My 2 Best Strategies for Increasing Profitability by Hiring Experienced Talent

As a COO navigating the business world, I’ve learned that profitability doesn’t just rise by cutting costs. It flourishes by investing smartly. 

The nugget of wisdom I’m sharing? Hiring experienced talent boosts profitability. It may seem counterintuitive, considering that top talent does come with a bigger price tag. However, let me assure you when you see hiring as a strategic investment and not just overhead, the benefits are big.

I’m sure you agree that every leader wants to onboard the industry’s finest minds. Yes, top-tier talent means elevated costs, but viewing this through a wider lens is important. If we hire smart, those extra costs can create more value for the business. Intrigued? Stay with me as I share what this means from my perspective.

But here’s where many leaders stumble: Fear. They worry that if they spend more, their profits will drop, or they won’t have enough money to keep things running. Such thoughts lead many business leaders to compromise on talent and adopt a short-term view. That often gets in the way of real, long-lasting growth.

The secret to thriving in this high-stakes game is fearlessly embracing a long-term, strategic outlook. Are you ready to reimagine your hiring approach and create a trajectory that guarantees future growth? If you are, then stick with me. I’ll share my top two strategies to turn smart hiring into a serious profit booster.

Successful business leaders invest in working with the best experts in their field because they know this is the only growth path.

In my early days as a COO, I also hesitated to hire experienced talent, believing that keeping costs low would be the magic formula for growth. It was a misstep that I saw manifest in the form of stagnated growth, a pattern I’m sure some of you may recognize.

Now, I’m here to share my hard-learned strategies for enhancing profitability. Strategies where experienced talent plays a central role. These experts bring high compensation, autonomy, and motivation expectations. It’s our job as leaders to make this investment pay off, both for them and our organizations.

So here they are:  

Hire with Profitability in Mind, which translates in:

a. Accountability for Relevant KPIs

b. Alignment Between Vision and Motivation

c. Never Compromise on Culture Fit

Onboarding for Performance, meaning:

a. Set Expectations Around KPIs

b. Focus on Results

c. Monitor Return on Investment (ROI)

Let’s go deeper into each one of these strategies!

Hire with profitability in mind

As a leader, the success of your business is largely shaped by the quality of your team. 

The insights I am about to share on how you can maximize profitability, starting from the hiring process, may not be entirely new. Still, I guarantee their impact in making your business more profitable.

First, let’s take a look at the hiring process. What are its objectives, and do the steps taken effectively lead toward them? 

Hiring experienced talent involves several non-negotiables, with proficiency in necessary skills being one of them. It’s like the foundation of a house – without it, nothing else can stand. But the magic happens when we look beyond just skills. The ‘extras’ make the process not just good but great.

To maximize efficiency, your hiring process should reflect your company’s experience. This provides prospective candidates a clear picture of your company culture, attracting the right people and minimizing the time you spend shortlisting.

You also need the following:

Accountability for relevant KPIs

While considering the hiring process, I always advocate for a keen focus on accountability. 

We often hear “practice makes perfect” – a phrase that resonates strongly in the business landscape. It’s crucial to find candidates who have had the responsibility for relevant KPIs in their previous roles. These individuals have been on the front lines, dealing with similar challenges that your company faces. They already understand the drill, know how to take ownership, and are primed to generate results. Having someone like this on board isn’t just beneficial. It’s game-changing.

It’s clear that such experienced talent is sought after and knows their worth. But I urge you to consider the alternative. What would be the cost to your business if your KPIs aren’t met?  The expense of onboarding an experienced professional suddenly seems like a smart investment, doesn’t it? In fact, it’s a critical strategic decision that can have far-reaching implications on your business’s bottom line.

Therefore, when comparing the costs, always consider the potential value they can generate for your business. It’s about focusing on what they bring to the table rather than what they take from it. The difference they can make to your business can far outweigh their cost.

When hiring, prioritize those who’ve shown they can foster a culture of accountability and ownership. This mindset, coupled with the right skills and experience, can drive profitability.

Shortly put, consider:

  1. Previous Accountability – Look for candidates who have been responsible for similar KPIs in their previous roles.
  2. Value over Cost – Always remember, the value a candidate can bring to your business outweighs their salary.
  3. Culture Fit – Prioritize those who are predisposed to a culture of accountability and ownership.

This is an excellent way to foster a team of accountable professionals. They won’t just contribute to but also elevate your company’s financial performance. Accountability matters and it’s high time we place it where it belongs – at the core of our hiring strategies.

Alignment between vision and motivation 

Another pivotal aspect of hiring for profitability is ensuring alignment between the company’s vision and a candidate’s motivation. I’ve seen firsthand how overlooking this factor can lead to significant hiring mistakes. When dealing with experienced talent, alignment isn’t just important – it’s absolutely crucial. These professionals aren’t merely looking for a job. They’re searching for a mission, a cause they can believe in, and a vision they can contribute towards.

As a leader, I always strive to build a team of like-minded, mission-driven experts. These are individuals who don’t just align with the company’s vision but are motivated enough to take the company forward. They are the ones who, given the right environment, will work tirelessly to turn the company’s vision into reality.

So, if you find a candidate who genuinely believes in your mission, you’ve got a future team member who will naturally put in their best effort to ensure its success. This doesn’t just lead to better work outcomes and contributes towards a positive and inspiring work environment.

Here’s a simple list to help you ensure alignment between vision and motivation:

  1. Identify Their Drive – During the hiring process, make it a point to understand what motivates the candidate. Are they driven by the same factors that drive your business?
  2. Check for Vision Alignment – Ensure the candidate’s professional and personal goals align with your company’s vision. They need to believe in what you’re trying to achieve.
  3. Encourage Mission-Driven Experts – As a leader, it’s your role to foster an environment that attracts mission-driven professionals. They are the ones who will go the extra mile to ensure your business’s success.

Ensuring that your hires’ motivation aligns with your company’s vision will increase the chances of success and build a stronger, more cohesive team. Remember, when your team believes in the vision, they don’t just work for you – they work with you.

Never compromise on culture fit 

In my journey as a COO, one key lesson I’ve learned is never to compromise on culture fit. You see, a company’s culture isn’t just a list of values on a website – it’s the invisible glue that holds a team together. It defines how we interact, how we solve problems, and how we celebrate success.

Sure, the market is full of experts who can technically solve your problem. They have the skills, the experience, and the know-how. But here’s the thing – skills can be taught. Culture fit, on the other hand, isn’t as straightforward.

In my experience, you’re more likely to choose someone who aligns with your company’s values and ‘feels’ right. This isn’t just about fitting in. It’s about contributing positively to the existing culture, enhancing it, and helping it evolve. This is why it’s vital to incorporate a culture fit assessment into your hiring process. It helps you sift through the pool of qualified candidates to find those who resonate with your organization’s values.

So how do you ensure a good culture fit? Here are a few steps I always follow:

  1. Define Your Culture – Before finding a culture fit, you need to clearly understand your company’s culture. What are your values? How do you work? What makes you, you?
  2. Include Cultural Assessment in Interviews – Use specific questions or situations to assess if a candidate aligns with your culture. It could be as simple as asking what kind of work environment they thrive in.
  3. Look Beyond the CV – Skills and experience are important, but take the time to get to know the candidate. What are their passions? What drives them? These aspects often give more insight into cultural fit than a CV.
  4. Consider Team Interaction – Let your candidates interact with their potential team if possible. This can be a great way to gauge cultural compatibility.

Hiring someone who doesn’t fit your culture can disrupt team harmony and lower morale. But finding the right culture fit? That’s a game-changer. It can boost team performance and contribute to a positive and engaging work environment, which in turn, fuels profitability.

In essence, this is the secret formula I’ve used to ensure profitability in hiring:

Skills (Baseline) + KPI Accountability + Vision Alignment + Culture Fit = Profitability

Now, let me turn these into practical steps for you:

  1. Define your hiring objectives – Identify the skills and experience your team needs.
  2. Check for KPI accountability – Look for candidates who have previously handled similar KPIs.
  3. Ensure vision alignment – Make sure your candidate is motivated by the same things that drive your business.
  4. Never compromise on culture fit – Include culture fit as a key part of your hiring criteria.

When you consistently apply these principles, you’ll see the powerful impact they can have on your business’s growth. Hiring with profitability in mind can truly transform the trajectory of your business.

Onboard for performance

Set expectations around KPIs

Let’s talk about goals. And not just any goals, but the right ones that can be translated into growth, revenue, profitability, etc. In other words, your KPIs.

When a new person joins a team, we often discuss schedules or tasks. But that’s not the best way. We should be focusing on the big picture. What can this person do to help the business grow?

When you’re hiring someone, it’s important to talk about KPIs. Ensure the person you’re hiring can handle these big goals. Then, once they join your team, talk about these KPIs again. This helps the new person understand their job and how they can help the business succeed.

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to setting clear goals with KPIs:

  1. Find Your KPIs – Determine what goals matter to your business most. Choose the ones that can help your company grow and be successful.
  2. Talk About KPIs When Hiring – During interviews, talk about these goals. Make sure the person you hire is ready and able to take on these goals.
  3. Repeat KPIs When Onboarding – When the new person starts their job, discuss these goals again. This helps them understand what they need to do and how they can help the company.
  4. Regularly Check In – Have regular chats about how things are going. This helps you both stay on track and focus on the company’s goals.

Focusing on KPIs, you help your team understand what they need to do to help the business grow. It’s a win-win. Your team knows what they need to do, and your business grows. In the end, true leaders are all about growing and making their business the best it can be.

Focus on results

I truly believe in a results-driven approach and urge all leaders to adopt this mindset. It’s simple: once you decide on the important KPIs, give your team the necessary tools, and then step back. Trust them to get the job done.

Let me break it down:

  1. Set Relevant KPIs – Start with identifying what your business needs to achieve. These become your KPIs, your team’s guiding light.
  2. Empower Your Team – Provide your team with the necessary resources and remove hurdles. Make sure they have everything they need to chase those KPIs.
  3. Avoid Micromanaging – Don’t hover over your team’s every action. Instead, trust their skills and give them the freedom to work their own way.
  4. Accountability for Results – Encourage your team to take ownership of their results. It’s about what they achieve, not how long they work or their exact route to get there.

Experienced professionals have a deep sense of pride in their work. Giving them autonomy fuels this pride, leading to superior outcomes and a driven team. Plus, you save precious business resources that would otherwise be spent on managing every minute detail.

At the end of the day, every leader’s dream is the same – solid results that propel the business forward. With a laser-like focus on results, you allow your team to bring their best to the table.

Monitor return on investment (ROI)

I already emphasized that hiring skilled individuals should be seen as an investment. And as with any investment, tracking your return on investment (ROI) is critical. 

Here’s a simple process to do that:

  1. Set a Target ROI – For every expert you bring onboard, set a clear ROI goal. You can understand what to aim for by looking at industry standards or consulting with professionals.
  2. Measure the Investment – Over a specific timeframe, calculate the total amount you’ve invested in hiring and training your new team member.
  3. Assess the ROI – In the same period, calculate the ROI. If the ROI is at least equal to your initial target, you’ve made a good investment.
  4. Improve – If the ROI isn’t meeting your target, find out the weak points and plan to improve.

I’ve noticed that many leaders feel uneasy regarding discussions about talent ROI.  But let me offer you a different perspective: Would you spend money on marketing strategies without knowing how to measure their return? Would you continue to invest if the return was negative? 

The same principle applies to hiring. As a business leader, every decision you make, including who you hire, should be based on targets and KPIs.

The backbone of any company is its people. They’re your most precious asset. And just like any other asset, they should generate a return. It makes sense to devise a strategy to measure the returns produced by your talent. This way, you can ensure your hiring decisions are profitable, contributing to your company’s increased profitability.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, investing in experienced talent is a brilliant strategy for driving profitability. As a COO, the two primary methods I’ve found effective are hiring with profitability in mind and onboarding your people for performance.

Implementing these strategies enables you to transform the trajectory of your business and boost growth and profitability. Remember, hiring isn’t merely a cost but a strategic investment in your company in the long-term.

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