Hiring and OnBoarding New Staff During a Pandemic
Public policy response to the pandemic, mandating lockdowns and other restrictions on commerce, has created special challenges for business. Recruiting now comes with a unique set of considerations, along with the integration of new employees. Hiring and onboarding new staff remotely is new territory for most of us. The terrain needs to be navigated with a clearly defined strategy on team building.
What constitutes a strategy for building an organization?
How are high-performance teams constructed?
Is there an overriding philosophy to putting together a winning squad?
Business often looks to sports for inspiration, guidance and example. There are many instructive parallels. Take ice hockey, for instance. Hockey is played just like a commercial finance business, with offense and defense operating together simultaneously. Credit sales and risk management function together for a common goal. Portfolio management needs to be alert for new opportunities while maintaining a focus on the calibration and response to changing risk.
In hockey, there is one school of thought that gets a great deal of currency: when building a winning team, start from the goaltender and work outward. A strong netminder, coupled with a stout defense, creates a sound foundation able to defend against even the toughest of opponents. Add a capable offense to that formula and the team can now mount an effective attack, gaining advantage while keeping threats to a minimum.
Commercial finance operates much the same. However, instead of focusing on your own goal, the starting point is the customer. In hockey, you’ll never pull ahead if you’re scored on repeatedly. In finance, if you can’t win and retain customers from your place of business, there is no business to be had. Building a high-functioning team means keeping a focus on the customer, recruiting balanced and capable account managers, adding experienced new business and underwriting capability, and strengthening it with management that can effectively set strategy and help people work well together. Borrowers are all coping with their own special challenges. Addressing their needs is the foundation for any measure of success.
However, high-functioning teams aren’t built from the top down or the bottom up. Instead, winning organizations are created from the inside out. Focus on your customers first and foremost. Hone your recruiting and hiring strategies with your borrowers in mind. You’ll find that winning teams can be built in difficult times, even when they can’t all take the ice together.
As Head of Acquisitions, Bruce is responsible for sourcing commercial finance platform companies and portfolios across North America, and the UK.
Bruce has more than three decades of experience in commercial finance, banking, and capital markets. Prior to joining eCapital, Bruce served as Senior Director of Business Development at ExWorks Capital, and Senior Managing Director for Glass Ratner Advisory & Capital Group. His banking experience includes executive roles as Head of Capital Markets and Wealth Management at RBC (Caribbean) Ltd, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada, Head of Wells Fargo Global Banking in Miami; and Southeast Region Manager for asset-based lending at Wells Fargo. Bruce earned his Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) from the University of Toronto and a Master of Business Administration from York University in Canada.