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The Virtual Bench

Can't find good people fast enough?

The Virtual Bench

By: Ross Paterson

Let’s talk about the lost opportunity dilemma. A SMB owner spends 3-5 years laying a strong foundation. The team has mastered marketing and sales and finally experiences Xcelerated growth. Suddenly, the systems, processes, and people are overwhelmed, and the temptation is to take our foot off the gas. We can’t find good people fast enough.


Last week’s XtraMile Lesson introduced the Brand New Toolbox, now let’s get building.  Project #1 is the VIRTUAL BENCH (future players in your dugout). Because humans are frequently the largest cost in our business, recruiting and retaining the right ones is critical to the profitability and impact of your business. The real challenge of the VIRTUAL BENCH is identifying prospects and selling the vision starts well before we are financially ready to hire them.


Step #1, RECRUIT: Take a piece of your marketing time, attention, and budget and move it towards finding great talent. Many talented business leaders are having their souls extracted in the corporate grinder. You must find them, you must sell them a compelling, soul restoring vision of a business with a legacy impact.


Step #2, HIRE: The competition for talent has never been more intense (0.6 candidates per opening); the work force never more unstable (return to office, rapid evolution of work, staggering inflation). The old hiring ideal of slowly gathering three great candidates and sorting them out over 4-6 weeks doesn’t work in 2022. Redesign and accelerate your process or you will be left empty handed and overwhelmed.


Step #3, ON BOARD: The current environment demands quick moves in hiring. In response, an intense leadership focus on the first 90 days ensures we have the right people and they get up to speed and contribute immediately. Put a 30-60-90-day on boarding and training plan together, assign mentors and coaches from your team to help. Create an abundance of clarity around roles, responsibilities, results.  Know what a bad hire would look like and be ready to make a change if you got the wrong person.


Nothing will demonstrate how important this new talent is to the team than a great first day, first week, first month.  We have had people join our boutique consultancy and say, I have never had this much clarity about my role, ever. Any anxiety they have about a jump to the SMB world is removed, they Xcelerate their engagement.


Win the Virtual Bench game and you will overcome the lost opportunity dilemma every time.  Your competition may be taking their foot off the gas. Small changes deliver Xtra Mile results. You are probably closer than you imagine.


Need help with Recruiting, Hiring, On boarding in your SMB? Our Chief of Staff, Fanni Gambero is an expert. Schedule a 30-minute session with her as our gift to you.