain but not expand your enterprise – nor accelerate your momentum over the long haul. All too often, business leaders overlook "structure," because they are too busy cobbling together an organization chart that artfully maintains the status quo. They don’t think about the way things should be and – more important – the infrastructure needed to support the future requirements of their thriving business of tomorrow.

Take it down to the studs.

Think about it. If you’re going to remodel your house, you engage in weeks of work before you lift a hammer. It’s called groundwork. You have to decide what you want the space to look like, its purpose, the infrastructure it will require, and the tools and materials necessary to complete the construction. You may even engage an architect or engineer who will first make sure you’ve got the proper foundation to support your plans. Without this, your construction plan is doomed to topple.

Likewise, if you are thoroughly remodeling your business, it may be time to take it down to the studs. Stop patching the problems! Take a breath. Take your time and take a step back. Hiring in a capacity crisis state comes from a scarcity mentality – the emotion of fear. Allowing your emotions to rule your behavior will lead to impulsive decisions that may lack the mindful considerations of both long-term and short-run objectives that optimize your growth and abundance. As I like to say, hire slow, fire fast.

Acknowledge the planning and assessing. Perhaps engage a professional, a small business consulting firm, to help you scope out your operation, avoid a hiring crisis, and make sure you have the proper foundation to support your plans.

Get the right people in the right seats.

Getting your organizational structure right doesn’t have to be rocket science. It’s pretty simple, really. When you are remodeling you home, you need a detailed set of plans – and clarity around the form and function. As you think about your company of the future, you’ll have to let go of the way things are today. With the notable exception of having a viable business model and strategic plan, nothing is more important to the success of your business than making good decisions around your business structure.

Aligning your hiring priorities with business functions is essential, but finding people who will fit into your company’s culture is just as mission critical. Experience is key, but the intangibles are just as fundamental – emotional intelligence, resilience, success drivers, attitude, energy, passion and curiosity.

As successful serial entrepreneur Patrick Hull said in Forbes, "Employees can be a tough and expensive investment, but the right employees can make all the difference. So take your time and train them well!"

Take your time on the front end. But if things go wrong, act decisively and swiftly to end a bad relationship. Nothing can be more disabling to your company than hanging on to the "people baggage." It’s important to jettison that luggage and its contents as quickly as possible when you’re thinking about your company structure. Again, hire slow, fire fast.

It all leads to getting – and keeping – the right people in the right seats. The right people share your core values and vision. This may not happen instantly. It takes time, but it’s worth it. And as a caveat, "hiring slow" does not mean sitting around gazing at your navel or twiddling your thumbs, waiting for the right person to walk in your door. It means doing the necessary homework to make sure you don’t do that, and that you don’t do the opposite when you hit a capacity crisis. It’s calculated, strategic preparation.

Make hiring a priority – not a crisis. Ignore it, and you’ll end up with a jumble of ill-defined positions being filled by people not truly suited for the jobs they’ve been given. Get it right, and you add a new gear to help propel your business to the stratosphere.