No matter how great your market is and no matter how impressive your technology is, companies who don’t bring in great people will fail over time, every time. This is why attracting the right talent is crucial to any company’s growth strategy.
Before thinking about recruiting, it’s critical to first make sure you understand the core values of your company in order to bring in people who will build on the culture you envision. When you do begin recruiting, here are some guiding principles to help build your team in a way that ensures your mission and culture are propagated throughout the company with each and every new hire.
Slow Down and Focus on Quality: Rapid growth can often lead to the mentality that the more people on your team to meet demand, the better. It is important to avoid moving so quickly that you lose control of the process. I’ve seen this happen in other companies and the results aren’t pretty. “A Players” like to work with “A players,” but once you stray from that standard, you may bring in some “B players” who are more than happy to recruit “C players,” ultimately impacting the morale, quality and culture of the entire company.
Fully Vet Candidates: Make sure a new hire will truly a fit within your company. I encourage everyone to get “back-channel” information on almost all final candidates by finding a mutual connection in their network. (Note: LinkedIn has made this MUCH easier). We also typically ask final candidates to spend a full day with us, ensuring they spend quality time with peers, managers and other people during the interview process.
Let Your Culture Help You: A strong company culture attracts like-minded people that thrive in the organization and deters others who may not be a fit. Creating an excitement about what it’s like to work at SailPoint has allowed us to find team members who will be valuable, long-term company resources because they fit within our organization as a whole rather than filling a specific job function.
Trust Your Current Team: Your best employees will be your best assets in the recruitment process. Over the years, it’s always been true that when we’ve brought in the right people who reinforce our culture, they in turn bring in top performers from their networks. I recommend establishing a reference program with rewards to incent your employees to help in the recruiting effort, as they’re very effective. In fact, we have one employee who has referred 22 employees since she’s been here!
As an entrepreneur, my goal is to build a successful, growing company. But, that growth can be scary, at times, and create a panic that we do not have the people resources we need to cover the workplace demands. While that can be an intimidating thought, I’ve found that when we slow down, focus on our culture and trust our team, we find the right combination of talent and commitment in the people we hire, particularly those who will help to foster our mission and continue to shape our company for years to come.