Early hires in a company’s development are the foundation for success. Especially in competitive industries like flexible working space, leaders of companies need to acknowledge that early hires set the tone for a brand launch that will impact your success years down the road.
As the general manager of MIXER RowHouse, my job is to make sure we’re successfully establishing the innovative MIXER coworking brand in a new market. MIXER was founded in Israel several years ago, but MIXER RowHouse will be the D.C. market’s first impression of us. Carefully choosing employees to join our growing U.S. team is a key part of making that impression.
Your employees are your best advocates. Here’s how you can be mindful about building your team:
Make sure employees support your business differentiators.
Employees are your most essential brand ambassadors. Whether interacting with customers, vendors or each other, they set the tone every day for the kind of company you’re becoming. Because MIXER is a flexible, service-oriented company, we make a point to hire people with a warm sense of hospitality and an innovative attitude.
Especially in an industry as competitive as coworking, you need to be able to trust that your employees represent the best aspects of your business. All.Work Space estimated in 2019 that there were 35,000 flexible working spaces around the world. You’ll only stand out if your early employees internalize your brand differentiators and take them to heart.
Create early opportunities for internal growth.
As your company grows, make sure you lay the foundation for upward mobility. MIXER RowHouse is our first location in D.C. but we plan to expand across the country, and there will be many roles we’ll need to fill with dedicated candidates along the way.
Immediately begin paying attention to which employees are exceeding expectations and give them opportunities to take leadership roles, whether this is within one business unit or across a geographic region your company is looking at expanding to. You want to be able to hold on to people who are excited to work for your company, so give them opportunities to stay with you as they grow.
Pay attention to culture.
A lot of companies can let culture fall by the wayside when they’re expanding quickly, but creating — and maintaining — a great culture is how you attract and retain top talent.
Culture goes beyond offering free beer on tap (although we love a good perk). The best company cultures foster innovation, a mix of work and fun and ongoing education. Make sure company leadership is setting an example and facilitating these opportunities. Encourage employees to participate in trainings and workshops and work to encourage group interaction. Try scheduling a monthly staff check-in to touch base and give employees a chance to express thoughts to leadership.
Most importantly, ask your employees early and often how they feel about the company. It will help you course correct and make sure your trajectory fits your internal values.
It’s key to remember every hire you make, especially in early stages, is an investment in your company’s future. Be smart with how you make those investments and your employees will pay dividends for years to come.-30-
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