Building Your Dream Team

The link between team formation and hiring is crucial. As a leader, you need to know what you want and need in your people before you decide what is achievable. On the other hand, if you put the what before the whom, you may find yourself with a strong disconnect between your goals and the talent you hired to help reach them. Always keep in mind, objectives are achieved because of the people involved.

Here are the four key steps to follow to hire the talent you need to build an amazing team and achieve your objectives. Apply them in sequence, then at each stage, meet with your hiring team to discuss the performance of each candidate and decide together who to advance, and why. That’s how you build a dream team, and avoid costly hiring mistakes:

  1. Screening. Screening starts even before there are people involved. To begin, create a great job description. According to Glassdoor.com, an effective job description will make candidates aware of your open jobs and your organization; target qualified candidates (and save time spent looking at the wrong resumes); optimize your recruiting budget by attracting the ideal candidates and discouraging those less than ideal; and prevent “Buyer’s Remorse” by providing all the information hires need to come on board with no regrets.

Next screen for the application of skills, knowledge, and experience, using everage behavior-based interviewing, which predicts future performance based on past situational behavior. Make sure to set the minimum bar for applicants to proceed to the next round.

  1. Assessing for Culture Fit. By separating cultural fit from the behavioral screening process, you signal to both the applicant and your organization that fit is as important as ability. Just because a candidate has the requisite knowledge, skills, and experience for a given job, doesn’t mean they will fit into your company culture.

To maximize this step, you must intrinsically understand and clearly articulate the cultural values that matter to your company and your team. If your company culture is relaxed, ask questions to assess what the candidate does to relax and de-stress. If your culture is competitive, ask questions to assess how the candidate feels about winning.

  1. Making a Business Case.Have candidates with the right behaviors and cultural values demonstrate their ability through a practical business case presentation. This allows you to peek inside the candidate’s brain and assess their ability to analyze information, prioritize, influence, and execute a plan.  
  1. Do a W.H.O.M. assessmentW.H.O.M.stands for work ethic, heart, optimism,and maturity. These are the basic building blocks of a great team member — someone who works diligently toward objectives, shares a passion for their work, seeks solutions rather than succumbing to obstacles, and has the maturity to navigate inevitable disappointments and conflicts without losing focus on shared goals.

An interview should include questions that uncover work ethic — reliability, dedication, productivity, cooperation, and self-discipline; heart — values, motivators, outside interests, career goals, energizers, generosity, and courage; optimism — a candidate’s solution orientation, agility, flexibility, judgment, curiosity, and resilience; and maturity — how a candidate makes difficult decisions, handles conflict, builds productive relationships, and manages negative emotions.

The way we work has evolved so that business success not longer relies on the talent of individual stars, but on the power of high performing teams. It’s collective talent that comes up with astounding innovations and effective, actionable solutions, not one or two standouts. It’s up to leadership to attract, identify and hire the best candidates not only for their individual potential, but their potential as a team player. With a great team in place, you can then unleash the potential in its DNA and create a fast-tracking stellar team performance.


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