5 personnel planning tips for navigating uncertainty
At Movinx, we’re “starting up” for the long run. Our personnel planning is extensive, so before we bring on any new hires we know exactly where they’ll fit.
Tech personnel planning.
When industry leaders like Tesla call for hiring freezes and suggest they’ll be laying off 10 percent of the salaried workforce, it sends ripples of insecurity throughout the industry. Global economic markets are slowing, inflation is rising, we have a war in Europe, and signs point to a worldwide recession – employees are nervous. Yet, at Movinx, we’re hiring for the long-term.
We take personnel planning seriously, actually, we take people seriously. Our People team works cohesively with each department to determine where there are gaps and how we will fill them.
We’re backed and supported by industry giants, which give us steady ground to begin with, but the secret is that we pair this with know-how: a management team that leads with values. The result is that we’re uniquely positioned as a tech startup that can offer reasonable stability – this is how we do it:
1. People planning leading recruitment effort.
The glue that holds our personnel planning strategy together is our People team (I might be a little bias, but it’s true!). We work closely with our functional leads to constantly update personnel planning according to business and market changes. Our thumb is on the pulse of industry trends, not just in our specific embedded insurance work, but across the field. This means we can be committed to longer-term positions without uncertainty.
2. Top heavy isn’t always bad.
One of the levers we use to create a company that knows where it’s going, is by stacking our teams with senior, high-performing professionals. This goes against the grain to stack small companies with large numbers of junior “grunt” workers. It is common in start-ups to hire junior talent, and while this is a great way for them to get experience, it can also quickly degrade into a toxic, baptism-by-fire situation.
Our personnel strategy is a little different: we’re purposely top-heavy. Our department leads are big fish who bring experience, insight and skill to the team. These leads are supported by senior managers, particularly in our tech and product team, who can bring value and contribute to innovation from day 0.
No doubt about it, it would be cheaper in terms of salaries-paid to hire junior talent. But junior talent needs significant training and cannot deliver projects on their own. When other team members have to fill that gap, this puts undue stress on the team as a whole and can invariably lead to lower morale and retention.
Conversely, by building up our senior capacity we’ve created a culture of excellence and trust that allowed our teams to start delivering immediately, and it’s paid off.
3. Quality not quantity.
More people on the job does not translate to better work if you don’t have the right skillset. The vicious cycle of hiring more and more employees to get the job done at the scale up end of a business, becomes invariably too expensive to fund in the long-term. When we hire our people at Movinx, particularly our senior people, they are not “delegators” they are “roll-up our sleeves” kind of people, who we know and trust to get the job done. When starting up, everyone needs to chip in and that’s key to keeping your personnel costs down.
4. Leading with experience.
While founders can bring passion to a venture, they are not always equipped with the skills and experience (or even interest) to truly lead and maximize a team. Our recruiters have brought tales of high-performing talent flat-out refusing to work for start-ups or founder-led companies exactly because of this. High-performing talent is usually looking for a place where they can learn and thrive, led by a senior team that gets it.
At Movinx, we are extremely privileged to be led by a C-suite that has outstanding people management capabilities. They are veterans of their respective sectors: tech, product, insurance, automotive and company building – and what they bring is an aptitude for business and people management that reverberates throughout our team. This makes all the difference when navigating complexity during uncertain times like these.
And because of the decades of experience leading people, our leaders knew that establishing a strong culture was priority one when we started to build our team. Our first agenda item, was to come together (some from other parts of the world) to tease out the culture we wanted to be a part of.
Candidates know who we are before we hire them. We lead with honesty – being clear about what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and what we can offer when they get here.
This has helped us manage expectations and encourage enthusiasm for culture-building and innovation. Ultimately, we want to win together – and to do that we have a commitment to each other’s development and happiness.
But it's not all roses.
I’d love to sit here and tell you that we have a magic pill, but we don’t. Sometimes difficult decisions still have to be made. And when we refer back to our values at Movinx, we know that we treat people as whole humans from the beginning until the end.
If and when difficult decisions have to be made, we know that we need to support our people through it. In the end, people are making the decisions, and people are at the receiving end of those decisions. But when you lead with honesty and trust, it’s easier on everyone.