“FUEL” – How Hiring For Capacity Fuels Business Growth

“Gimme fuel, gimme fire
Gimme that which I desire”


“Blow Up “ Your Brand And Your Business —
How Hiring For Capacity Fuels Business Growth

When James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett strut to the front edge of the stage in tandem you know you’re gonna see fingers on fire.

Metallica style.

But how fired up are you for real, profitable growth? What’s on your setlist for success? Where do you see the business in 12 to 18 months?

Forget about five years. Yes, you need a long-term vision and business plan but when you hire with capacity as your major attribute you can “blow up” your brand and your business in just that short a period.

Hint: It’s All About Capacity.

Capability plus volume equals capacity. That’s how I view recruiting High Impact Talent for my clients. What does that mean? Well, it means what I tell my small to medium business clients all the time …

“Don’t hire people that can grow with your company.
Hire people that your company can grow into!”

Which means you need to adopt a “disruptive” approach to your business. In my experience, too many small businesses are organized and staffed to do exactly the revenue they currently generate.

So if your business is stuck at $10 million, the cause is most likely that your people only know how to do $10 million. And you won’t reach $25 million or $50 million because you don’t have the talent and leadership to get you there.

You want to reach $50 million? Hire the seasoned pro(s) who has been there and done that and can take you to that promised land.

Are You Afraid To Hire “Big Ticket” Talent?

If so, you’re not alone. It’s the biggest mistake I see made over and over and over. The investment of salary and compensation packages should never be shortchanged if you truly want real revenue growth. It’s one of three reasons owners shudder to shell out the big bucks:

  1. The price tag
  2. Fear of poor performance (ROI)
  3. Change of culture and having someone new take a hard look at long-term loyal people and practices.

The bottom line? Go for the A-player, when hired correctly, they’re worth the investment.

A-players Vs. B-players: How Hiring
For Capacity Fuels Business Growth

In his book about how talent can transform companies, respected strategist and management consultant Victor Chen offers the following insight on hiring A-players versus B-players.

“Fast-growing companies require A-players, and lots of them. So what exactly is an A-player, and how is that person different from a B-player? A B-player does what he or she is told, does it well, and does it on time. If something unexpected happens, however, the B-player comes back and asks, “What do you want me to do now?” In contrast, an A-player solves any unexpected problems that pop up in the course of achieving the results you desire and tells you about it after the fact. Or if an A-player comes to you with a problem, she’ll come with a recommended solution too. In other words B-players focus on getting activities done, A-players focus on getting results done.”

                                        Talent Is The Fuel For Sustained Revenue Growth

Chen identified key dynamics that have been proven time and again in companies all over the country:

  • A-players like working with other A-players.
  • A-players like hiring other A-players because it evens out the work load
  • A-players are motivated by exciting work and an opportunity to grow their skills..
  • A-players value winning more than ego, power, and politics.
  • A-players’ salaries are only slightly higher (10 to 40% is common) than B-players, but deliver 300 to 500% greater results.
  • B-players do not like hiring A-players for fear of being shown up.
  • B-players like hiring C-players so they feel smart in comparison (and C-players like hiring D-players for the same reason).

And you can take this comparison to the bank. I have witnessed all of these dynamics in play and the future of your company depends on understanding the differences Chen outlines and disrupting any strategy that runs counter to these facts.

Hire For The Upside: People With
Capacity To Fuel Future Growth

It all boils down to the simple fact that if you’re a fast-growing company you’re going to need high-impact, transformation talent to drive higher revenue. Another factor that’s important to consider in fast-growing companies is the “upside potential” of a candidate. Upside potential is the estimation of how much more skilled and knowledgeable the candidate can become over time.

For this reason, you absolutely want to look for 95%+ qualified candidates who have the ability to grow into even bigger roles. Hire the people you want to have running your companies three years from now; not the company you have today. As I mentioned earlier, the strategy of hiring for where you want to be—instead of where you are is a good one to keep top of mind when planning for growth.

Survey Says…

A survey by CMO magazine published in February 2018 revealed “having the right talent” is FAR more important than operating models, stakeholder alignment, technology or even data. And good for them. They’re the progressive thinkers poised for successful growth.

Just think about that for a minute. Do you agree? If not, you are going to need a new belief system. And soon if you want to grow.

Here is just a sampling of questions from the survey I thought fit my topic perfectly. Take a look.

  1. Do you have specific development plans for your high-potential leaders? What will you do to strengthen your company’s capability in this area?
  2. Are you able to deploy the right people when emerging opportunities arise, quickly and without significant disruption to other parts of your organization? What will you do to strengthen your company’s capability in this area?
  3. Do you have a diverse and plentiful pool of leaders who are capable of moving into your organization’s most senior executive roles? What will you do to strengthen your company’s capability in this area?
  4. Would the people around you consider you actively engaged in your company’s talent management initiatives? What will you do to strengthen your company’s capability in this area?
  5. Do you know what skills your company needs to execute its growth objectives? What will you do to strengthen your company’s capability in this area?

The bottom line in all of this is that business owners and executives have long said that people are their companies’ most important assets. But making the most of them has acquired a new urgency. Any company seeking growth has little hope of achieving its goals without the ability to put the right people on the ground, and fast. Sure, there’s technology, capital investment in equipment and streamlined processes.

But in the end, it’s the people who matter. You can learn more by reading “Already Gone” – Employer Loyalty Can Hurt You!

In the meantime, if you want play like your fingers are on fire, bring a real world-class rock star on stage with you and …

Make your business rock!


Corey Harlock
Principal Consultant

Make Your Business Rock

Schedule your free 30-minute “Tune Into Talent™”
strategy session now with one of our
expert consultants to learn how.

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