Hiring often looks simple from the outside. An inside look shows a process complex enough to have thousands of studies dedicated to single aspects of recruitment. Companies spend millions on assessing, training, and hiring the right people to drive their companies, and for good reason. The right people can make or break a business.
People-fit is a crucial topic, and one that many companies don’t spend enough time on. Today, the lens of hiring is slowly shifting to look at aspects such as personality, behavior, and beliefs to create teams that truly work together.
Team dynamics are an incredibly important consideration, because they affect not just how one person works, but how an entire team will get along and work together.
Personality type is the first and one of the most important things to measure. In most cases, you should use personality assessments during initial employee screening. This can include something like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or another type of test. Competency and behavioral assessments are important as well, because they indicate what a person can do, why they would or would not do that, and how they do it.
Understanding personality type and behavior is key for determining where someone fits into a team. However, it’s equally crucial to have this information regarding existing team members.
Mapping Team Roles
Mapping team roles allows you to picture what you have in your team and then work to fill gaps. Various tools, typically models and frameworks, exist to help you do this. Look at assessments that can map out roles in successful teams, and the types of people who fit those roles. Your assessment provider should be able to assess multiple roles per individual, as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for any candidate. That way, you can also keep your teams small with 3-5 people, and at the same time have every role filled (since each individual would be suited for multiple roles).
Cultural diversity is the concept of having a range of influences and background in a team. This allows individuals to influence, challenge, and push each other to excel in ways they wouldn’t on their own. Cultural diversity can be achieved by hiring diverse people, by building cross-functional teams, and by tearing down silos so that teams can work together and be exposed to new ideas, ways of thinking, and approaches.
Cognitive diversity, like cultural diversity, is about creating teams stemming from different backgrounds, with different thought processes, and different levels of education. This involves understanding how people work, how they use existing knowledge versus creating their own, and whether they tend to use their own expertise or leverage that of others. Strong teams require a mix of cognitive approaches.
While it’s important to introduce diversity, you also have to pay attention to compatibility. You don’t want everyone on the team to be the same, but you also don’t want people who will naturally clash. Understanding how different types of people work together (and don’t), will allow you to make better decisions. Diversity for the sake of diversity benefits no one when it means individuals cannot work together.
Strong team are composed of diverse individuals, typically with a range of backgrounds, cultures, and cognitive methods. Most also require a set number of skills such as a specialist, coordinator, and implementer to actually be productive. Understanding each team, who is on that team, and what they need to be most productive will help you to find and fit candidates into those roles to enhance the team.