No matter how good (or scary) the word “team player” sounds to you it’s important to realize why you need them and how to practically spot these elusive unicorns – before you hire new employees.
Certainly, there are industries where team spirit is not considered to be important (or even used at all). Empathy, being comfortable around other people and willingness to share ideas are important in many ways when team skills are lacking.
What’s more, some of the most successful people in the world are not necessarily shining examples of team players. But they know how to pull together a team that is – and in some instances put leaders in place that can drive a team-based culture.
Hiring Team Players
When you’re hiring new talent, during the interview, be careful not to base your hiring decision solely on questions and answers. It is easy for someone to say what you want to hear. You don’t have a lie detector handy, so instead listen carefully and watch for body language cues of a liar. Modify questions to determine if someone is just nervous or actually lying.
Finding a team player is not an easy task. It requires time and a willingness to take some risks. Sometimes the only true way to decipher a team player is to put them in the field. But ultimately, you should hire slow and fire fast. This starts with “being absurdly selective in who you hire.” (HBR)
This article has been edited and condensed.
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