How to Hire For Team Fit
20 Sep 16 by Hannah Iranon
When hiring, you may come across a candidate that has great qualifications, experience, and skills – but there is one final question left to answer: are they a good fit for your team? Hiring someone who is a team fit means that the new employee’s personality fits in well with the company culture. When you’re working with someone every day, team fit is just as important as getting the job done. The wrong fit can have an impact on your company and your team, so knowing you’re hiring the right person is crucial. But how do you know if the person you’re hiring is a good fit? We’ve put together our best tips to get you on the right track.
How Do You Know if an Employee is a Good Team Fit?
Before you can measure a candidate’s cultural fit, you need to be able to define your organisational culture – it’s values, goals, and practices. Then you can incorporate this into the hiring process. By doing this, you’ll have a good idea of what characteristics and personalities would fit your company. You want someone that is comfortable working in an active setting. as opposed to someone who prefers a quiet and small office space. You need someone that can adapt to your work environment and also remain productive.
Also, take your current employees’ specific personalities into account; Is there a mixture of personalities? Can they work effectively together? Do they each help the team to function? If an employee feels like their personality contributes to the company, they’ll be happier in their job, which can lead to a 12% increase in employee productivity. Bear in mind, not everyone has to be exactly the same and a new kind of personality whether they’re quiet, loud or lively, can help to balance a team out.
Make the Most of the Interview
As the interviewer, try to keep an open mind and don’t just rely on your intuition unless you have evidence to back it up. Remember that how you perceive others comes from your own unique point of view. For example, if you believe someone comes across as smug in an interview, someone else might describe them as confident and determined.
Looking through a wider lens to ensure you’re representing your company, and the team the candidate will be joining, is crucial. With research indicating that total costs associated with employee turnover can cost 90% to 200% of that person’s salary, hiring someone who isn’t a fit for the company is not a risk worth taking. You cannot know for sure if someone will fit in with your organisational culture, but using the interview process can help you get a feel for the person’s personality and decide if they’re a good fit for the job.
The interview is where you’ll get a feel for the kind of person that candidate is and whether they’ll be a good fit for your team. Get the most out of the interview process and use your organisational culture to form your behavioural questions. This will show you whether a candidate aligns with your company vision or not, and whether they’re a good fit for your organisation’s values. Understanding this is crucial, as personality doesn’t tend to be something you can change or teach, unlike technical skills. However, by using the interview process to ask behavioural questions and carry out assessments, you can discover the core elements that make up the interviewee’s personality.
Behavioural Interview Questions
The focus of behavioural interview questions is to uncover a candidate’s soft skills. These soft skills are skills that are part of a person’s personality, such as teamwork skills, problem solving skills, and communication skills. Whether you require much in the way of soft skills depends on the role you’re interviewing for. For instance, when hiring a Software Team Lead you would be looking for excellent communication, leadership, and problem solving skills.
Based on your requirements, ask the interviewee a time they demonstrated the skill you’re looking for in the workplace. For example, “Tell me about a time where you struggled to meet a project deadline?” or another question, “Tell me about a time you overcame a conflict within a team.” By getting specific examples and understanding how they have reacted you’ll be able to determine whether their approach will be a suitable fit for your company. If you’d like to know more about which interview questions to ask, you can take a look at our previous blog on this year's top 10 technology interview questions.
Psychometric assessments can be very useful when hiring, however there seems to be a bit of misinformation, and unfortunately, misuse, of what is otherwise a very powerful tool. Understanding when and why an assessment is to be used is critical, as is the selection of the type of assessment you're going to use. Remember that these are not 'tests' to be passed or failed, and psychometrics should not be used for selection purposes in the way you might assume.
Personality assessments are a helpful tool in understanding aspects of personality and preference, but first consider what you’re getting from the experience and define some profiles that you are and aren't looking for with your assessment provider. To ensure assessments are evaluated in an appropriate context, a lot of pre-work needs to be done. There are a wide number of different types of psychometric assessment available, but most centre around cognitive and personality questionaires that measure a candidates’ personality, behavioural preferences and sometimes, knowledge, against an appropriate group of peers and respondents. They bring a scientific approach to the art of team building and selection, and can give you a better insight into the needs of your preferred candidate in a range of work related and interpersonal scenarios.
The end result is that you can develop more tailored training initiatives, and ensure the new employee will be supported to contribute to your company long term. Although for employers, psychometrics can be a helpful hiring tool, they can also be used as a development tool for both employer and employee, identifying aspects they may need to improve on and helping both parties long-term. Before conducting any assessments, we recommend asking for expert advice. A specialist recruiter, such as Sourced, can discuss with you which assessments (or one of Sourced's talent solutions) best suit the needs of your company and hiring process in order find what you’re looking for when it comes to team fit.
Although interviews can give you an idea of a candidate’s personality, that idea is only based on one interaction. By effectively using a candidate’s referees, you can back up any data or evidence that you’ve gathered. The referees a candidate provides will have built strong professional relationships with them throughout their career. Though it might seem obvious, getting in touch with referees can give you testimonials from former employers, colleagues, or tutors. While able to back up the candidate’s skills and experience, referees can also speak on their personality.
When you're hiring someone, the most important thing is to have a strong understanding of who your team and your company are. Although you can never know for sure when it comes to team fit, using facts and evidence to augment your own brand awareness give you a better idea of what to look for. A good hire is someone who is competent, motivated and a successful team fit. When you have all three of these components, they’ll add something special to your team and contribute to your company long-term. If you need assistance and want to feel more confident with your hiring choices, get in touch with our experts at Sourced.