Recruiting for Team Building
Perhaps because recruiting happens every day, the process has started to look like the workings of machinery more than a personal process. Recruiters or automated tools scan hundreds of resumes for keywords, spending only a few seconds on each when considering them for a company’s listed positions. Whether a person is or is not suitable for a job is all too quickly judged based on a few lines of text or keywords on a page. Even the positions themselves are minimized into a list of qualifications and a location, as if these factors were all that made up a position, when the fact of the matter is that every occupation is a personal one and every open position is an opportunity to improve your team with a new member.
The Mechanical Hire
With today’s low unemployment rate, there are constant job openings for skilled employees. This demand is so high and so constant that the recruiting industry has grown quickly. However, like anything that’s been streamlined, the interview and hiring process is losing its personal touch. Too much stock is put into keywords in resumes, while not enough time is spent assessing the motivations of a candidate to match with the goals of the team and business. In the traditional hiring process, recruiters filter resumes, perform preliminary interviews, and then suggest secondary interviews of their favorite candidates. Hiring managers and group leaders spend time, presumably testing technical skills and checking likeability, with their prospective hires before naming a price and scheduling onboarding. Even with interviewing, the process never once takes into account how the candidates might interact and create efficiencies in their new teams.
Your Team Dynamic
How your people work together and their shared work ethic make an enormous difference in efficiency, cohesion, and harmony between the team members. Professor Lindred Greer gave an interview with Inc.com and makes several excellent points about the interpersonal and hiring dynamic of a startup, but these theories are just as useful for teams in a company of any size. Who you add to the mix can make an enormous difference even to how existing team members respond to each other. Factors like optimism versus pessimism, alignment with the company culture, and investment in team goals are very important. It is the job of the hiring managers to understand not only ability, but also the personality requirements for every role they fill with a new hire. The Recruitment process should include an understanding of the interrelated roles in order to best support the hiring manager.
The Art of Team Building
According to Professor Greer, the best way to make sure you have a good fit is to go into an interview knowing what you are looking for. She recommends that first you sort candidates by ability, and from there choose the best match for personality, work ethic, and values that align with your company, team, and project. It’s also important to remember that intelligent people are good at presenting themselves in a positive light and getting personality references is a great way to see through the ‘good interview’ smoke screen, and the same can be said for people who come off as awkward because interviews make them overly nervous. Your best bet is to have a strategy to get to know a candidate, unless you want to be hiring again in six months.
The way your team works is a unique balance of personalities, abilities, and attitudes. When the personalities involved are happily balanced to enable both work efficiency and interpersonal harmony, the team can hum like a well-oiled machine. Hire Champ, never forgets, when filling a new position that every role is part of a team, and the recruit needs to not only be able to do the job, but mesh with their new coworkers in a beneficial and enjoyable way for the team, the company, and themselves.