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The MHC Blog

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Hiring for growth

Scaling a business is a difficult and often painful process that requires a great deal of time and focus.  When you first start up a business, it’s your baby, your creation.  When you first start out you tend to be the entire workforce as there isn’t anyone to delegate to!  You work as the Sales Manager, Business Development Manager, Operations Manager, Administration Manager etc as well as being the founder, CEO and general dogsbody. 

But as your business starts to grow, you need to add to the team.  You are no longer able to do everything so it’s time to hire team members.  I have spoken previously about making sure you hire the right people to your team; this blog is covers 5 pitfalls of hiring for growth:


  1. Hiring talent and then doing the job for them! 

    Let’s face it, no one can do the job better than you right!  Wrong.  When we are working on multiple tasks we become a “Jack of all trades, master of none”, we do just enough to get the work completed by its never an expert finish.  As Steve Job’s famously said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do: Apple hire smart people so that they can tell us what to do”.  You need to delegate and let your team do what you are paying them to do, otherwise you are in danger of stifling and losing the very team that you are growing.

  2. Abdication 

    I am not sure what worse, doing the job for them or just letting them be.  Just because you have employed some smart people doesn’t mean you should just leave them to get on with it!  New hires need onboarding, they need to know what is expected of them, require feedback as to how they are doing and most importantly of all, they need to understand and follow the values of your business.

  3. Getting it wrong and doing nothing

    We hope that we hire right first time, but statistically it’s impossible to do this 100% of the time.  We will, occasionally, hire badly and then are left with a different problem, exiting them from the Company after spending time and money on their recruitment.  It’s so important that we follow a set process when recruiting to try and minimize a wrong hire.  Introduce a robust recruitment process and recruiting against your Company values.  If you can, ask for outside assistance and use a psychometric to look deep into the candidate’s behaviours, making sure you checked everything closely.  However, if you have hired badly, you need to part company swiftly.

  4. Hiring for today not tomorrow

    When a Company grows you need to hire ahead of the curve so that new team members help you during this growth spurt.  You need to hire someone, who on paper, is over qualified for the role, who can immediately hit the ground sprinting, quickly bringing your Company many steps forward, because they already have the experience.  The quid pro quo is that you are able to provide them with an immediate challenge followed by growth opportunity to move to the next stage in their career.  By adapting this attitude to recruitment, you will see the employee staying longer with your Company as they gain satisfaction from helping the Company’s and their own growth and you are less likely to outgrow the employee’s capabilities, which is more likely should you employ someone gaining step up in their career by joining your Company.

  5. Retaining Company Family

    These are employees who join right at the beginning, working in positions where they juggle multiple roles for you.  They form the “Company Family” and help develop the culture, you have relied on them for months / years and feel responsible for them.  However, the Company and the roles needed within usually outgrow the “person”, it’s not their fault, but now they are becoming a burden on your finances (payroll) and are not able to keep up with the requirements of the Company.  These are the toughest of conversations to have, but they need to be had or they may be responsible for holding back your company’s growth.


Don’t be the reason your Company fails to scale up, recognise what is holding back growth and act as soon as possible.  Not every business decision is an easy one to make, some are uncomfortable to action, but as soon as you do act, you will see an immediate benefit.  So, let go and see your Company start to grow.

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Claire Donnelly

Written by Claire Donnelly

A Business Growth and HR Strategist helping medium size companies to Scale Up using proven systems. Claire is an MCIPD qualified Human Resource professional, with 25+ years’ experience working within various industries and 10 + years’ experience of HR practices throughout the Middle East. As a HR Generalist she has held a number of senior and Board level HR positions. She is experienced in working at both strategic and tactical levels.

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