A dream business team will comprise a well-balanced group of people who complement each other, challenge each other and bring out the best in each other. They will work efficiently together and be equipped and supported to achieve business objectives and results.
If you are recruiting for a new candidate to join an existing team, whether it is to replace someone or to increase the team’s size and resources, consider how they will fit with the team as well as in the role itself. One person can have a significant impact on the dynamics of a team. If they fit well, bringing complementary contributions, skill sets and approaches, they can help the team to work even more effectively. If they don’t fit, it can throw the entire balance and reduce engagement and efficiency across the whole team.
Considering the overall cultural fit of a new recruit is a great starting point to achieving team fit. With a clear employer brand featured across your recruitment materials and touch points, you should attract applicants who are inspired by and share the vision and values of your organisation. How can you then take this one step further and look to identify a good fit for a specific team?
Identify your current team’s personalities
Before bringing anyone new into a team, take the time to understand the current personalities within the group. This could be through spending direct time with them, psychometric profiling, or a combination of both. The aim is to find out more about each team member as an individual. As well as looking at their skills and experience, look at how they work, how they interact, what their aspirations are and what they are motivated by. This will give you a better understanding not only of what additional skills or experience you need to find, but also what soft skills and working styles would fit and complement. This often doesn’t mean finding people who are all similar. Your team may currently be made up of highly creative workers for example but without the balance of people who are more detail focussed and organisation orientated.
Review current team roles
Before advertising a new position, review the current team’s responsibilities, performance and development opportunities. Is there an opening to increase engagement levels by offering an existing high-calibre member of the team the chance to progress or move into a different role? Bringing in a new recruit without consideration of this could potentially result in the disengagement of existing team members. They may feel they have been overlooked for the role the new employee would be filling. This reduces the chances of everyone working together as the dream team you are looking to build and the probability of the newest team member being able to fit in well. If you are replacing someone, are there any learnings to be considered first? If they were a great team fit, why was this? If not, what didn’t work so well?
Identifying team fit
Considering the first two areas should help you to build a more complete picture of what you need to find to achieve a good team fit. This is where our expert consultants can add real value to your recruitment process and help you to identify these desired traits. We work with our clients to provide competency-based interviewing techniques which focus not only on gathering evidence of required skills and experience, but also other competencies such as behaviours and personal qualities. Our complimentary services also include psychometric and personality profiling. There are many different types of assessment tests available, but generally, they will be used to measure how candidates differ in their motivation, values, priorities and opinions. This will help you to understand how they are likely to respond to different tasks and situations, their favoured working style and how they will interact with fellow workers. These tests can be especially useful if you have already used some form of profiling tool with your existing employees, as you will be able to see how potential candidates could fit and strengthen your existing team. Our consultants can also sit in on interviews, bringing an additional perspective on how the candidate would fit within the team dynamic.
And with team fit in mind, look for ways to involve team members within the interview process. This could be a social occasion with some or all, depending on numbers, of the candidate’s prospective peers. Or you could invite one or two of the team members to be on the interview panel. This will help you to see first-hand how candidates interact with their potential colleagues. It also gives the candidate their own chance to assess how they think they would fit with the team. Giving the other team members a say in the recruitment decision will also help them to feel more invested in their newest team member and encouraged to help them to fit in from the outset.
Remain flexible and fair
While the team and cultural fit are worth exploring for all the reasons mentioned, it is still only one element to creating an overall recruitment campaign which shows real consideration for all involved and a commitment to achieving a successful result. The information gathered should always be considered as part of a wider picture and never be the only focus. Follow a fair and inclusive recruitment process and be considerate of not letting conscious or unconscious bias get in the way of making a great hiring decision. The best teams are usually made up of a variety of different people who all bring a range of different experiences, perspectives and skill sets to the table. They also naturally evolve and change over time.
Gill is a founding Director of Pure and has worked in recruitment since 1988, including eight years of specialist recruitment experience within an international specialist recruitment company and five years working within financial services recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Gill’s approach is to provide clients and candidates with the highest quality of service. She has a consultative style which has led to her building long-term relationships with both clients and candidates.