If teams are as potentially important as I suggest, how do you put a team together? What are the right things to think about and do?
It all starts in the beginning with how you select your team. We’re looking for a pretty A-typical animal to join the eyespeak team, a needle in a haystack. You never know how well someone’s going to work or fit in until you hire them, that’s a fact. We do our best to evaluate people on the front-end before they’re hired so as to protect them and us. For us, it’s a matter of technical skill in some cases, but all cases and all positions require the right set of personal attributes not only for the position but for the team in general.
- Pass By. This is a 30 minute quick meet and greet. We talk about the candidate, who they are, what they’ve done and what their goals are. We also tell them about ourselves, our culture and any position specific requirements. The purpose here is not in depth scrutiny but just to get a gut feeling for the candidate.
- Test. Here we utilize two tools that we’ve found that help us understand the person’s innate strengths and how their demeanor or nature would mesh with the team and the position.
- The first is the popular Strengthsfinders which gives each person a list of their top 5 personal strengths (out of 32+). For example, responsibility is a trait that I am partial to (full disclosure- I have that in my top 5). It generally means that someone takes personal and emotional ownership of their work, which is an overall great trait in my opinion. The top 5 help us get insight into the candidate to see if they have the right natural traits for the position.
- The second test is much new but equally as awesome: Action and Influence. This test measures individuals in 4 areas: cognitive, relational, goal and detail. The unique thing about the results is that each category is expressed as a number on a continuum. For example, the relational category goes from nurturer to introverted on a 100 point scale. Rather than trying to put a hard label on you, A&I shows what combination of those 2 traits you have. Maybe you are 90% nurturer and 10% introverted. This is great if the position requires the engagement skills of human interaction. The other unique thing about A&I is that it combines the score in all four areas to identify what types of positions would be good and bad for the individual.
A&I paired with Strengthsfinders gives great insight in the probability of success for the candidate in the position. A&I alone gives a sense of how well the person will fit in on the team in general as well as within their position.
- In depth interview This is a more intensive interview in terms of sharing and discussing test results, knowing more about the candidate and specific qualifications. We usually have management team as well as someone from the sub team involved in this phase to ask a variety of questions and get a multiplicity of insights.
If all goes well at the last phase, you’re on your way to joining our team.
What do you look for when building your team? What is something unique that you do when evaluating people to join your team?