Six rules to help you build a great team while hiring people

Maybe you have heard some of the phrases: “He/she was a poor fit for the role,” “He/or she couldn’t adapt well in our organization,” “He/she was an average choice, and we couldn’t know what will happen at the end,” etc.

These phrases often come from leaders who have tried but failed to hire their teams’ best talents. 

It is not their fault, but it is also not the candidate’s fault that they did not meet the expectations.  Still, leaders must learn that if you want a great team, you will need to start from the hiring and put efforts there to minimize side effects, disappointment, disengagement, and quitting.

While recruiting talent, the leader must focus on many elements to find the best match for their team.  Often apologies from leaders come in the form of not knowing how to complete the hiring process and attract, hire, and retain the best talent for their teams.

In my experience, I have recruited more than 10 000 people for my or different teams.  I have also failed initially,  but my experience has evolved during the time, and I can say that in the last three years, I do not have a bad hire for a team I lead or a group I recruit for.

I am offering you my six rules to achieve that to help you become smarter at hiring and build a great team as a leader.

Enough knowledge about your organization

We tend to talk too often about how we must make informed decisions.  When we start recruiting people for our teams, the least we do is share enough information.  Recruitment is a two sides exercise.  If we want to be chosen from the right people, we must be ready to share why they must select us as the right employer.  Sharing enough information includes company values, basic rules for internal relationships, roles, responsibilities, positioning in the teams, and even your style of leading and structuring tasks, projects, and the team’s internal mini climate.

No compromises with values

Almost 30% of bad hires in companies (according to Willis Towers Watson’s research from 2018) are happening because of a low-value fit of the candidate.  The leader can teach or organize teaching knowledge that the new hire does not have, but values are personal.  When hiring for value fit, the leader must find people who share understanding and attitude toward company values established. People who have different values are not a bad fit because of their character or knowledge, and skills, but because their way of thinking and acting differs from the company expectations and norms.

No differentiation in work-life balance

When joining a team, new hires want to see a behavior model that answers their style and uniqueness.  Some of the pain points during onboarding may come through the work-life balance understandings.  Imagine you are strict with the rules person,  and you do not have any tolerance for people who are staying after work and do many things just for the sake of the quantity of the work.  This person expects you to be there when he or she needs you and feels isolated and left alone when does not see you around him or her in the late hours he or she stays at the office.  The leader must find and attract those close to their working style to avoid misunderstandings and feelings of disengagement in the team members when searching for their team members.

Be careful with the loners

The leader’s job is to find and attract people who can contribute to team success and team cohesion.  It is usual for a new person to feel somehow isolated in the beginning and want to have time with itself,  but if the new person shows the sign that he or she does not care of others and follows only his or her agenda, the leader must focus on this red flag.  The new employee can be introverted and need some time with him or herself, but still, most of the time, he or she is part of a team.  Doing everything alone, without involving others in its activities or joining other teamers’ events, often means that the person does not share understandings, rules, and cultural specifics in the team.

You feel that you will have to sell the work very hard

There is no guarantee that the leader can quickly sell every idea, task, or challenge to the team.  But the people who are not ready to buy anything from what the leader is selling as an idea or need too much effort are not the ones who can fit the team well.  A group is a cohesive structure from people who share similar values, work styles, relationship building, and energy.  If the leader feels it is hard to sell an idea or new approach at work to the whole team, they must focus on improving themselves. But if this same leader finds it hard to sell an idea to only one person and this continues to happen with every new element or initiative the leader introduces to the team,  then that should be a red flag that this particular person does not fit this same team.

Do not ignore your gut feeling during the hiring process

I have been in situations where I have had to decide about hiring someone for my or other people’s teams.  And in these situations, I always find it hard to make decisions.  Some people say that it is from my zodiacal sign, but I still felt it is something else.  Do you remember this moment when you have all the facts about a situation and are not sure that your choice is the best? Well, you are not alone.  In a Harvard Business review article from 2017, the author points on how he called it an “internal voice that saves you from mistakes.” The leader’s job is to analyze the information and make the best decision, but the one thing the leader must not miss is its gut.  Everything looks great, but you still cannot get rid of the feeling that this is not the best decision. Then do not take it. It is evident that there is something that you have missed, but your subconscious screams it is a wrong decision  


Leaders must understand that building a great team does not start with the onboarding or some welcoming, but with the hiring.  If hiring the wrong people, who cannot contribute to the team’s success, the leader will deliver poor results.  But focusing on finding talents who can meet team and culture expectations and do not provoke questions of the quality of hire is an excellent point to start achieving outstanding results.


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