Building an A-Team can be the difference between success and failure in business. If you hire full time, part time or have contractors within your team who just fill gaps, it will have a knock on effect across the entire business.
There’s more to it than just doing a ‘job’ for you – they need to be bought into your mission, have a high level of talent then once they are within your company you need to make sure they are continually motivated to roll our your strategy.
This means they have the company mission in their best interests.
So with that said let’s get started on the key elements of building out your A-Team.
Firstly, you need to get clear and understand what your personal mission is. For example I want to build products and services that have a positive impact of other people’s lives and being known as one of the best Entrepreneurs that has ever lived.
So before starting any business ask yourself is this mission reflective on this personal mission?
If it isn’t then there is no alignment and it’s going to be difficult to have a sustainable business because when adversity arises within that company you are likely to give up as it isn’t aligned with your personal mission.
Make sure it’s very specific, take your time with this to get clear on your why. Once you know this information it’s easier to build out your company mission as often the company is a vehicle in achieving your personal mission.
Next you need to think about your company’s mission. What dent do you want to make in an industry?
Is this in alignment with your personal mission?
For example if your personal mission is to create a lifestyle business and your company’s mission is to make a huge impact globally on an industry, there is a fair misalignment there and you aren’t going to be able to make a huge impact globally if from a personal standpoint your mission is to create a lifestyle business for yourself.
I highly recommend going and looking at other businesses and reading their mission statements to give you clarity on creating your own. And finally make sure that your mission solves a problem in a particular industry.
Now you need to get clear on the CEO role. In this section you need to get clear on what your strengths and weaknesses are because then you can start to build out a team based on your weaknesses allowing you to focus your time on your strengths.
When you are focused on your strengths that’s when you are going to have the biggest impact on your business.
So start listing out your strengths and create a role for yourself based around those.
Write these down along with your personal mission and your company mission.
Once you get to your organisational chart you need to look back at your mission and define what roles are going to help you achieve that mission.
That’s why it’s important to look back at your mission and make sure you are specific with the company end goals in mind. You might be looking to exit this company in 5 years time, if so you need to get clear on the people you need to make that happen.
If it’s a lifestyle business, the people you need might be virtual contractors and this changes how you would build out your chart.
Once you have figured this out you need to think about the title and the position descriptions of each role.
Do you need an account manager to look after the clients? A sales person to do the selling? A business administrator to ensure the business runs smoothly?
What are the key skills within these roles? If you’re a digital agency you account manager might need a high level understanding of digital marketing for example.
Start defining this as well as who reports to who. Draw this up or use flowchart software.
Finally when you do start hiring you need to build from the ground up, so hire the people who do a lot of the non revenue generating time consuming activities so that frees you up to work on your strengths as you build out your A-team.
Define Your Culture
The next stage is defining your culture. Start asking yourself about the culture you want to build: Is it going to be a fun, active culture? Or do you want a more professional hard working culture.
This is going to help you define the type of people you want to bring into the company as well as the environment that you thrive in.
You also need to define the age, location and personality types.
Are you looking to build a more mature and experienced team versus a young dynamic team. Or do you want to have a virtual team?
These are questions you need to ask yourself in order to really plan out how your company is going to look once it is built out in the future and how you hire now.
Recruit (Process, Reason & Qualify)
Once you have defined the above elements you then have more clarity on the types of people you need to hire as well as the key skills.
In order to do the recruitment process well you need to systemise the process before going out and hiring. List out the steps you take to hire. What are the interview stages, what are the questions you are going to ask?
Then you need to create a job advertisement – it’s important this is high quality so you attract the right people. Talk about the culture your building and the types of people you are after.
It’s important that when you go through this process you are finding out from the candidate what they are looking to achieve in their career. What’s their career objectives?
Once you know these objectives you can figure out whether there is alignment with what they are looking to achieve and what your company is aiming to achieve. If there is no alignment, it’s not a good fit.
You want to make sure that when you have someone within the company who are investing so much time of their life into, that they are aligned to your goals. Otherwise that is the first warning sign that they won’t stick around long term.
They need to be invested and excited by the mission as much as you are because it aligns to their personal goals. These are the types of people you can build around.
Be very clear on what you are trying to achieve with your mission so they are fully aware with that before joining the company and they know where they fit in to helping you achieve that. It may even be worth sharing the organisational chart with them during the interview process.
At Linkfluencer we always hire on attitude – skills can be taught if you have the right attitude and willing to put in the work that’s much more advantageous than the right skill set.
It’s not coincidence that the world ATTITUDE when you calculate the letters from where they are situated in the alphabet equate to 100.
Before anyone joins your team we highly recommend putting them through the inclination point and asking them to write up 35 reasons why they want to why they want to join the team and how they believe working with us will help them achieve their career objectives.
This will give you an understanding of the candidate’s goals and desire for wanting to join the team. It will also knock out the non committed candidates that you might interview who are just their for the money.
If they don’t do it, don’t hire them.
Doing this process creates a qualification between yourself and the candidate, it helps you find out if they are a good fit for your company and for the candidate it helps them understand if they want to work for a company like yours.
Training & Retaining
Nothing special can ever eventuate overnight. To get someone up to speed it takes time and training, no matter how talented or how bought into the mission they are.
Just because they are super engaged and excited by the mission – does not mean they will be successful in their job role. They need to be trained up properly and this takes time, resources and support.
A mistake I see so many business owners make is that they hire someone, give them all these tasks and don’t really train them up.
The team member feels neglected or that the company is not what it is hyped up to be and they are then completely disengaged. They also will make mistakes in their tasks and you will think they don’t have the necessary skills required, when really they just needed better training.
Invest in your A-team and that investment will reap massive rewards in the future. Take time to train them up fully and let them know you care and are there for them if they need anything.
In terms of retention, at Linkfluencer we do a quarterly performance appraisal where we ask each team member to rank themselves from 1 – 10 based on the company values and skills required.
We then rate them and then sit down with the team member and see what training we can get them to do to get them to where they want to be within their career based on that conversation.
So to conclude this process of building out your A-Team, everything really stems down from firstly getting clear on your personal mission, then from that you can build out your company mission ensuring they are both aligned as well as a detailed end-game strategy for the company.
Next you need to get clear on your role within the company, what are your strengths and what do you need to hire to fill your weaknesses. After you have done this you can start to building out your organisational chart, which defines the roles and skills you need to fulfil your company mission and hire on your weaknesses.
Once this is complete you need to define the company culture you want to build out, then you can begin the hiring process.
The hiring process needs to be systemised and the entire process is a qualification to find out whether the candidate’s career objectives align to your company’s mission. If it’s a good fit, you then hire and ensure that you train, upskill and have a large focus on retaining the team member.
Retention isn’t based on money, it’s based on whether they feel like they are growing with your company and have purpose in their career.