Over the last few years, Kupfer & Associates has grown a great deal. All of the support and growth we’ve experienced, along with the deals we’ve closed, have meant that we’ve also gotten to bring in new team members. I’ve noticed that making key hires in my business has a great impact on our deal-making capacity.
My hiring process is not just about serving clients well (although that’s a part of it). It’s also about creating a firm that has more value going forward.
Team-Building is Business Changing
Building a great team is not easy! However, too many people are saying things like, “It’s impossible to find the right people.” or even, “There are no good people out there.”
The reality is, that’s not true. You’re quite likely not hiring thousands of people (even huge organizations aren’t looking to onboard that many people at once!). No matter your size, you’re typically only bringing on a few people at a time, or even just one person. I guarantee,the right fit is out there!
So, what are you looking for? The first step is gaining clarity around what you need, and to then look for new hires who will help you create additional capacity in those areas.
In terms of deal-making, that might mean looking at future joint ventures or collaborations that appeal to you, and then considering what kind of candidates might best help you grow in those ways. Ultimately, you’re also looking for key people that will help you become redundant. The worst thing you can do in your business is to create a situation where you are so important to the business that it would be crippled without you.
Building a team that keeps your clients super happy and that perform at a high level is incredibly freeing — it changes everything in your business.
There is Leeway
Sometimes bringing in the right people means identifying the candidate who will need just a bit of leeway to get their feet under them. Being able to see potential, and knowing how to hook that potential into your business, is part of building an amazing team.
Business owners who “can’t find anyone” are often being overly stringent on small things that could be fairly easily taught. Just because a candidate hasn’t used a specific system, or done a specific type of transaction before, doesn’t mean they “couldn’t” do it.
Quite frankly, incredibly skilled and educated candidates get passed over all the time, for small reasons that could have been easily overcome. Instead of doing that, I advocate for empowering your people. If someone has the passion, energy, and drive to be great (along with the basic requirements of the job), I’m more than happy to work with them on potential gaps.
Refusing to be flexible (and insisting there are no good candidates out there) just holds you back and hurts your own business.
You Need a Team
No matter what you offer, or what you’re selling, you are going to need to build a team if you’re serious about growth. The reality is, what got you here won’t get you there.
Next level growth, scaling, and sustainability usually mean, at some point, hiring. That’s a good thing!
Beyond just hiring new people, you can also look for ways to grow your current people. Investing in their education, empowering them to take on new roles, and encouraging their continuing professional growth can help you build an incredible team around you. It’s also a way to fill the most pivotal positions without having to look outside your own walls. (Don’t forget that you’ll need to bring in someone new to take on the old position still!)
I have team members who have been with me for decades because I’ve given them room to grow. I’ve also had to make hard decisions about team members who haven’t been able to grow with the company.
Through it all, I’ve seen again and again the power of having a team.
Sometimes You’re the Problem
The reality is, sometimes the biggest problem in our businesses is our own management style.
Whether that means you’re hiring poor fits, micromanaging the team you do have, struggling to adequately train team members, failing to provide growth opportunities that will help you retain top talent, or otherwise not creating a positive work culture: be open to areas that you can improve your own leadership skills when it comes to team management.
If you have a low retention rate, or consistently have employees that don’t perform well, it’s key that you take a look at your own style (or the management style of your high-level employees).
Eventually, your ability to do deals and to eventually exit your company is deeply impacted by the quality of the team you have. It’s vital that you build an incredible team, and that you’re willing to take a look at yourself as well. Finding that balance is a key part of your growth.
To hear more about my own experience with hiring, listen in!
Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.
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