Two gears fit together with a dawn background, representing building a team with the best fit from the start

How to Build Your Best Fit Team from the Start

Rachel Stewart Johnson

Psychologist | Driven by communications about human behavior in Work

When your needs change as an employer, your focus shouldn’t become simply filling roles as quickly as possible. Instead, you want to minimize time-to-hire while still bringing in team members who are ready to make a meaningful commitment to your organization. With budgets tightening amid the challenges of 2020 and beyond, the “revolving door” of personnel is more of a liability than ever. There’s not as much room for error as there was even a year ago.

This points to a shift in hiring that is gaining momentum, whether you’re filling leadership roles, staffing hourly workers in entry-level positions, or identifying “gig worker” talent for a single project. Instead of relying on work history and short open-ended interviews -- or simply hiring nearly anyone who shows up and therefore making “hirings of convenience” -- savvy hiring managers recognize that the fit between a candidate and both their role and your organization as a whole are vital. An important first step: evaluating culture.

 

Culture First

Ask yourself some simple questions. What workplace culture are you hoping to achieve? Is this a departure from how you’ve operated in the past? What worked well before? For example, would you like to have a fun and open environment? If you define your ideal culture before you start hiring, you can then consider each candidate with that in mind. The Harvard Business Review defined it best: “Cultural fit is the likelihood that someone will reflect and/or be able to adapt to the core beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that make up your organization.” When an employee doesn’t fit in with the culture, that mismatch is likely to affect the other employees as well. Within a small work environment (whether it be a small business or a small team within a larger organization), culture may be even more important.

 

Determine Need

What role does your company need to fill? Don’t limit yourself to cookie-cutter job positions like admin assistant, event coordinator, etc. Take a look at the areas in which you need assistance, and create specific roles for those duties. You may find that by doing this, you won’t need to hire as many people because roles will overlap. Consider the value of thinking outside the box with your open positions. Think of this as an additional filter to attract the right people from the start. Another vital step worth an investment of time: creating a thorough, up-to-date, and representative job description that really illuminates what’s involved in the day to day experience on the job.

 

Personality Fit

A resume or conversation about credentialsPersonality data makes hiring process faster and effective for team is a basic necessity, but personality is a game-changer in hiring regardless of the role. Skills can be taught, but personality remains an influential lens through which an individual sees the world, orders their priorities, and develops coping techniques. Consider the possibility that a candidate who has some deficiencies in work history or skill set can nevertheless be the smartest choice. Alternatively, someone who is “good on paper” can end up being a toxic hire with a short, choppy tenure. A holistic hiring process can help avoid either scenario -- the key difference is a personality “fit,” or lack thereof.

Team-building and all staffing efforts should therefore be more than focusing on what skills are needed at the time of hire. It’s a good idea to be future-focused here and think about leadership roles as well. If this employee is needed to lead a team or project someday, would his or her personality fit the role? Personality opens many doors of discussion when hiring, and concrete personality data can make this process speedy and effective from the outset.

 

Take Your Time

At a time of transition, whether building from the ground up, reinventing the brand, or simply adjusting to the economic conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s better to take your time in the planning stages than to rush into sub-par hires. Approach the process with a plan for how you can gain the insights necessary to make informed fit decisions. Assessment tools that gather this important data in the most efficient way possible are a great place to start, particularly if the assessment experience is one that enhances your brand and the overall candidate experience.

Economic downturns are no time to toss candidate experience aside. If you’re really committed to bringing in the best talent possible with the best fit possible, you need to build a positive and growth-promoting experience throughout the employment life cycle, from pre-application onward. That will not only avoid losing potentially great hires, it will speed onboarding and enable you to achieve a high level of productivity from a best-fit employee in record time.

Here’s another positive side effect of all these efforts you may not have recognized at first: reflecting on company culture and team members’ personalities helps you clarify your organizational mission. Whether you’re a brand-new startup, an innovative new division, or a well-established team taking on an inventive new project, taking stock of who you are or who you want to be is helpful. You’ll build team spirit, work well together, and provide the best possible products for the right audience. A clear mission will attract people who love what they do, which in turn inspires them to bring their best selves to their work.

 

If you are interested in using a personality assessment to hire your best fit team, request a demo.

 

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