Growing a business is exciting work. It entails discovering and/or creating fresh opportunities, tackling bigger challenges and introducing your business to a whole variety of new experiences. In fact, current shareholder expectations have made growth non-negotiable for all businesses today. So, while growth is clearly unavoidable, growing pains don’t have to be.
One of the biggest pain points for expanding businesses today is attracting and preserving talented people. With the advent of information age an organization’s success hinges on the quality of its human capital. You immediately score a huge competitive advantage if as an organization you manage to get the right people at just the right time. However, this is only achievable with a robust human resource plan that is completely aligned to the larger business plan. Below are detailed some of the most significant human resource strategies necessary for expanding a business.
Transforming Talent Strategy
Operationally growth can mean different things for different organizations. However, breakneck advances in tech and continued globalization mean that growth is almost always accompanied by rising job complexity. And to tackle this complexity there arises a need to either hire new talent or upskill/re-skill existing talent.
People with highly specialized skill sets are much in demand but scarce as jobs become more and more complex. Consider innovative recruitment strategies to deal with the talent crunch. For instance, some firms are tapping into unconventional labor pools like those consisting of older people. Include this key information in your business plan. For example, in a financial advisor business plan you could present your strategy for identifying and targeting former financial analysts who might want to join your firm.
Sometimes growth can be supported with existing employees. However, it can end up putting undue pressure on existing employees as they struggle with a heavily increased workload. Some might also experience acute frustration when made to work on complex projects without proper allocation of resources and training. This can lead to employee burnout and lost business opportunities. HR can step in here and work with respective managers to re-evaluate and re-prioritize such employees’ work responsibilities. Projects should be filtered closely and even eliminated if they are not crucial to the current needs of the organization. Similarly, pertinent skills training schedule needs to be enforced sooner rather than later.
A lot of times HR is only ever brought into business expansion discussions late in the process. This creates a time crunch which further exacerbates the talent crunch faced by organizations worldwide today. This culminates in shoddy recruitment which can derail even the most well-laid expansion plans. Even the most path-breaking business plan is only as good as the people who execute it. So, make HR an equal stakeholder in your expansion efforts, so they can support you with the right kind of people-both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Re-Imagining Performance Reviews
A growing business will need to change tracks often as it creates new products, enters new markets or further penetrates its market. In such a business, projects might alter their focus several times to respond to altered market realities. For employees this would mean a frequent change in work objectives. Such fluidity needs to be reflected in an employee’s performance review as well. The conventional annual review system is highly rigid and hence not suitable for an expanding business. Instead, HR needs to create a multiyear performance review where employees are briefed on their changing targets and given quicker feedback on them. This would ensure people know exactly what they are responsible for even if those responsibilities change multiple times.
Leveraging HR Technology
HR technology can be extremely useful to a growing business. Predictive tools can be used to accurately gauge varied talent management needs such as-how many new hires will the business need as it expands? Which recruitment medium has a higher probability of tapping into quality talent? What would be the hiring costs? Will upskilling/re-skilling existing employees prove cheaper? Having answers to such questions can help expanding businesses make better informed decisions which will directly influence the success of such endeavors.