Building and hiring an effective team - Business Works
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Building and hiring an effective team

by Glen Calvert, CEO, Affectv The most critical thing in any business, regardless of the nature of the industry, is how good its staff are. I believe the success, or failure, of any business will always comes down to people, says Glen Calvert, CEO of Affectv.

Recruiting the right people, whilst crucial to the growth and success of the business, is a very difficult skill to master. A 100% success rate is impossible to achieve. We have all made mistakes because the need to hire has been too great, or we didn't interview well, or we've been won over by the candidate's personality. However, if a person is just OK, no matter how desperate you are, don't do it. You need to be excited about each and every hire you make.

We have a framework and process in place to check a candidate's suitability for both the role advertised and our company culture. Here are my tips for taking away the guess work in hiring, by looking at core skills and competencies and assessing actual experiences that make people suitable for the specific role.

What are your core competencies?

key skills and personality traits

Take time to think about your organisation and what key skills and personality traits an employee would need to possess to succeed. We look for seven key competencies in our employees, such as communication skills and the ability to understand the wider business context of their role and its impact. Refer back to these throughout the recruitment and interview process. Ask for specific examples of where they showed they have these competencies. Look for examples of every skill that is important to you.

The royal 'we'

Is the candidate answering questions with 'we managed a huge project', 'we implemented a huge change ...'? Whilst this can demonstrate a great team player, delve into how what they did. Did they play a big role or was this a project the company did? Get to the bottom of the difference they made in previous roles, don't be wowed by big projects or names, unless they can demonstrate their contribution. If they don't understand the entire problem or project they were involved in, it's unlikely their involvement and therefore experience matches what they're saying.

HR and Finance are critical

Our core product is technology, so our first hires were tech roles. We needed these specialists early on, but as our business grew we needed to look at the rest of the business. HR and finance are critical. Early on you might not feel like these are critical, but you will wish you did it earlier. Your business needs to build and grow as a whole. It's difficult to scale without the right distribution of resources. After the first key hires, get finance and then HR arranged, you will find this invaluable as they're critical to the scaling of a business, hiring the right people and its culture.

Measure everything

Set objectives for every department and employee in your business. This will benefit both the business and the team. Everyone knows their role in the business, the value they add and when they are meeting, or exceeding expectations. Review these regularly to assess where goals are being met, over or under achieved. You will quickly spot patterns where specific skill-based goals are not being met and this will inform your next recruiting or training decisions.

In summary ...

the most critical thing in building a business is how good the team is

Hire people based on actual examples they have where they were competent with skills that matter to the role and company culture. The most critical thing in building a business is how good the team is. The success or failure of any business always comes down to its people. A company is only as good as its weakest link, so really taking the time out to pinpoint exactly what qualities and key skills you require from a candidate before interviewing, will help to minimise the usual risks with hiring.

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