4 rules of hiring: How to build a team (not just fill a desk)

Now Hiring
Now Hiring

Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to build and create teams on a number of occasions. I have discovered that more often than not, it isn’t just about skills.  Great teams need a blend of the skills to do the job, fit to work together, personalities that are different and diverse, and so much more.

When I hire and recruit I see people that are about to be more than colleagues. I see the potential of chats over coffee, or some trash talking over late night deliverables. I see people who will not just meet the skills I require, but will truly complement those who already work there. I hire to put people with different talents and backgrounds together to work to enrich everyone’s experience. A friend of mine just started on the process of helping to build on an existing team so I thought I would share the advice I gave him with you.

My advice was simple: you want the place you and your team spend all this time away from partners, kids and friends to give them something. You want to create a workplace that is providing inspiration and motivation for your team to DO more and BE more, so when you are crafting that for a team take these four simple rules into account:

1.    Make a list:

Hiring people that have the right attitude is fantastic, but before you even meet them in person they need to have the right skills for your organization. Hiring is like dating, you need to know what you want from them before you have that cocktail. If you want someone who will run triathlons with you, you might not want to date the guy that plays hockey seven days a week.

2.    Translate the company culture in the interview process:

Making sure someone is right for your organization is YOUR job as the interviewer. You are responsible for making sure that your suit and tie culture isn’t crashed with someone in flip flops or that your philosophy of people and customers first isn’t overrun by someone chasing profit over quality.

Share the vision of the company and see that the candidate understands what you are trying to accomplish. If being passionate about customer service is a part of who you are make sure they know that before you put an offer in front of them.

3.    Bring it all together by mixing it up:

Once you have candidates that meet your skills criteria AND your corporate culture you need to look for how they are going to work with the other people on your team. I have learned through experience that hiring a bunch of people who are identical in terms of background, and skill sets creates a single opinion on a team.

You want to mix cultures, experience and personalities in order to create an ecosystem that works to improve what they need to deliver. These different people can challenge one another in a complimentary way and with that they will improve process, support one another through challenges and drive one another forward.

4.    Accept that you might make mistakes:

Sometimes it doesn’t work with someone or you just hired the wrong person.

They may be disruptive with your team, not capable to do your company’s version of a task, or just plain toxic. As hiring managers we have to accept that sometimes regardless of the screening and due diligence we put candidates through someone might not work out.

Accept it and move on. We can’t all be right every time.

We spend thousands of hours at work every year. THOUSANDS. A perfect forty hour work week with four weeks of vacation adds up to roughly 2000 hours in the office each year. Add in those late nights, early mornings, Sunday night flights and emergency calls while at brunch on Saturdays and the hours can really add up. So when you are recruiting do your best to make them count for yourself and your team.

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