This is how, and when, you should expand your leadership team

by Emily Douglas21 Aug 2018

Jordan Boesch is the founder and CEO of 7shifts, an employee scheduling app for restaurants. 7shifts allows managers to schedule and communicate with staff, as well as evaluate employee performance. He talked to HRD about the start-up’s realization that they needed to expand their leadership team with a new Sales Director, and how they went about sourcing the right one.

First off, we asked him how he knew it was time to hire more new and exciting leadership talent.

“We had that start-up mentality,” explained Boesch. “We were used to doing all of the hiring ourselves and making all of the decisions in-house. But you can't be all things at once. We had an innovative product, a solid brand, and a core group of clients. It was time to focus on sales. When you reach a certain level, you realize there are people who specialize in this, who are really good. We knew that we needed to hire a sales director to lead the team.”

Knowing you need to recruit a new director and actually enacting that are two very different things. For Boesch, his search took him longer than anticipated.

“We looked for months for a right-fit sales director. But the realization that you can't do everything yourself applies to finding talent as well. When you want to hire the very best there is - you turn to the people who are the best at that.”

Jordan turned to The Leadership Agency – tech recruitment specialists with whom they shared common connections.

“One of our team members had worked with them in the past. It is a mental shift to turn to outside help for a new hire, but it was time. We were growing fast, and that growth had to be strategic. Especially when it comes to leadership talent.”

Drawing upon his own experience, we asked Jordan when it’s time for founders and CEOs to seek outside help.

“When you are just starting out, you are used to doing everything yourself, or with a small tight team. You're running off passion, intuition, and your own native skillset. When you start to grow - especially at the leadership level - you find yourself in the situation where you need to hire high performers in areas where you have no personal expertise. That's the real challenge. That in itself should serve as the sign that it's time to turn to outside help in hiring.

“If you're a small group, say two or three people running your company, and you add a new senior leader at the top, you're growing your management team by 25 per cent. This can have a significant impact on how your business functions. 

“So, your recruiter really has to get your culture, brand, and mission. They need to ask smart questions and really develop a deep understanding of the challenges the business faces and the technical skills a new hire will require. But it’s more than that; it comes down to the values and attitudes that make for a good addition to the team as well. It takes a leader to find a leader.”

 

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