As companies expand their teams, they often attempt to reach for the stars with their hiring decisions. They may seek out industry heavyweights and experienced veterans to give the team a foundation and guidance. It’s understandable why employers would turn to professionals with extensive knowledge and proven skill sets; however, it’s also important to remember to think really hard about who you want on your team.
When building a team, employers need to consider the chemistry of the group and its overall mission. Not everyone will get along, but it’s important for the team to have a goal to strive toward and a dynamic that effectively channels the efforts of the group in a positive direction. A team of experienced yet uncooperative players will only get you so far.
Just because someone has experience in a field doesn’t mean they necessarily have the right skillset to meet the team’s needs. Look for individuals who share the team’s values and of course possess the skills necessary to meet its goals. It’s also important to find the right balance between experience and energy. A team with too much experience can easily become complacent, while a team with too much energy might be easily distracted. Balance and targeted recruiting is the key.
Moreover, consider the way a candidate’s ideas might interact with those of the team. Can they effectively contribute to group discussions, debates, and projects? Are they willing to take risks or do they favor the status quo? Team collaboration and analytical thinking are just as important as technical skills.
When hiring a new member, think really hard about if they would compliment the team and make it better, not only from a skillset point of view but also from a cultural one. By inquiring into the background and career of the candidate and reading their references, employers can get a better understanding of who the candidate is and how they interact with other people.
It’s important to remember that team success is not born from the hiring of a few stars. Companies that want to succeed should focus on building a robust team with competence and enthusiasm in equal measure. It won’t be easy, but if managed well, success will follow.