How to build the right team for fast growth businesses

Hiring the right talent from the start can make or break your business. Trustpilot's Anne-Marie Finch writes.

Nothing beats smart capital if you want to grow your business. Finding and hiring the right talent is the most important thing if you want to succeed. Admittedly, this might seem like the obvious answer from someone that works with recruitment but if you pause and think about how dependent businesses are on their people, it truly is crucial. With the right product managers your product will improve. With the right specialists and work environment, innovation will flourish. And with the right… well, you get the point.

Building the right team for a fast growth business – or any business – is a real challenge. There’s a near constant influx of new positions that need to be filled and the business is often feeling its way in terms of the skill sets needed to support the growth strategy – and that strategy can of course be subject to change.

At Trustpilot, we’ve grown our global workforce from 250 to 500 in just two years. During this rapid expansion period we have learned that there are four key elements when it comes to building the right team for a growth business:

Culture fit
If the culture doesn’t fit then there’s really no fit at all. Before hiring you need to realize that not everyone is suited to working in a high-growth environment, even those with significant skill sets and experience. The most important quality we seek in a new hire is the ability to embrace change and view it as a positive. By definition if your business is growing it’s also changing. However, cultural fit should not take on a tribal meaning as an unconscious bias that excludes people who think or act differently.

New hires that share your passion are more likely to succeed than others. At Trustpilot, our people are passionate about building something special and how increased trust can improve the internet. When people are committed with their heart they create greater results and add energy to the rest of the organisation. But if you want your team to be passionate about the company you should also be passionate about them. We make an effort trying to understand the background stories of our employees and what drives them.

We actively seek out people that are willing to challenge the status quo. When your business is growing you need individuals that step back to ask ‘is there a better way we can do this? Be conscious about hiring people that think they have all the answers as it will reduce their ability to be curious and can lead to the wrong kind of fixation. Yes, curiosity can lead to mistakes, but if your people are not making mistakes then you have the wrong people – as long as they don’t make the same mistake twice.

Fast growth businesses are not the right place for micromanagers or people that need micromanaging. There simply isn’t the time. You need people that can think and act by themselves. That requires independence – and a whole lot of integrity.

As you can imagine, finding talented people that embody the above traits isn’t always easy but we decided a long time ago it was one of the most important tasks on our hands. In fact, our Founder and CEO is on record as saying that not doing so in our early days was one of his biggest mistakes. Needless-to-say there’s been a focus on it ever since.

If you want to grow your business you should obsess about who you hire. If you don’t then you might find making the numbers is much harder than it needs to be.

Anne-Marie Finch is the VP of Global HR & Talent at Trustpilot, the biggest review company on the internet where consumers review companies and share these openly. Since 2014, Anne-Marie has led the expansion of Trustpilot’s talent mass growing from 250 to 500 global employees with about 100 employees at the London office.

See also: 25 UK fastest growing businesses that don’t have equity investment

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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