I had an interesting chat last week with another business owner who is battling whether to hire a new Client Service pro that has technical expertise, or strong client services skills – as in his mind he had to pick one over the other. My perspective: “it depends”. It depends on what you want your future client mix to be, what services you want to offer as you grow and evolve, and where this person fits into the team based on skill set and personality. In this age of virtual teams and global commerce, it need not depend on where they are located.
I’ve always thought of the team as a jigsaw puzzle. You start with people that have a solid skill set in multiple areas (corners), add experts that specialize (edges), and then augment with others that have the aptitude and ability to grow into “corners” or “edges” over time. This group is critically important, for as the company matures new skill sets are required to take the business to the next level.
The final thing is to continually interview proactively, so you have knowledge of the talent pool, that can also be used to augment the team, and support future business growth.
So if you plan thoroughly and know where you are going; invest in experts, hire professionals that have the potential to grow; and interview proactively, the original question will never in fact be a question. You’ll know intuitively.
Please feel free share your thoughts on team-building, or, ways in which you feel the above approach can be approved. I’d love to hear from you.
By David Sly, President