Preparing your tech company for growth: sort out your people strategy

18 March 2021 / Insight posted in Article

Your tech company is scaling up and you know you need to increase your headcount by 40% by the end of the year. You are only too aware of the shortfall in tech talent in the job market so you want to make your company stand out to attract the best.

However, before you start recruiting, you need to look closer to home. What people and skills do you already have? Where will the gaps be? Who wants to develop their role and what training do they need? Will you restructure now or as you grow?

In talking to our clients about their recruiting-for-growth plans, we frequently find ourselves advising on recurring themes. We have collated our top five tips on people strategy for scaling-up tech companies to consider.

People strategy tips for scaling-up tech companies

1. People management skills

Your tech company might have a flat structure. As your business grows, this might lead to more positions taking on line management responsibility. Employees usually progress because they are great technically. However, that doesn’t automatically make them good managers.

Your managers need to know how to understand, organise and motivate people to work together to achieve more, better and faster. Many new managers need help with taking on a people management role, communicating effectively with their teams and giving feedback. Performance management can mean different things for different roles but always depends on a manager’s ability to accomplish or facilitate work through others, as well as directing and developing employees.

Providing management training to help build the confidence and skills of your new managers or those who are about to step into a new management role will help strengthen your workforce as your tech company grows.

2. Considered change management

The culture within your tech company likely to be fairly relaxed. However, as your company grows, you might need to adopt more corporate ways of working. This won’t happen organically so you will have to actively adapt your company culture to suit its changing needs.

Getting buy-in from your long-term employees from the beginning is important to reduce resistance to change. Providing regular communication and obtaining feedback on both your short-term and long-term goals can really help this. It will help integrate your newer employees, recruited in line with the plans to grow the company, with your employees who have been there a long time.

3. People structure and succession

Keeping your people structure up to date and relevant to your business plan, capturing training needs and regularly discussing progression creates a succession plan that is linked to your business strategy. As a tech company, you probably already work with a creative structure, find it more effective than a conventional hierarchical approach.

For example, some tech companies use squads and guilds, so that departments and teams still have leadership but the additional horizontal reporting lines work for project teams. These project teams are interchangeable to allow for development opportunities, knowledge sharing and team collaboration.

As a successful tech company, you add and change your workforce’s roles and responsibilities at pivotal moments, such as now that you are about to embark on a journey of growth. You need the right people in the right roles to maximise your company’s efficiency and achieve your objectives.

4. Careful communication

Communicating with your people is key. But it’s hard to get it right, even when the communication is as positive as growth. Communicating the right amount with your people at the right time can have a positive effect. Your employees will see results as the situation changes.

It’s important that you hear from your employees about how they feel about your plans and provide structured and valuable communication based on this. Relating it to how your plans affect individuals as well as explaining how their output is integral to the company’s success will also increase engagement levels.

5. Attraction

Attracting the right people is important when your business has ambitious plans. Your financial package is comparable within the market but it’s not all about money. Really knowing what keeps your current employees from looking for another job can provide really valuable insight into how to attract talent. You’ll probably find that culture and flexibility are in the top five reasons for your employees staying, so give this the same priority as financial package and training.

Now you’re ready to start recruiting.

Help from the experts

The trick to getting your people strategy right for your planned growth path is to build it for your particular tech company. What your nearest competitor does might not necessarily work for your company.

If you’re ready to discuss how your people strategy can support your growth objectives, please contact our People Advisory team.

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