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Ayman Al-Abdullah

Where most founders fail…

Published over 1 year ago • 3 min read

Why you’re getting this: I’m Ayman Al-Abdullah and this is my CEO Newsletter. You probably signed up via one of my social links:

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Thanks for taking the time to read my newsletter.

Recently, we talked about Process and how it will help your company jump from the Start Up phase to the Scale Up phase.

If you remember, I hinted at the next step in the journey to nine figures: People.

This is a critical phase of moving from a Product-Led company to a People-Led one and is where most founders fail.

Getting this stage right is CRITICAL if you want to build a $100m+ company.

It’s impossible to build a $100 million company without building a productive, cohesive team.

This is a massive shift we’re talking about.. Your team will go from feeling like a family to a team to a full-fledged company — it will be like running an entirely different business.

Obviously, your business already has people. But up to this point your team is likely small, and you still do a lot of the work. As the founder, you likely still have your hands in a lot of areas of the business, from billing to customer service to sales.

But that won’t scale going forward.

You can no longer do the work yourself; you need to get the work of the company done through people.

That’s why the founder needs to transform into the Chief Recruiting Officer during this phase of the company. How do you fill all the new roles your growing company is creating?

Suddenly, you need an entire sales team, a marketing department, and a team of engineers. Even more, you need to hire the leaders of the teams. You’re hiring one person to hire ten.

In the Start Up phase, you probably assembled your core team from the beginning, and then made a new hire every couple of months or so.

That’s not the case for a Scale Up. You need to expand your core team from a couple of core generalists to a team of specialists, each with their own department of people.

You’ll also need to define more specific roles and make sure those positions line up with the processes you started to solidify in the last stage. It was fine if you had to come in and clean up random items that fell through the cracks, but that won’t work at a much more complicated company.

Allowing too many items to fall through the cracks means your foundation has gaping holes that could bring down the entire building. Building a strong team helps to prevent this.

How do you go about hiring talented people? My number one tip is to get specific about what role you’re hiring for and the traits you’re looking for in an employee.

Recruiting is very similar to sales. You need to fill your pipeline with qualified candidates, just like you’d fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads. Then, you need to further qualify candidates to see if they meet your criteria, just like you would do with a sales prospect to determine if they need your services.

Some CEOs build a personal brand or raise the public profile of the company to help attract top talent. Other CEOs act as recruiters, connecting with as many candidates as possible to find the best hires. And other CEOs create a roadmap of positions they think will be created within the company over the coming months or years, while building up a pipeline of potential hires for those roles.

Here is an overview of what your recruiting process might look like:

  1. Top of Funnel (Applicant Pool) - Awareness
  2. Job Application Completion - Acquisition
  3. Scheduling Email - Activation
  4. Mock Job Call / Interview/ Screening Process - Qualification
  5. Offer and Compensation Conversation Call - Retention

Of course, this process will vary depending on the role and the specifics of your company, but this gives you a more detailed look into how an interview process might look. I want to emphasize that you need to have a repeatable process. You won’t be the one interviewing and hiring each employee, so there needs to be an established procedure for how your other managers interview and hire new employees.

However you do it, scaling up a business requires stepping back from doing the work yourself. How do you do that? By building a team. That’s why any company looking to scale up needs to have a CEO that has a strategy for recruiting.

Talk soon,

Ayman Al-Abdullah

Former CEO of AppSumo (grew from $3M to $80M+ in revenue). I now help CEO's go from 7 to 9 figures by day. On a Mission to Create One Million Millionaires. 🧱

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