Hiring for a young company can be tricky. The skills you need from an employee early on will almost certainly shift as your business grows and evolves--and it's dealing with that change that trips up so many business leaders, says human resources consultant Indigo Triplett. Here are her suggestions for how to make your post startup transition smoother for your employees--and you:
1. Early on, look for people with diverse skills. In the initial stages of your business, you'll probably have fewer employees--which means that each person will take on more tasks. "Earlier on in my career of owning a business, we would just hire people and try to dump a lot of things on them because you got a lot of things you need to have done," Triplett says. "You need someone to one day manage the books and then the next day go out and develop business."
2. Later on, redefine your needs. Just because something worked initially doesn't mean it's the best way to handle things going forward. As your company settles in to the post-start up phase, you'll have a better sense of what you need and who'll do the best job of handling it--so don't be afraid to refine your employees' roles as your company grows. If you don't, you may risk adding unnecessary stress to your employees' work days. "If you start moving people around, getting them to do too many different things, you may lose a perfectly good employee," Triplett warns.
3. Keep re-examining your job descriptions. "As you grow you need to look at, what is that position and what are the skill sets that are required in that position?" Triplett suggests. Sticking with the same system that worked when your company was a small startup may only hinder you in the long run--especially if employees feel as though they're being stretched too thin. "You've got to make sure that you hire the right people for that particular position. That means you have to really look at the job description and the actual needs of that organization."