Growth Comes With Growing Pains. And It Creates Strength
Today, I wanted to talk about the major breakthrough in how we hire for Cardone Ventures, so let’s take a deep dive into our strategy, shall we? You’re gonna want to get into this, folks, because this strategy catapulted a once small business — one with 0 employees less than 48 months ago! — to an industry juggernaut with over 200 employees and over $100 million in revenue. Seriously.
And today, as of this writing, we just hired 10 employees. Not this month. Not this week. TODAY.
Is your business able to take on this sort of growth? Most can’t. But most don’t have the right strategic insight on their side, and I want to share with you how you can make this possible for your business.
Many businesses struggle with finding the right candidates for their open positions and they get stuck in their struggle to grow. We all know that growth comes with growing pains, but too few know how to get to the next phase and turn that pain into strength, to celebrate the breakthroughs and become an unstoppable force.
Your Confidence In Hiring Won’t Happen Overnight
I’m going to be totally honest with you, bringing on 10 new employees in a single day is still the sort of thing that makes me sweat. I’m not kidding. Just this morning, we had our daily all-team meeting, and in that meeting we kicked off the official onboarding process for these 10 hires, and I’m still wrapping my mind around it all.
Listen, it was not that long ago — less than four years ago — where we were only hiring 10 new employees in a year, let alone in a single day.
As the person responsible for creating the entire process related to hiring, it makes me nervous to bring on so many team members all at once. I want them to have a great onboarding experience, and I know that they will, given our track record, but I’m still not used to these incredible milestones that we’ve been achieving.
It’s not that long ago that we were a much smaller entity, and I was personally creating and managing every individual onboarding plan, adding them to Slack, our Google Suite, and learning management systems, ensuring that their first four weeks were as dialed in and as buttoned up as can be. Now, because of our incredible growth, we have a team to manage that.
That’s what I want for your business, too.
If You Want to Scale, Then You Need A Process
When I wrote my first book, TeamWork, Cardone Ventures had 88 employees. Pretty impressive growth at the time of that writing, so I’m so grateful that today we’re at more than double that figure.
But the point is that at that time, we started using a process for hiring and onboarding employees that we still use to this very day.
Having a process gives you guardrails, it gives you consistency and it also gives you something you can measure yourself against so that you can improve that process over time. This process always gives you a way to measure the performance of your new hires to ensure that they’re achieving all that they can in their respective roles.
Even for us, at the stage of growth that we’re in and with a process as dialed in as ours is, I still find hiring and onboarding nerve wracking. And that makes me wonder how stressful and chaotic this must be for those businesses that don’t have a process to lean on.
I have to remind myself that new hires mean expansion, they mean growth, and that means we’re headed in the right direction. This means that we’ve done things correctly, including maintaining one of our main KPIs — revenue-per-employee.
So let’s get into that. Let’s get into the reasons why people might be letting their fear hold them back from being able to hire 10 employees in a day and how we can overcome that fear to create incredible, 10X-level businesses.
You’re Worried About the Financial Risk
There’s really no doubt that hiring 10 employees at once creates a significant financial risk, but only when you don’t have a long-term vision in place.
What we need to remember is that people are an investment in the growth of the business, and that with the right strategy in place, the reward of hiring far outweighs the risk. You’re creating assets for the business.
When you choose not to hire, you’re basically saying that you don’t have the financial wherewithal to endure a little pain until you eventually hit your growth cycle.
And yet, without hiring new people, you’re never going to be able to duplicate what you and the rest of your existing staff do in order to expand the business. Most businesses don’t have a process in place (and sometimes don’t even have a basic understanding of) duplication. That concept lies at the heart of the book that I’m working on right now.
The reality is, your business does need more people in order to grow, so don’t let anybody out there fool you into thinking that being a solopreneur one-man-show is a desirable long-term business strategy. It’s not.
- How do you exit?
- How do you sell?
- How does an owner-doer become an owner-investor?
You can’t, because you’ve painted yourself into a corner.
You’re basically in the position where you don’t really have a business, you actually just have a job, because you’re stuck in the mindset that only you can do what you do.
And to take things a step further, the solopreneur angle is a little irresponsible, if I’m being honest. If the entire business is dependent on just one person, then what’s the backup plan if you get sick or if something happens to you?
These things happen all of the time. How are you going to actually help yourself, let alone your family or your clients, by building a business that is entirely dependent on you?
In my realm of thinking, I believe that it would be incredibly selfish for Brandon and me to build our business in a way that made it entirely dependent upon us. Too many people depend on us. We just can’t do that. It’s irresponsible.
So you have to take the financial risk in hiring new employees to duplicate your work and drive growth. It’s not a choice not to expand.
You’re Worried About Management Challenges
Okay, so the second fear that a lot of business owners face is the management challenge of bringing on a large number of new employees at once.
I get it. It can be difficult to hire and onboard and train a bunch of new employees all at once. As a business owner, it’s natural to worry about how you’re going to manage all of these new hires and ensure that they’re not only being trained properly, but are actually integrating into the company culture how you want them to.
But in the face of that fear, I have to ask, “Well, what’s your process?”
Do you have confidence that every team in your business, from sales to marketing to HR to recruitment and fulfillment all have the framework in place to correctly onboard team members?
Is your process dialed in? Even if your department onboarding is dialed in, are you dialed in at the role and task levels? Is every i dotted and every t crossed?
Or how would you go about onboarding a recruiter, not just a new team member, to ensure that the recruiter is set up for success based on the processes, the systems that they would need?
How do you know that your staff accountant is being onboarded properly, not just as a team member, but as a staff accountant who has access to all of the things that are required for them to hit out of the park inside their role?
Listen, I’m being a little aggressive about this topic for a reason. If you’re afraid of hiring new employees because you’re afraid of mismanagement, because you’ve got systems that aren’t dialed in or because you don’t have a system in place at all, then you’re focused on the wrong thing.
Your business needs process. Your employees deserve process. Your clients will benefit from these processes.
This is a huge opportunity for most business owners and they probably don’t even realize it. You not only get to create an onboarding system, but you can create what I call a “Tell me, Show me, Let me, Coach me” onboarding plan for each specific role in the business.
This is next-level stuff, people. This is 10X territory. And you have to do these things in order to scale. Most business owners put it off, which is part of why they aren’t actually able to duplicate themselves. Don’t be most business owners.
You’re Worried About Cultural Fit
I totally get this one. Truly. 10 new employees, all at once? Finding one good employee that is a good match for your company’s mission, vision, values, and work style, but 10? Yeah, it’s a little daunting, but it’s certainly not impossible.
Here’s what I say to this: What are they bringing to the table? What does your gut tell you? Are they bringing in 10X energy, or is it more of a 1X energy?
Are they adding to the culture, or are they overwhelming, distracting, and even potentially tainting the culture?
At Cardone Ventures, I can confidently say that we have a culture that would pretty quickly spit out anybody who isn’t a good culture fit for our business. We have pretty clear cut core values here, and our team is incredibly committed to them. They’re watch dogs, so to speak.
When we bring on someone new, the team knows very, very quickly if someone is 10X or not.
They don’t take clients seriously.
They don’t complete their work on time.
They only talk about negative things.
We know right away that these people are not a good fit, and therefore they have got to go. Our culture is that strong, and I’m proud of that. But what if your culture isn’t that strong?
Well, this is where I’d actually recommend that you still roll the dice on adding those 10 new team members. Why? Because you don’t yet have clearly defined values. You’re not sure of what your mission really is. The vision isn’t clear. This is, believe it or not, a huge opportunity.
All of these new team members could potentially be exactly what your business needs — they could bring a lot of good positivity and enthusiasm into an environment sorely in need of that type of energy. Use this opportunity to shape and define the culture of your business!
You’re Worried About Overwhelming the Existing Team
This is kind of a funny one, but I get it. Depending on the size of your business, adding 10 new employees in a day could potentially overwhelm everything and everyone.
It could disrupt the existing workflow process. How are you going to manage an increased workload of this magnitude? How are you going to ensure that your operations are still running smoothly? Is your IT team going to be able to accommodate setting up 10 new people with their hardware and software needs? Heck, is your building going to have space for 10 more people?!
So, I get it. This could be overwhelming. That said, this is supposed to be the opposite of overwhelming.
You’re adding new team members because they’re able to take stuff off of other people’s plates. Now, you have the bandwidth to train and duplicate and foster growth and eventually hire ten more people. You’re creating new levels of leadership. You’re expanding the business.
Don’t let this fear of being overwhelmed prevent you from achieving the next level of success. There are always going to be new challenges. Getting tripped up by the hypothetical ones is only going to hold you back.
You’re Worried About Compliance Issues
I understand that this is a legitimate fear, but I’m a little annoyed by this one, to be perfectly frank.
This kind of relates to the fear of feeling overwhelmed. Yes, of course hiring 10 people at once could potentially cause disruptions with your HR department and could create additional work related to legal and regulatory compliance issues, but…this is literally why you have legal and HR on staff, right? To keep these things on track?
No matter how many people you’re onboarding, whether it’s 1 new hire or if it’s 100 new hires, maintaining compliance with all applicable labor laws, tax regulations, and other requirements is an absolute must. There’s really no other way for me to be able to speak to this fear.
Is this the worry that’s holding you back from scaling your business? If someone were to bring this to me in a consulting conversation, my greatest concern would be the level of support you have from an HR perspective.
If your business has an HR team in place, or if you or your smaller team are handling your business’s HR issues, then getting the right training and guidance would be the key in creating the knowledge and enthusiasm your business needs to foster its next level of growth.
Never let fear of underperformance hold you back from achieving your goals. Cardone Ventures has helped countless businesses in this capacity.
You’re Worried About Space and Resource Constraints
I kinda referenced this fear in the “overwhelmed” section a moment ago, and this is one thing that has actually been a real issue for us lately.
There’s really no getting around that adding 10 new employees in a single day is going to require additional office space, equipment for each person, and resources.
Now, if you’re already operating at full capacity in your space, it’s going to be difficult to accommodate these new hires without causing disruptions to your existing operations.
So, first things first: Accept that this is going to be disruptive. Then, help your existing employees in the most blunt but still optimistic way possible that this is going to be disruptive. Transparency is important at this stage. And then? Make some room and fill it with your new hires.
There’s no two ways about it. Until you make the leap to a new building, then you’re going to have people working in tight spaces with one another.
People have different feelings about working in close corridors, but I really, really love it.
To me, there is nothing better for a culture than seeing an office filled with people who are just banging out work, excited about what the opportunity looks like, and just making it all work. I love it.
We’re actually at a place where we’ve added 30 desks into an office space that was already full because we’re growing so quickly. And in order to get ahead of the game, we’ve also acquired two additional office spaces because of what our hiring forecasting looks like, but the crazy thing is that we’re still behind on it because by the time we’re done with those spaces, they’ll already be full of employees.
This is a good problem to have. This is one of the best problems to have. You should make this one of your problems. Don’t let space and resource constraints stop you from hiring.
I’ve worked with business owners that have throttled their hiring because they’re afraid that they don’t have room for the additional people, and I have to say that that’s a silly excuse.
This actually happened very recently where we were working with clients who were afraid to bring on new hires because they didn’t want to inconvenience their existing team members by having two desks in one office. Like, isn’t that what growth and startup culture is all about?
There is no better sign to your team that you are hiring and growing. It is a phenomenal indicator that you are doing something right with your business and sends the right message to your new hires that they’re a part of a thriving organization.
Hire the people. Figure out the space. Hire more people. Find a new space. That’s how it goes!
I want to help you break the cycle of fear that holds you back from creating an incredible business.
If you’re interested in more tips for how to be an effective leader or manager, check out the Building Billions podcast where I talk about all things business and share practical tips. Can’t wait to see you there!