Is group hiring worth the risk?

We’ve been asked a lot lately about hiring multiple people at the same time – not just 2 or 3, but from 4 to 10 at once, usually as part of a sales team expansion. Is it a good idea? How is it different from hiring individuals?

If you have a team of 30, it’s not hard to add 6 new people. If you have a team of 1 and you want to add 6, that’s really risky. Sometimes startups have to do that, but overall, if you can avoid bringing in a large group of new hires all at once, we recommend more of an individual approach. Realize that even if you hire seasoned pros, you can’t expect them to hit the ground running without significant internal support.

If you do decide to hire a group, there are a few things you can do to minimize risk. Messaging from leadership should be clear and specific. Make as many things known as you can throughout the hiring and onboarding process. Your company and sales team should have strong cultural guidelines and your processes should be well-defined and well-articulated. If you’re introducing that much “new” into an organization everyone needs to understand what’s not new. What is already established at the company and what will be built in conjunction with the new team? Both your culture and processes need to be bigger than the new individuals so they survive the influx.

Be clear up front that there will be a lot of joint learning experiences as a result of bringing so many new people on board. Add additional onboarding steps like a weekly meeting where everyone can touch base and make sure they have everything they need to be effective in the position. Make sure existing staff is available and able to move quickly to help the new hires get up to speed. You increase your odds of a successful hire when a peer or manager can spend time with a new hire increase dramatically, so you should have enough staff to make sure each of the new hires is mentored appropriately.

Finally, make sure there’s concrete, market validation to justify multiple new hires. What’s in the best interest of both your business and your customers? Are those kinds of hires necessary to achieve the objectives?

Realize that the more experimental it is to hire a group, the more you need money in the bank to be able to afford it. The cost of multiple new employees adds up quickly and ramping up new sales territories may take up to a year. How long can you afford to float them before they’re profitable, especially in edtech where the sales cycle can be long? What metrics and goals will you set for them to measure success and measure feedback? Make sure you can afford the investment. Each failed hire can cost $50,000-$100,000 so you want them to succeed.

Unsure about making a group hire? Give us a call at 877-HIRE-EDU – we’re happy to chat with you about it.

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