Managing rapid growth and your HR

Managing rapid growth and your HR

Business is booming and your business is expanding, however, managing rapid growth is not always easy.  Particularly when you’re tasked with managing the employees in this process. Here are our top tips for managing your HR if your business is scaling up and experiencing rapid growth.

Create an HR strategy

This will allow you to understand your current position and where you need to improve in order to help the business grow.

The first step is to create an organisation chart to map out the lines of reporting. This will demonstrate in the first instance whether the CEO and senior managers are overwhelmed with too many reports, and where gaps may lie. Read our post ‘5 things you should include in your HR strategy.’

Measure resources and hire appropriately

Do you have enough employees to manage the increased workload and the rapid growth? Are they operating to full efficiency? If you’re scaling in order to sell, or are unsure about the longer term, hiring temporary or freelance staff is a good way to keep risk at a minimum. Read our guide to working with freelancers.

Consider hiring temporary staff for the menial tasks to keep existing staff focused on customer service or strategy. You could employ placement students or benefit from the apprenticeship funding.

Ensure the right people are in the right jobs

Define the roles and responsibilities, map out the current workforce as part of your organisation chart also conducting a skills gap analysis.

Monitor staff needs

Don’t underestimate the pressure rapid growth can place on your staff. With increased business comes increased pressure, so it pays to be mindful of their stress levels. Be sure to include training requirements within your HR plan, and plan to increase formal training as you grow to allow them to develop and boost morale. Read our guide to setting up a training scheme.

Promote internally

Rewarding the high achievers within the business sets a positive company culture and will motivate other members of staff. Here are our tips on spotting whether your employee is ready for promotion.

Include recruitment as part of your rapid growth plan

Make sure you have a robust recruitment process in place, which involves proper screening and onboarding to avoid any costly hiring mistakes. Rapid growth quite often results in a rapid hiring spree and in some cases making rushed decisions. It’s a good idea to create a plan to review every quarter and evaluate where you are. We have put together some recommendations to ensure you’re recruiting the right people and have created a good onboarding structure.

Make sure that you keep the bar high when it comes to recruitment. Traditionally, when the business first starts hiring, the founder is usually personally involved. As time goes on, this becomes unmanageable and other managers take on this task – and standards start to slip. It’s essential to recruit for long-term requirements than for a quick fix.

Implement an HR system

You may have started off managing staff processes manually, or even on paper. But as you experience rapid growth you will find that this will soon get out of hand easily. Moving online and implementing an HR system can remove a major admin headache – formalising holiday requests and mapping out resource for the year. There are a number of providers on the market who offer tailored resources. Take a look at some of our partners.

Get your policies and procedures in order

The most essential part of your company’s HR is to ensure you have up-to-date policies and procedures in place. This includes contracts, handbooks and policies. This will assist you further down the line when employees need to handle HR matters effectively.

Hold onto your company culture

As headcount grows rapidly, the start-up culture can get lost. It takes effort to maintain the company ethos, so it’s important to retain your values when recruiting. Look for candidates who will be a fit with the business, and share the values as opposed to just looking at relevant skills and experience.

Consider outsourcing your HR

As your agency expands it will soon become overwhelming to deal with the employee element of the business at the same time. Outsourcing your HR, it will free you up to focus on the business. Many HR consultancies or solo consultants will conduct an audit of your current HR processes as a first step and will create a strategy based on the needs of the business. Not only does this take away a major burden, but will complement growth plans and help the business scale up. Many consultancies, like ours, offer a sliding pricing scale so you only need to pay for what you need. Be careful to look out for lengthy contracts which lock you in for years and companies that only offer call centre advice lines. You can find you end up having to explain your issue from scratch every time you need advice as they won’t have an understanding of your business. Read our guide on outsourcing or download our free eBook for more.

For advice on scaling up or managing your people you can download our sales brochure and price list here.

Written by:

Alison King
Managing Director - Alison founded Bespoke HR in October 2005. After many years working for others in senior HR functions; she decided to start up on her own. There isn’t much that Alison doesn’t know about the world of HR, and she has surrounded herself with a team in her own mould.