In this edition of our Let’s Talk Business guest blog we hear from Brien Keegan about finding the right people for your business and helping them grow with you. Brien is a director, talent partner and connector at Sprout.

“Come join our start-up, it will be great they said…”

You probably won’t find a more passionate sales pitch than from an entrepreneur who has started their own business. As entrepreneurs we almost want to hire everyone that we like, are impressed by, or we see having a skill set that we don’t.

How do you therefore find the right people for your business and help them grow with you?

We live by these three key ingredients necessary to finding the right people for your business:  

1. Gain clarity – “if you don’t know where you’re going, how will others help you get there?”

Be clear. Then you will know who you need and when you need them for different stages of growth.

Think ahead. Is the person you hire today going to be able to grow with you as your business scales?

Take your time. People bizarrely spend a disproportionate amount of time choosing their work laptop versus the next person they will hire.

Some key questions to ask yourself are:

  • What is your vision and strategy and how are you going to get there?
  • What does your organisational structure look like in the short, medium and long term?
  • Are you aligned with your other leaders and peers?

2. Power of purpose – “why, why, why!”

Purpose and belief statements have become a very popular discussion within SMEs.  A clear purpose will engage people with your business.

The secret to defining your purpose is being able to clearly understand and articulate the impact of your business to the outside world.

Understand that and you will be able to gauge whether an individual might connect with your business and culture. As part of your hiring process ensure you know the “why” of the candidate in front of you. If this doesn’t connect with the purpose of your business, something isn’t right.

3. Small business mindset

At Sprout we believe there are two types of candidates; those that can work well in a small business and those that don’t.  It’s not about whether they’ve worked within small businesses before, it’s about the mindset of the individual.

To determine this, try behavioural based questioning and psychometric assessments that measure adaptability, initiative and motivation. And make sure you reference check – dig deep with questions into how they cope with change, challenges and uncertainty.

A person that does not have this mindset may slow your business down and be less likely to pivot at those inevitable times of growth and change.

If you want to know more about creating a world-class people experience in your early stage business drop us a line on or we can meet at Soda for a coffee.