Who to Hire First (or Next) to Support Your Scaling Business

There comes a time in every business owner’s life when they realize they can’t do everything by themselves anymore. 

You may have experienced this yourself: perhaps you’ve found it challenging to keep up with the inquiries that are coming in, noticed standards slipping as you struggle to serve all of your clients, or maybe you’ve identified a skills gap in your current team. 

Whether you’re taking care of everything yourself or you’ve already created a great team around you, sometimes your existing structure isn’t big enough to support the growth your business is experiencing. When this happens, it’s time to hire a new team member. 

The first step is to identify exactly who to hire by determining what type of role you need to add. Sometimes, in the case of a skills gap, this might be obvious. But other times, it might not be immediately clear what type of role will most benefit your business. Would a support role help, or do you need someone who is client-facing? 

To determine who to hire, read on to learn more about the different types of roles you could add and decide which one could be helpful for you. 

Who to Hire: What Type of Role

Support Role

Support staff usually work behind the scenes in your business to allow all the cogs in the machine to turn smoothly. This means that, apart from perhaps scheduling meetings or the occasional email, your clients or external contacts may not come into contact with these staff members. 

Support roles are a great way to take time-consuming or repetitive tasks off existing team members’ to-do lists, particularly tasks that don’t directly generate revenue. This, in turn, helps you and your team to focus on client work or other revenue-generating tasks.  

Examples of a support role include a bookkeeper, an assistant, or an administrator.

Client-Facing Role

If you’re used to running the business by yourself, or perhaps you tend to take the lead on client work, then hiring someone in a client-facing role could be a big help. 

This new team member could take over some of the clients you’re used to serving, freeing up time for you to spend elsewhere. With them on your team, you could:

  • Focus on serving select clients, while they take care of their own assigned clients
  • Take on more clients than you could have done before your new hire joined you
  • Step away from client work altogether and focus on CEO-level tasks or backend work. 

As you can see, there are lots of ways that a new client-facing team member could help your business to grow and reduce overwhelm for you.

Combo Role

Sometimes, it’s not quite as clear-cut as the above, and instead you need a team member who can assist in multiple types of tasks. If this is the case, you might want to consider hiring someone whose role can be a bit more flexible. 

This usually means hiring a junior client-facing role; someone who can help with the admin tasks that might be building up for you or your team but who you can also assign certain client-facing tasks to for support in this area as well. For example, this could be a junior designer or a sales representative.  

A person in this role could take on some of the tasks you need to do for your clients, so that you can focus more of your time on the higher-level work. Over time, you can train your new employee to take on more of the higher-level work until you feel comfortable for them to work independently with clients. This will gradually free up more of your time to work with other clients or onboard new ones. 

One of the benefits of hiring someone in this type of role is that the pay level is usually lower than for a full client-facing role. While cost shouldn’t be the only factor that drives your decision, it is certainly something to consider alongside the wider needs of your business.

What’s Next

When you’ve decided what type of hire you need for your business, it’s time to start developing the role. 

When you’re deciding which tasks a role should include, the first thing you should do is list the major stress points in your business. Which tasks are taking up too much of your time, or your team’s time? What are the gaps in your current skillset, where someone more specialized could add real value? 

Then, consider the benefits of hiring someone to take that task off your plate. This shouldn’t simply be to tick something off of your to-do list, there should be a tangible benefit to the business. 

Finally, rank the tasks in order of the impact they could have on your business, whether that’s in overcoming your biggest challenges, or helping you to reach the next big goal you’ve set. The items at the top of this list should be the primary focus for your new hire. 

You can learn more about how to identify which tasks to delegate to a new hire on our website.

Are you ready to take the first step in hiring your next team member?

Deciding to hire a new team member can be daunting, but we’re here to help you navigate the process and master the art of hiring. 

Download your free copy of The Hiring Checklist: How to Hire the Right Team for Your Growing Business and learn the eight action steps you need to complete for a successful hiring process.

A process that not only leads you to a pool of your ideal candidates but also points you directly to the person you should hire because they can succeed in the role (and avoid hiring someone simply because they had a pretty resume!)

Who to Hire First or Next to Support Your Growing Business, Growing Your Team, Jamie Van Cuyk, Small Business hiring consulting