keeping a straight line from strategy to hiring


By Chris Andrews – Director and Head of Advisory

How to maintain consistency of hiring calibre as you grow 

When a company is in early start-up mode, the hiring process is thorough, novel and exhilarating.  

The interviewing is generally managed and conducted by the principal of the business. As a result, there is a direct connection between the strategy and the hiring process – a straight line from strategy to hiring. The business owner is always its most passionate advocate, selling a dream and able to see applicants in the context of the growth curve they have in their minds eye.  

As the business begins to grow however, this connection is diluted as managers inject their own personalities, goals and immediate challenges into the hiring process. The straight line begins to bend, eventually breaking into smaller lines, many of which do not connect hiring to the strategy. Of equal concern is that this line is not visible to most business leaders as all their focus is on the daily task of core delivery. The breaks in the line cause inconsistencies in quality which leads to cultural erosion through the creation of cultural sub-groups, or just plain bad hires. 

Maintaining the line is a key part of ensuring that your organisation grows the way you planned it to, with the objective of getting the right people on the bus. As an example, it is important early on to decide what culture you need to achieve your goals and therefore what qualities are non-negotiable in all new hires. Once everyone has identified and agreed the non-negotiables, you have a platform for your culture and are less likely to be swayed by unconscious bias in interviews.  

The non-negotiables around traits are just one example of the 20 key stages in building a robust line from strategy to hiring. At Stone we have built these stages into a system which allows clients to codify and hence optimise their own process. We view each stage as links in a chain, as even one weak point can undermine the others. Once the links are explained and hiring managers are trained on the basic aspects, the system can scale with the company, dramatically reducing the dilution of culture helping support the strategic aim.     

To find out more about the 20 key stages in our unique hiring approach, click here!