January 29, 2021

Hiring is the worst way to grow a team

Hiring is the worst way to grow a team.

In this context, worst doesn’t necessarily mean bad. It does mean:

  • most expensive
  • most time-consuming
  • most emotionally intensive
  • riskiest

Yet it’s still too often our first choice when we need to grow our team. Why?

Because we don’t hire to grow; we hire to expand capacity. These two are not the same. Too often we measure growth with revenue, headcount, and capacity (i.e. hours available to work).

But a more accurate measure of growth would be profits and valuable offerings to clients. Hiring someone has a way of destroying all those profits quickly, and for a long period of time. A good Onboarding program helps mitigate the extent of that destruction, but can never eliminate it.

If your team can work less and generate the same revenue – or more revenue – you can invest the difference of hours into actual growth: learning new skills, expanding service offerings your clients care about, developing unique expertise and valuable IP that you can use to both add value and increase your fees. You can facilitate a virtuous cycle of growth.

Or they could invest the difference in vacations once in a while.

If your team wasn’t constantly running at full capacity, what else could they be investing in to really grow your practice?


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