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The Fast Company Executive Board is a private, fee-based network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.

Six ways to grow your team in an evolving industry

Change doesn’t have to be crippling. In fact, it can often create excellent opportunities for growth.

Six ways to grow your team in an evolving industry
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It’s no secret that the entire business world is evolving. Obvious sectors, such as tech or retail, are changing right before our eyes. However, even in quieter industries that are seen as more traditional, change is still taking place.

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In my hefty experience in the insurance industry, I’ve never seen so much evolution happening at once. Adjusting to new ways of doing business can be unsettling for those with a fixed mindset.

However, if you’re willing to learn and grow, you can use these shifts to your advantage. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned to successfully grow your team, even when you’re in an evolving industry.

1. QUALITY IS CRITICAL

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It all starts with quality. At my firm, we’ve always put quality over quantity. Our team runs lean and focuses on finding and retaining the best talent.

This doesn’t just mean hiring the candidate with the best sales figures or the most impressive academic record. You need to ensure that you’re getting recruits who fit your team’s culture and are the best at what they do.

2. HIGHLIGHT YOUR HEROES

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As you prepare to grow your team, you need to make sure everything is in place with your existing staff. Everyone on a good team has value, but there are always going to be those who stand out as particularly successful.

Our executive team has always done our best to identify these key people. Empowering your key players to become leaders paves the road for building a larger team around them.

3. CONSIDER THE FUTURE

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Tech is evolving every aspect of business, both on- and off-site. We have used tech to augment our traditional services in more ways than one.

When it comes to growing your team, considering the future of work is essential. Remote work is here to stay, and many of our most significant hires haven’t even lived in the local area at all. Hiring remote candidates isn’t even enough at this point. You have to go further by treating them as full members of your team, even if they’re not present “in the flesh.”

4. REVAMP YOUR RECRUITMENT STRATEGY

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If you have a solid, up-to-date recruitment strategy, you can address multiple needs with each hire. For instance, if you’re hiring a sales rep, you want to look for more than just an exemplary sales record.

Look for those who are relationship-driven, even in a remote setting. Find talent that is comfortable operating within your industry. Also, seek out those who have leadership potential and can go from salespeople to sales leaders. They’ll be instrumental during future periods of growth.

Balance your company’s needs with the requirements of modern remote-first capabilities. When that happens, you’ll begin to find talent that can hit the ground running.

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5. LOOK FOR WAYS TO REDUCE THE LEARNING CURVE

Along with accommodating remote work, it’s important to develop recruitment strategies that cut down on the learning curve for incoming employees. Remote work may require some adjustment for traditional teams. However, it also means you’re opening yourself up to a much larger talent pool.

Take advantage of this by being selective as you look for candidates who aren’t just capable. Take the time to find the ones who can fit into your existing system the easiest.

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6. CREATE DOWNSTREAM FLOWS

As you work to increase your team, enable your existing staff to downstream some of their workload to incoming talent. Don’t just treat this as a reckless off-loading procedure. Use it as an opportunity to bring your growing staff together.

By creating downstream flows for existing employees to pass excess responsibilities down to others, you create natural interactions within your team. Existing personnel can help new talent acclimate to the responsibilities of their positions as well.

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GROWING YOUR TEAM THE SMART WAY

Change doesn’t have to be crippling. In fact, it can often create excellent opportunities for growth.

When it comes to growing a team, in particular, it’s important to go about each step of the process carefully. From working with your existing staff to embracing modern recruitment and work methods, if you’re willing to use the tools at your disposal, you can use the natural evolution of your industry to jumpstart your growth and take your business to the next level.

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Jason is a healthcare executive specializing in technology and risk management focusing on the senior housing and long-term care industry.

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