How to Grow Your Team Quickly, Even From Afar
Here’s something your business may have experienced: during the pandemic, you were scrambling to retain your employees as workloads plunged. Now that the economy’s rebounding, though, you face the opposite challenge: an urgent need to attract, hire, and retain new team members quickly.
This is ultimately a good position, of course, and one in which many businesses now find themselves. Without the right hiring strategy in place, however, the magnitude of this challenge can seem overwhelming.
Complicating matters further are the new realities of the work-from-home economy. Working from home has completely upended the look, feel, and expectations of the hiring process. It’s not just you—it really is difficult for most companies to keep up!
VSA, for one, has faced this challenge head-on. In recent months, dozens of new and returning clients have launched programs with us, eager to take advantage of pent-up energy in their target markets. This has led to a huge increase in the frequency with which we’ve had to bring on new team members.
And yet, we’ve been quite successful. Here are four big steps VSA has taken to help us scale up effectively:
1) We’ve raised our standard for new hires.
Perhaps counterintuitively, we’ve actually raised the standard and qualifications we’re looking for, even while increasing the number of BDRs we hire.
Even more so than when we collocated onsite, virtual BDRs have to be able to work independently, demonstrate comfort with sophisticated calling technology, and understand complex programs with little face to face training. For that reason, we prioritize candidates who already demonstrate these skillsets. We no longer have the luxury of finding out whether or not a BDR actually likes cold calling; it’s requisite that they prove this to us upfront.
Vetting these qualifications more closely takes somewhat more time and effort. However, that effort pays off in the quality of the BDRs who we recruit—and our ability to retain them.
2) We’ve bolstered and streamlined our training process.
While VSA has always required new hires to undergo a training and trial period, we’ve recently revamped our employee onboarding process to ensure that all BDRs are screened, trained, and coached more stringently. Now, we place a far greater emphasis on periodic assessments that are designed for our virtual environment. Our experienced program managers oversee the training aspect of this program, after which each new BDR meets weekly with our Q/A specialist to sharpen specific skill sets and exchange notes with their peers.
The increased investment in training is paying off—and the dividends are a steady stream of capable, reliable, and confident BDRs who are ready to meet our clients’ needs. Since this process is designed to be repeatable, it’s easy to keep new recruits passing through it.
3) We’ve branched out from our usual recruiting and hiring methods.
VSA has traditionally recruited new BDRs either through word-of mouth referrals or a small group of partner agencies. The sudden demand for a more rapid extension of our team, though, has necessitated branching out.
Most significantly, our remote work infrastructure now allows us to expand our efforts beyond the commuting radius of our Westmont, New Jersey office. Though we plan to fully reopen our office once it’s safe, we’re also exploring a hybrid employment model that would allow us to continue growing to scale. Therefore, it’s likely that some of our freshly-hired BDRs will become 100% remote.
4) We’ve created a “retention pool” to keep skillsets fresh.
Even before the pandemic, VSA’s business model had to account for a lot of fluctuation in demand. In response to these shifts becoming even more dramatic, we’ve created a “retention pool” that both provides immediately meaningful work to newly trained BDRs and keeps our always-growing core of talent on board.
Furthermore, the retention pool allows all of our BDRs to continually improve and learn from each other by featuring a mixed roster of rookies and veterans. The benefit to all of our clients is that BDRs always have the ability to refresh their skill sets.
5) We’re focused on determining best-fit roles for new hires.
Hiring great people is only half the challenge—you also have to retain them. With that in mind, VSA focuses on promptly identifying the particular strengths of new hires and moving them into roles in which they’ll thrive. These include both opportunities to move horizontally between programs and to move vertically through our strong culture of promoting from within.
No matter how large we grow, VSA will always put a lot of value in our people. Especially now, when we can’t all work together in the office, these practices are a critical way to show it.
Over the past few months, VSA has had to scale up our BDR teams quickly. We’ve responded by proactively investing in our recruiting, hiring, and training processes, with an eye towards the new work-from-home age. If your business is in a similar position, we hope that learning about the changes we’ve made will help you achieve something similar.
If what you need are more BDRs, though, don’t hesitate to give us a call should the task become too daunting. We’d be more than happy to share our team’s talents with yours.