Six Tips To Create A Winning Talent Strategy For Your Growing Enterprise How to hire (and manage) talent as you scale.

By Danielle Blizzard

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It's no secret that your people are the beating heart of your company. Whether you're a two-person pre-seed startup, or a 50-person strong Series B, a focus on people is vital. With record-breaking FDI and increasing levels of M&As in the MENA region, there's never been a more pertinent time to invest in your talent strategy. With that in mind, here are a few tips to get your talent strategy heading in the right direction:

The team you put together now will be executing your key objectives for the next two, six, and 12 months. Who you hire now dictates what your company is capable of achieving between now and its next significant phase of growth. If you begin to hire incredible talent, you're sending a signal out that you're ready for growth.

Top talent will have offers coming from multiple companies. Interesting startups with strong ideas can miss out on the best talent by making the recruitment process too long. Build a process that will test the capability and compatibility of your candidates without making it tedious for them. In the time you are deciding after your fourth-round interview, your candidate could be tempted elsewhere.

When facing the need to hit growth targets, companies can go on a hiring spree to increase capacity. This can help you achieve your targets no doubt; however, you face a battle to maintain the growth that warrants these hires, and the potential disruption of having to part ways with recent hires once you achieve your desired growth- a real demotivator internally. Being transparent with hires from the start is one way to alleviate the potential effects of such a strategy; however, looking further than the short-term and investing in talent to take you beyond this is a healthier option.

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Look for people who will add value to your culture. Be honest if your team is lacking in a certain area that you might want to improve- for example, if you're naturally risk-averse, look to bring someone who will challenge this. Look to add value in areas important to you and your leadership team.

Your business will turn from needing generalists to specialists. There will be tough conversations to have with people who have got you to a certain stage, but can't take you to the next level. Where one person may have been wearing multiple hats before, you will be looking to bring in experts in these separate areas that may make that original person unfit fit for a role. If you see potential in these generalists, look to upskill them where possible so that they can remain in your company. These founding people offer much more than their skills, contributing hugely to your culture, if you can lift them up to the level you need, it's a win for everyone.

People join high-growth businesses because they want growth too– as such, design scalable roles for people capable of growing. To avoid increasing attrition rates, make it clear where people could get to in your company. Making these roles visible is a big motivator, and it will help you retain current staff and attract new talent. The rewards of investing in hiring and managing talent as you scale are vast. With both funding and exits on the rise in the MENA region, the impetus to invest in talent is clear. These little tips outlined are part of a larger exercise to consider your talent strategy, and be thoughtful when you're looking to scale.

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Danielle Blizzard

Director at leap9

Danielle Blizzard has 10 years of experience building high-performing teams for private equity and venture capital backed digital businesses in Europe and the Middle East. She is currently a director at leap9, a talent and people science advisory designed to help entrepreneurial companies scale, powered by a team deeply familiar with the people and cultural challenges created by high growth.

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