“The people that embrace technology of course are the ones who are going ahead. The ones who see disruption not as disruption but as a challenge to develop new processes and new products.”
– Steve Vamos, non executive director, Telstra and Fletcher Building

This week on Xero In, Steve joins co-hosts JV Douglas and Rob Stone for the second time. Today they talk about building a sustainable, collaborative work culture to support a small business A-team.

Great people management is one of the skills Steve is renowned for. This includes having to hire and performance manage countless employees. Hiring, he says, is one of the trickiest things to do.

“I think that probably the biggest thing you can do in hiring people is spend time with the person you’re about to hire. Find a way to get them to help you on a project or something. Get to see them at work,” he says.

“The most important thing is the reference checks – really work hard to find people they haven’t given you the names of, who may be one degree of separation between you and them.”

Steve goes on to talk about to do once you’ve hired those top people to make sure your team collaborates and produces the best work possible. One example is making sure product, marketing and sales work closely together.

“You have to get them in the room together and say ‘here’s what we’re trying to accomplish, the three of you need to interact all the time because we have to evolve our product and service every day’,” he explains.