Here are some cruel numbers — only 1 in 200 startups manages not only to survive the first years, but to scale. If you are one of the lucky ones, you realize the importance of seeing a big picture and being prepared for major events, like expanding your team. Whether you prefer handling all the expansion processes yourself, or bringing in an IT outstaffing company to assist you, the roadmap we offer would be similar. Let’s take a closer look at the main steps, from analyzing your needs, to implementing the growth team structure and everything in between.

growth team structure
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Starting to expand team in 6 steps

Building a team requires planning and foresight: what does a company need now, how will it look in a year or two, who do you want “in the boat” with you? Even if you can’t answer all the questions, the company’s development is safe with smart hiring and HR Ops decisions. 

Making Estimates and Identifying Requirements

To scale successfully, what you need first is a view of the big picture and a consistent strategy, team structure can be based on this knowledge afterward. You can start with finding weak spots in your business processes and defining areas that require support and tasks that are being neglected. After covering that, you need to consider your business goals and the results you want to achieve. Do you need to gain more customers, increase average check, launch a new product, or enter a new market? Knowing the answers to those questions will give you a clear understanding of how many people you need, what skills they should have, and what you can offer them. To be realistic, you also need to research a job market and average sales rate in your niche, and estimate your budget. 

Building a Company Culture

Before diving into massive changes, you need to share your vision with a team, as they are going to become the main driver for scaling. Knowing that 71% of businesses name employee engagement crucial to their success, we need to create a culture that inspires, supports, and enhances growth. Communication with a team should deliver an idea of current and ultimate business goals, and how each person can help achieve them with their day-to-day work. Limited startup team structure makes the process easier, but as more people will be joining you, you need to keep handling communication at a sufficient level, and make sure all newcomers share your values and ideas.

Finding the Right People

Finally, you are ready to expand your team. Wrong hiring decisions can cost companies about 15 000$— an amount most growing companies can hardly afford. So, in order to find the right people for the job, you should think about conducting detailed interviews and background checks, be specific with your requirements, use networking, or save some time and entrust it to hiring experts. And as it comes to the interview process itself, it is a great chance to define how well a candidate will fit into the culture of your company. Here are some tips on what to look for, besides skills and experience:

  • Is a candidate prepared for the interview? Did they find out some information about the company?
  • How confident are they answering questions? And if they don’t have the answer — do they give up or still try to find it?
  • Are they able to think outside the box and look for non-standard solutions?
  • Do they have career goals? Are they interested in long-term growth within the company?

These are just some of the questions that can help you define whether a candidate would be the best fit for your growing team.

Setting Them Up for Success

After you have successfully recruited new members for your team, it is essential to onboard them properly. Introduce them to your team, provide them with the required training and tools, and ensure they understand their duties and responsibilities. You could, for instance, designate a mentor to guide them through the process of learning the ropes, provide access to a business wiki, and host events that focus on team building in order to establish connections. 

Developing a Consistent Team Structure

When expanding their team, a startup should follow a specific growth team structure, to ensure that everyone is aligned with their mission and vision. It typically involves setting clear goals and expectations for each team member, implementing agile methodologies to foster a culture of experimentation and learning, and providing regular feedback to encourage continuous improvement. A startup team structure is often focused on innovation, creativity, and collaboration to help the company grow and succeed. 

Aligning Your Team to Be Effective

Any project’s success depends a lot on how well the people on the team work together. Fostering collaboration and innovation involves setting up clear goals, defining roles and responsibilities, and establishing open communication channels. To keep everyone on the same page, you could hold regular strategy meetings, define key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor progress, and provide team members with constructive feedback. Create a system of regular performance reviews (peer, self or 360-degree types) for your team and managers to reflect on and perfect their performances. 

The Main Takeaways 

Scaling from a startup team structure to a bigger one is a challenge that requires systematic approach and thorough planning. You need to gain a helicopter view of your business, establish a strong company culture, and come up with solid procedures for hiring and onboarding.

As overwhelming as team scaling can sometimes be, reinvesting in People Ops and building a strong foundation can help achieve current goals while also laying the groundwork for future growth and accomplishments. By taking calculated risks and having a solid plan in place, expanding the staff can be a game changer, that puts you on a global business map.