Facing Challenge of Rapid Business Growth: Getting Help from I/O Psychologists

The rapid growth of a business reveals success of leadership. While rapid growth of a corporation brings good news to shareholders, it also places challenges to executive managers.  The expansion of business may push the current operational capacity to its limit in both facilities and the workforce.  In this situation, managers and field workers would experience overwhelming pressures with straitened schedules and increased workloads, that could worsen work conditions, decrease work ethic, and break a favorable corporate culture.  If this problem is not addressed, they will negatively affect product quality and customer service, and eventually hurt the company’s bottom line.

Business growth brings both opportunities and risks. In order to control risks of rapid growth, the management team often implements various strategies to improve operational workflow.  One commonly used strategy is to expand the workforce by adding new jobs.  Adding new positions in key business areas can often facilitate business expansion and alleviate potential risks in production and services. The task of selecting and hiring new workers is always challenging due to multiple dimensions and metrics involved in the process and outcome.

To help addressing issues and concerns about creating new jobs in rapid-growth companies, companies may hire I/O psychologists to conduct a systematic analysis of the situation.  I/O psychologists can help the management team in determination the needs for new jobs to facilitate business growth, analysis of qualifications required for candidates of the new positions, development of the recruiting and hiring processes, performance appraisal of workers on the new jobs, and analysis of criteria for the job assessment.

Using scientific methods, I/O psychologists analyze business and social dimensions in workplace and operations thus they can determine critical issues and recommend practical solutions.  Interview and observation are common techniques for data collection.  To address the demands for rapid growth, I/O psychologists provide consulting services to help organizations for job creation through all stages including determining demands, job analysis, hiring new employees, performance appraisals, and job assessment.

Job analysis is the foundation of staffing process.  The challenge for staffing growth oriented positions is that these new jobs involve new tasks, broadened functions, and diversified competency which may have not been evaluated, tested, or proven in the past.  In a rapid-growth company, constant change is the norm thus the job itself is often a moving target,  therefore knowledge and skills qualified for the right candidate are likely going to change as business and technology continue to evolve.   In this case, I/O psychologies must develop specific metric criteria to measure the candidates’ KSAOCs to predict best performance.

Recruitment may be more difficult for rapid-growth organizations which tend to acquire workers in high demand thus the hiring team should use multiple recruiting channels to reach out potential employees.  Systemic plan and procedure should be made for resume screening, interview, assessment test, evaluation, and selection.  In addition to subject matter knowledge, a candidate’s communication skills, learning ability, and personality should also be evaluated to ensure the new worker will fit in the corporate culture and do the best job.  Once a person is hired, the company should provide orientation and support to help the new employee jump-start.

After new jobs are started, it is important to conduct both performance appraisal and job assessment in order to track and evaluate the effectiveness of the new positions.  Performance appraisal allows the company to document new employees’ work and help workers setup goals for improvement.  Job assessment measures the new positions’ effects on catalyzing business growth and tracks financial return on human capital investment.

In summary, a rapid-growth company faces many challenges including workforce shortage.   The management must take strategic actions to place best-fit workers on new positions to ease implosion of growth and ensure sustainability of long-term profit.  With help of I/O psychologists, the company can effectively step though the complex processes to conduct accurate analysis, hire the right person, and correctly assess the results of new jobs.  Using proven analytical methods and data collection techniques, I/O psychologists can build solutions to optimize business operation to its highest potentials.

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