How Can Hiring Practices Contribute to Building a Strong Team as a Business Leader?

How Can Hiring Practices Contribute to Building a Strong Team as a Business Leader?

In the quest to forge exceptional teams, we've gathered the wisdom of CEOs and Founders to share their most effective hiring practices. From implementing peer-to-peer interviewing to conducting multi-phase interview procedures, explore the diverse strategies in these sixteen powerful insights for assembling a robust workforce.

  • Implement Peer-to-Peer Interviewing
  • Introduce Real-World Project Simulations
  • Focus on Project-Based Skills Assessments
  • Conduct Team Compatibility Tests
  • Emphasize Cultural Fit in Interviews
  • Incorporate Behavioral Assessments
  • Use In-Person Skills Tests
  • Hire for Character, Not Just Resume
  • Create a Balanced Team with Diverse Skills
  • Try Internal Referral Auditions
  • Prioritize Coachability in Recruitment
  • Involve Teams in Hiring Decisions
  • Meet Candidates to Assess Cultural Fit
  • Include Hands-On Skill Assessments
  • Value Worker Recommendations Highly
  • Conduct Multi-Phase Interview Procedures

Implement Peer-to-Peer Interviewing

We've implemented peer-to-peer interviewing, where potential team members are interviewed by the people they will work directly with, not just by their potential managers or HR. This strategy has enabled us to ensure that new hires fit well within their specific team dynamics. It also empowers our current team members, giving them a say in the selection process, which boosts team spirit and trust. Using Toggl Hire, we streamline this process to make it efficient and comprehensive, allowing for a multifaceted evaluation of each candidate from various perspectives within the team.

Alari Aho
Alari AhoCEO and Founder, Toggl Inc

Introduce Real-World Project Simulations

I remember when we first started expanding our team at Spectup, the traditional interview process felt a bit impersonal and didn't always highlight the best fit for our culture. We decided to try something different: incorporating real-world project simulations into our hiring process. One time, we had a candidate for a market validation role work on a mini-project that involved analyzing a potential new market for a tech product.

This approach did wonders. It not only showcased the candidate’s skills but also their thought process and how they approached problems. I recall one candidate who, despite not having the most impressive resume, blew us away with their innovative insights and practical solutions during the simulation. They are now one of our top performers, driving significant value in our projects. This practice has allowed us to see beyond the resume and truly understand how potential hires would perform in real scenarios, contributing immensely to building a strong, capable team.

Niclas Schlopsna
Niclas SchlopsnaManaging Consultant and CEO, spectup

Focus on Project-Based Skills Assessments

Resumes are important, but they don’t tell the whole story. To build a strong team, we focus on project-based skills assessments. This allows us to identify hidden gems with the right abilities and problem-solving skills for the role, regardless of their traditional background. It’s a win-win: We find passionate talent, and they find a role that utilizes their unique strengths.

Beth Worthy
Beth WorthyCofounder and President, GMR Transcription Services, Inc.

Conduct Team Compatibility Tests

One distinctive hiring practice we've implemented at our company is the "team compatibility test." Instead of focusing solely on individual excellence, we assess how well potential hires might integrate with the existing team dynamics. This involves several team interaction sessions where candidates participate in group activities that simulate real work scenarios. We look for traits like adaptability, communication, and conflict-resolution skills.

It's not just about what the candidates bring to the table individually but how they enhance the team's overall function and culture. This method has allowed us to build teams that are not only skilled but also harmonious and collaborative, which is crucial in the fast-paced world of digital marketing.

Jason Hennessey
Jason HennesseyCEO, Hennessey Digital

Emphasize Cultural Fit in Interviews

As the founder of a legal process outsourcing company, one hiring practice I've implemented that has significantly contributed to building a strong team is conducting behavioral interviews focused on cultural fit.

Rather than solely assessing candidates based on their technical skills and experience, we prioritize evaluating their alignment with our company values and work culture. A real-life example of the success of this approach was when we were hiring for an associate position. While one candidate had impressive qualifications, another demonstrated a genuine enthusiasm for our company's mission and a collaborative mindset during the interview process.

Despite having slightly less experience, we chose the latter candidate based on their cultural fit, and they have since become an invaluable member of our team, fostering a positive work environment and driving team cohesion.

This emphasis on cultural alignment has not only helped us assemble a talented and harmonious team but has also contributed to our company's overall success and growth.

Aseem Jha
Aseem JhaFounder, Legal Consulting Pro

Incorporate Behavioral Assessments

One hiring practice I've implemented that significantly contributes to building a strong team is incorporating behavioral assessments into the interview process.

These assessments provide valuable insights into candidates' personality traits, communication styles, and problem-solving approaches, helping to ensure cultural fit and alignment with team dynamics.

By assessing not only candidates' skills and qualifications but also their interpersonal qualities and work preferences, we can make more informed hiring decisions and assemble a cohesive team with diverse strengths and perspectives. This practice has proven effective in fostering collaboration, reducing turnover, and ultimately driving team performance and success.

Andre Oentoro
Andre OentoroCEO and Founder, Breadnbeyond

Use In-Person Skills Tests

Incorporating an in-person skills test into the interview process has been very helpful in building a strong team. We have found that remote skills tests do not work quite as well. A skills test for the applicant in a controlled environment can help us assess the skill level of each applicant we have invited to interview. We also assess cultural fit and emotional intelligence in a standardized interview process.

Michelle Forstrom
Michelle ForstromHR Manager, BYU Library

Hire for Character, Not Just Resume

Our best hiring practice: We hire the person, not the resume. A resume is an important tool—it's the first glimpse employers get of a candidate. However, a resume only tells part of the story. It's equally important to learn more about whom the person is and what they value. Skills can be taught, and experience is gained on the job, so hiring managers should look beyond these initial screening criteria and focus more on whom the person really is. A person’s character is a crucial indicator of their potential success and how they will integrate into the company’s culture.

I focus on understanding what a candidate needs to feel successful. I find out if feedback and coaching support their sense of achievement, if they gain personal satisfaction from contributing to the success of their colleagues, and if they value cooperation over competition with coworkers. Instead of focusing solely on skills and experience, I interview candidates to understand who they are as individuals and how they will fit into our organization. This helps us retain team members over the long term.

Arturo Gutierrez
Arturo GutierrezDirector of Merchandising, Todays Wholesale Closeout

Create a Balanced Team with Diverse Skills

Balance is key. We create a balanced team to build a stronger team! I believe that everyone brings their own set of strengths and weaknesses to the table. When building your team, it's crucial to hire a diverse mix of people whose skills overlap and complement each other. Personality and communication-style surveys are somewhat helpful in identifying these strengths and weaknesses.

According to one well-known survey, there are typically five core personality types: direction, beauty, innovation, entertainment, and efficiency. We believe that an ideal team would have representatives from all five personality types. For example, if your team is heavily composed of the 'efficiency' type, your outputs will be clear and well-organized, but they might lack the flair that makes them memorable. Conversely, if your team leans too heavily on 'innovation,' they might focus so much on creating something new and exciting that they miss deadlines.

So, we encourage our hiring managers and recruitment teams to aim to hire someone from each category to maximize team effectiveness. We also take time to explore these differences within the team so that the interdependence we create is based on appreciating what everyone brings to the table. Then, we focus our coaching on transforming weaknesses into strengths.

Sam Hickson
Sam HicksonCEO, TG Wireless - Wholesale Cell Phones

Try Internal Referral Auditions

One unique hiring practice we've adopted is the 'internal referral audition.' Beyond just providing a reference, our team members recommend candidates and play a key role in their audition, where both parties demonstrate actual work compatibility. This has encouraged our team to bring in people they believe will fit our culture and complement our mission. This hasn't only strengthened our team cohesion, as they have a personal stake in the success of their referrals, but also fostered a shared responsibility in maintaining our vibrant team spirit.

Abid Salahi
Abid SalahiCo-founder & CEO, FinlyWealth

Prioritize Coachability in Recruitment

One hiring practice that's made a big difference for me in building a strong team is focusing on coachability during recruitment. When I look for people who are open to learning and feedback, it not only helps find the right fit for the current role but also sets the stage for ongoing growth and upskilling within the team. By prioritizing coachability, we create a culture where everyone is eager to develop their skills, adapt to new challenges, and evolve with the ever-changing demands of our industry.

Loren Howard
Loren HowardFounder, Prime Plus Mortgages

Involve Teams in Hiring Decisions

Whenever we hire someone new, we look for two things: that the candidate has a complementary skill set to the team they will work with, and that they are a good cultural fit. We see our teams as puzzles; it's a combination of being different yet compatible that makes them successful. In order to achieve this, we ask the teams for their input when we advertise a new role and involve them in the actual hiring process.

This gives them the opportunity to raise any flags, ask their own questions, and tentatively explore potential team dynamics. By empowering them to be part of the choice of who they work with, it instills a sense of responsibility for the new teammate's successful integration.

Alexandru Samoila
Alexandru SamoilaHead of Operations, Connect Vending

Meet Candidates to Assess Cultural Fit

Meeting candidates in person (video or face-to-face) is essential to building a strong team. While this approach is time-consuming, the rewards are worthwhile. You're more likely to find someone who will thrive in your business if you invest time upfront in meeting them.

Our opening questions aren't about work experience or qualifications but about them as a person. We always ask candidates what they think makes a great workplace to determine how likely they are to fit in.

This provides valuable insights into their cultural fit and guides the following stages of the hiring process.

Craig Bird
Craig BirdManaging Director, CloudTech24

Include Hands-On Skill Assessments

One hiring practice I've implemented that has significantly contributed to building a strong team is the inclusion of hands-on skill assessments during the interview process. Rather than relying solely on resumes and interviews, we give candidates practical tasks that mimic real job scenarios. This approach allows us to evaluate their technical abilities, problem-solving skills, and how they perform under pressure.

By incorporating these assessments, we can ensure that new hires possess the necessary skills and are a good fit for our team dynamics. It also helps identify candidates who may excel in a practical setting but might not stand out through traditional interview methods alone. This has led to a more competent and cohesive team, capable of handling the complexities of roofing and general construction projects.

This practice fosters a sense of transparency and fairness in our hiring process. Candidates appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in a real-world context, which helps build trust from the outset. As a result, we've seen improved employee satisfaction and retention, further strengthening our team and enhancing overall project success.

Tyler Poole
Tyler PooleRoofing Expert, White Oaks Construction

Value Worker Recommendations Highly

Prioritizing recommendations from existing workers has helped me build a strong team of recruiters at Redfish Technology. I now actually rank pre-existing relationships with co-workers as highly as some skill sets when considering resumes.

When people recommend a new hire, they're telling me they work well with this person. They're friends or have been successful co-workers in the past. This isn't a small thing. In fact, capitalizing on this greatly increases office cohesion and cooperation. I want my workforce to get along great and be friends outside the office. That's key to a tight work culture where people are open, and collaboration comes naturally.

Rob Reeves
Rob ReevesCEO and President, Redfish Technology

Conduct Multi-Phase Interview Procedures

A comprehensive and multiphase interview procedure has made a big difference in creating a strong team. Multiple interview rounds with various team members and stakeholders ensure that candidates are technically qualified and fit the organization's culture. I can evaluate applicants from several angles and get a thorough grasp of their abilities, backgrounds, and personalities.

Incorporating current team members into the interview process also helped me assess how well prospects would work with and fit into the team dynamics. It also helps current team members feel more invested in their team's development, strengthening their sense of unity and mutual support. Incorporating case studies or practical exercises into the interview process offers insightful information about how applicants handle real-world problems and make decisions.

Dhari Alabdulhadi
Dhari AlabdulhadiCTO and Founder, Ubuy New Zealand

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