Having a vision of what you can ultimately achieve during times of growth is essential. Your business may grow quicker than your internal capabilities, especially during times of rapid change — and not 100 percent of your current people can help you get where you want to go. There must be a blend of evolving your current talent while bringing in new perspectives and higher-level expertise to accelerate your expansion.
Here’s an important tip — make sure you have equal clarity around your near-term talent needs and the capabilities necessary to maximize your long-term growth. Identify agility in your current associates and use the same approach when hiring new people.
Keep the following in mind when evaluating talent.
Don’t hire only for today’s skill set. Hire for tomorrow’s needs. Hiring scalable talent requires identifying a candidate’s long-term potential. A common mistake is hiring only for today’s job, the immediate opening.
For example, you need an accounting manager. Make sure your candidate has the capability for today’s job and the potential to grow into the more significant or complex role of tomorrow. Can the individual one day become your accounting director or, ultimately, vice president of finance?
Look for examples of intellectual curiosity and adaptability. Dig deep to identify current associates or candidates who have demonstrated the ability to evolve and deliver continuously. Do they seek out new ways to work and embrace change? Or do they struggle and revert to historical operating processes? When they are assigned new tasks or challenges, do they quickly learn the job and apply those learnings effectively?
How quickly they adapt to a situation or take a new approach to find solutions reflects meaningfully on their overall potential.
Remember your internal talent and grow them to “next.” You have associates with experience ripe for new challenges already in your organization. As your business grows, some of them will proactively seek out (or you should actively identify) opportunities for larger roles.
Before you do, ask yourself if they display the ability to adapt and deliver results quickly, or if it’s difficult and takes them a long time to gain traction. Invest in those higher achievers by giving them stretch assignments outside of their core responsibilities. Put them on a team for exposure to new areas of the business, which will also help grow their sphere of influence.
On-the-job training is effective and impactful — and a desirable option for high-potential people who are motivated by challenges. They will figure it out. Give them the opportunity.
Keep your focus on agility. Do this, and you’ll build a pool of talent that can evolve at the same speed as your business, ultimately fueling your growth with new ways of working and consistently high levels of performance.
Here’s to your growth and the talent to get you there.
Ryan Trierweiler is executive vice president, people and leadership, at Safelite Group Inc., a multifaceted auto glass and claims management service organization founded in 1947. Ryan is responsible for enhancing the company’s people-focused culture through integrated human resource strategies. His previous experience includes global HR and operational leadership roles at companies including PepsiCo, Pfizer and Bloomin’ Brands.