Healthy growth

Healthy organizations require long-term thinking. If you focus solely on everyday operations, you might miss the fact that soon you will need to create a new role simply because the need has not manifested itself clearly yet.

Be strategic about the way you develop your company. Don’t wait till the need for a certain role is obvious – if it is, there is a good chance it is already too late. And if you need hiring support, just let me know

To review your hiring priorities, see the cheat sheet below.

10 employees

By the time you have 10 people onboard, you are still wearing too many hats although you have hired the first people to take over some of the most time-consuming tasks. 

Roles of CEO, COO, and CTO are clearly defined, including ownership for decisions about the product, strategy, hiring, finance, growth, marketing, sales, and growth.

You hired an OFFICE MANAGER, someone not necessarily experienced but with the right skills and personality (well organized, versatile, great people skills) who acts as human resources, office management, finance/accounting, executive assistant, and customer support at this early stage.

You hired the first great people for your PRODUCT and TECHNOLOGY TEAMS. Their skills, experience, and culture will have a predominant impact on whom will you be able to hire in the future (it is about the network they have as well as the fact that strong people prefer to work with other bright minds), so make sure you don’t compromised here.

You started preparing yourself and other managers-to-be for the new roles that will require a totally new skillset such as delegating, leading, and developing people as well as building the right culture.

30 employees

By the time your team reaches 30 employees, your role as a founder has changed. You have hired specialists who took over some areas. You still work closely with them but you don’t do the work yourself anymore. You also started losing visibility on everything that happens in the company so you started gathering data, as well as making data-driven decisions and introduced OKR and KPIs (if you haven’t yet).

You hired at least one internal, EXPERIENCED RECRUITER who is able to work independently and approach hiring proactively. When thinking about whether you can afford her, think about all the time the person will save you (reaching out to candidates, prescreening, organizing meetings, managing the processes, and ensuring that the things move forward at the right pace) and money that you would spend otherwise on external recruiters' fees. Last but not least, think about quality – an internal recruiter will have a far better understanding of your company and available roles thus will be able to attract the most interesting candidates. The number of recruiters you have hired should correlate with your hiring plans. Typically, depending on the role, region and company setup, one recruiter will likely be able to hire one to two experienced tech/product people. This will skew higher if you look for less experienced people, you are one of the hottest companies on the market, or you allow remote work.

You hired a BUSINESS ANALYST who will provide you with dashboards and reports about your organization in order to help all the teams (including you) to make better, autonomous, data-driven decisions. You hired him or her early enough (before you even had much data) to give him or her enough time to understand your business and set up the infrastructure, tools, and processes.

You hired a FINANCE SPECIALIST who established quality processes and took over the topic from you.<br />

Depending on your product, you might have hired a SECURITY specialist for your tech team.

50 employees

By the time your team reaches 50 employees,  you have started to manage managers. You make your first executive experiences, which require from you all new set of skills. Since you don’t have any more control over execution, culture becomes a strong managing factor. You might have started losing or risk losing people who joined you early on and enjoyed high visibility, impact, quick decision making because things tend to be more bureaucratic. So you have paid lots of attention to ensuring transparency and inclusion while not losing decision-making speed.

If you haven't done it already, now you have finally created roles for HEAD OF SALES, CUSTOMER SUCCESS, PEOPLE OPERATIONS, FINANCE and you promoted within or hired externally. Heads of teams have taken full ownership for professionalisation, establishing processes, and implementing tools within their areas of expertise. You focus more on strategy in order to be able to provide them with input they need to operate successfully as well as developing your managers.

You hired “connectors” such as PRODUCT OWNERS, PROJECT LEADERS, and MANAGERS: people who have a wider view, operate cross-functionally between teams, look for synergies, and eliminate bottlenecks.

You hired, even if part-time, someone who takes care of all IT SUPPORT internal functions (IT Ops).

75 employees

By the time your team reaches 75 employees, your role is mainly executive. You manage the managers and focus on setting them up for success long term. Since it is not a small company anymore, any changes are much more complicated. You have started spending more time thinking about strategy, tactics, and culture.

It's too much data for your Business Analyst, so you have hired additional ANALYSTS dedicated exclusively to sales and marketing as well as finance and people operations.

You have on board an HR BUSINESS PARTNER, a person who supports the development of managers and employees, solves ongoing issues and acts as the first point of contact for all HR related topics (contracts, payments, salary reviews, hiring, and firing).

100 employees

By the time your team reaches 100 employees, people in your company likely rarely speak to 70% of their colleagues (and they don’t even know the names of 40%). Ensuring good cooperation and flow of information, team building, communication, and culture becomes critical topics. Also, your Employee Value Proposition needs serious adjustments since you can no longer offer the startup experience you did in the beginning.

You hired first VPs in the most strategic areas.

You might have hired people dedicated to improvement of the operations within your biggest teams.

You have significantly strengthened top-down communication from the founders in order to ensure transparency and alignment between different teams and levels of the organization.