Who should I hire next? What we’ve learned from chatting with smart companies.

By Stephanie Reuss, Co-Founder of Beam Australia

It’s the question that keeps business owners up at night!

We know that people are the biggest growth asset for your business…but they can also be your biggest source of stress.

And no wonder. When budgets are tight — and you seem to be wearing 8 hats (7 of which you’d happily give away) — any decision can seem very high stakes.

A lot of business advice for SMEs talks about how to hire the right kind of employees (eg. people who enjoy the grunt work and ambiguity of start-up life :)).

Right now at Beam we want to talk about how and when to hire the right skills to keep your business growing.

Right now at Beam, we’re running a survey for employers to understand how they build their businesses. We’d love to hear from you.

Here’s what we know. When we work with some of Australia’s best high-growth small businesses, we see them adding new roles in three distinct categories. (We like to think of these roles in buckets — but perhaps that’s just us!!)

  • Operations roles — the people who ensure growth is healthy and sustainable

    Think finance managers, (or bookkeepers and CFOs), HR managers and recruiters, software engineers and project/product managers, operations managers, office managers and EAs, etc.

  • Growth roles — the people who bring the customers

    Typical roles include sales, customer success and account managers, marketing managers, digital marketers, lead generation and partnership managers, social media managers.

  • Experts and specialists — the people who define and distinguish the product

    As the founder, you might be the expert on your product or service — you dreamt it up, after all! But there might be other experts you need to differentiate in market. Typically, these are the people who help create and refine your product. The people you would send off to represent your company on panels, in workshops, at conferences and on podcasts.

    At Beam, for example, we have organisational design and HR experts in our consulting team — a very specific skill.

Now, that’s all very nice! But how do you prioritise?

Good question. One of the reasons we’re asking employers to take our survey is to understand more about the hiring mindset and how they build their team around them.

Here’s what we do know. As founders grow their businesses, they’re building an awesome support crew around them with a combination of ops and growth roles.

Here are the top 7 roles we’ve hired for SMEs in the last two years at Beam.

On average, people are hired to work 20-24 hours (or 3 days/week).

70% of Beam roles are permanent, 30% are short term project-based gigs.

Who is missing from your support crew? You can find them on Beam. What would they do for your business? Schedule a time to chat.