How to build a management team to drive growth for your business: Joanne Hosker

‘Your people are your most important asset’ is a statement we can probably all agree on. Yes, it may be a well-worn phrase, but actually attracting and recruiting the right people, creating an inclusive culture which drives high levels of engagement and productivity, as well as developing them and retaining high-calibre talent, can be tough.

Most entrepreneurs and business leaders will say it’s their biggest challenge. Investing in talent and building diverse teams is vital in helping to drive growth, particularly when it comes to the leadership team itself, which is charged with achieving those ambitions.

The million dollar question is, therefore, during a period of economic uncertainty and untold challenges, how can you build a management team to help realise those ambitions?

Align skills with scale up plan

Joanne Hosker shares her expert insights. Pic: Phil TragenJoanne Hosker shares her expert insights. Pic: Phil Tragen
Joanne Hosker shares her expert insights. Pic: Phil Tragen
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The key is to look at where the business is aiming to be in two to three years’ time - and the elements that need to be delivered to achieve that growth. Then look around the management team and assess who can bring their skills and experiences to each element, be that international expansion, building a new manufacturing facility and transferring production, identifying, making and integrating acquisitions, or targeting larger customers and order values.

It’s extremely common to have gaps or conversely a concentration of similar skill sets and experiences. As such, a diverse group, with a wide range of abilities and talents that can come together to deliver the plan, makes for a strong management team.

Strive for diversity

A strong management team should be diverse, not just because there is evidenced direct correlation between diversity and financial performance, but because it can attract the highest calibre of people to join a business – all of whom can look to the top and be inspired that, if they work hard and deliver great results, they too have the opportunity to make it.

Keep up with the ever-increasing pace of change

A Deloitte survey found, overwhelmingly, that the key requirement of 21st Century leaders is the ‘ability to lead through more complexity and ambiguity’. I think few of us would argue with that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

To enable this, leaders must be able to draw out and utilise all skills, knowledge and abilities in their team and around them, employ strong critical thinking and executive functioning skills, create a climate of innovation and consistent experimentation and, finally, do all of this collaboratively with others within the organisation more than ever before.

Define your proposition

When recruiting a management team for scale-up make sure you summarise what is great about working in your company before commencing any interview process. Ask yourself: what is your employee value proposition? Why should anyone join your company? The high-calibre candidates who could have most impact in your business are likely to have a number of options available to them and you’ll need to convey an attractive proposition to them.

Recruit for the future

There is little point in recruiting someone who is perfect for the business as it is today, but will not be able to deliver a similar impact when the business has grown, is larger, offers extended product ranges, or sells to different customers. Recruit someone who has, preferably, done the scale-up journey, and who can contribute both now and in the future. Yes, it will be slightly more expensive, but you won’t have the cost and time implications of re-recruiting in 12 months or less, for example, and you’ll have a valuable senior colleague throughout the next phase of growth.

Joanne Hosker is part of BGF’s Talent Network team

Related topics: