10 Jan 2019

140. BUILDING YOUR TEAM

Before you can develop and lead your team to success you have to build it, but finding talented individuals is not enough. They also need to be great team members and fit with your strategy and ethos.

Words: Steve Walsh

While there’s a huge amount of talent out there, recruitment isn’t simply a question of picking the best people that you can find. There are various considerations to take into account, and foremost among them is your plan and philosophy as a leader.

The first thing to do here is an audit of who you have in your current team to see if there is anyone who could give something more and who would benefit from more opportunities to develop as part of the team. Often, when new leaders and other members of the support staff come to an organisation they see things through fresh eyes.

FILL SKILLS GAPS

When the decision is made, however, to recruit someone new, it’s essential to come at the process with certain qualities in mind. Simply looking for generic talent and then trying to get them to fit into your current team can cause problems. Instead, hone what you are looking for down to key characteristics, thinking about how a new recruit might fit into your team.

Be strategic, identifying what strengths and weaknesses you have in the organisation and then look for recruits that will complement that blend while adding something extra.

What’s key is that it’s not just about that new recruit’s resume, but how they fit into what you want them to do and how well they can step up to the plate and do it.

CHARACTER COUNTS

Identifying people who have the right fit means getting to know as much as possible about each potential new recruit, including their personality and attitude, and how well they would engage with the organisation’s culture and employees. It can happen that recruitment has a negative effect on the team’s performance, if the new recruit has the technical skill you’re after, but doesn’t fit into the culture or dynamic of the organisation.

Another consideration is whether the new employees themselves feel comfortable being part of your team, and whether they will be able to perform at their best in their new environment. While you may be confident that they have the technical ability to do well in the team, do they also have what it takes mentally to handle the high levels of expectations, and can they cope with the transition and with being moved out of their comfort zone?

Finally, it’s worth remembering that, while years ago leaders were responsible for every aspect of an organisation, including recruitment, today they work with an often-extensive support team. To ensure that you recruit the best and most suitable talent for your team, you need to be able to get the best possible from everyone around you. That means having a very clear and being able to communicate that effectively to the professionals around you, so that they can look for new members that fit that strategy. Bringing in people who understand how you think and what you’re looking for can be helpful here, as can harnessing the knowledge of those already at the organisation.