Investing in the Right Positions When It’s Time to Grow

A rapidly growing business is a wonderful “challenge” with which to be faced, especially in the current economic environment; however, it does pose an oftentimes vexing question, “What are the most critical new positions to fill first?” And, a closely related follow-up question might be “What types of experience, knowledge, skills and abilities will be required for those positions?”

Knowing WHICH Positions to Fill First
In order to determine the future needs of your organization you must first have a solid grasp on where you are today and where your organization is experiencing “growing pains.”
Actually, what we’re talking about here is organizational design…structuring your business in an optimal fashion with your work processes clearly defined, tasks/responsibilities “bucketed” into the right positions and a clear definition of the essential knowledge, skills and abilities required for each position.

It’s critical that you have a thorough understanding of the process through which the work gets accomplished. This is not about clinging to traditional silos and conventional job titles (e.g. The Marketing Department or The Director or Public Relations), it’s about defining at a granular level the specific tasks/duties that logically need to be grouped together to accomplish the work.

The benefit of having a sound organizational design strategy and reliable performance metrics is that it allows for the scalable growth of your organization. As the business expands and your pipeline becomes filled, you are readily able to identify which “pipes” most urgently need to be changed/enlarged to accommodate the growth and in what specific way they must be modified.

Knowing HOW to Fill Those Positions
When filling a new or expanded position, it is wise to make the most of your existing organizational resources. One great way to accomplish this is by maintaining an employee database with information on existing skill sets, experience, education, aptitudes, strengths and career objectives. Having this information readily at hand allows you to:

  • Quickly identify the best candidate for a specific position.
  • Determine the shared learning needs of your workforce for development planning purposes.
  • Identify high-potential employees who can be strategically groomed for future leadership positions.
  • Identify where you have an urgent need to bring in new talent.
  • Build and monitor a succession planning model to ensure you have the necessary bench strength of candidates ready to step up and fill openings at all levels of the organization.

When it becomes apparent that you do not have a well qualified internal candidate, having a sound organizational design model with clear positional descriptions also facilitates articulating the requisite qualities when conducting an external candidate search.

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