Why will team composition be your biggest headache?

Tolerance for others is vital in the work place and this is never clearer than when creating a successful team.

Humans are humans and finding the right fit is often problematic – however, establishing what is more important can be the deciding factor. For example, if someone is brilliant at what they do and yet doesn’t buy into the firm culture or is not a team player, what do you do?

Having diverse personalities does not have to be a negative, in fact, quite the opposite. Find people that individually offer a different strength but that also fit into the overall goal of the team. This means that when hiring, don’t only consider people as stand-alone but rather as cogs in a wheel, each with their own personality and strengths, each bringing something different but with the understanding of what success for the team looks like and working towards that.

How to hire an exceptional team

Diverse teams usually perform the best – however, this, of course, does not negate the point that different personalities will come into play. To really create the best possible team, certain things need to be addressed initially and a clear strategy needs to be in place.

To begin with, know exactly what you are looking for. What does this team need to accomplish? Why are they being hired? Don’t look at the overview of your goals but rather specifics – what skills are needed to ensure success? Identify each skill required before finding team members to employ.

Once you have identified the members you would like to employ or include in the team, consider their individual strengths and weaknesses and assess whether as a team, these will work. Of course, budget is important and you might not be able to hire a team of highly qualified superstars – however, this isn’t necessarily a negative. Perhaps success will mean one superstar and the rest entry level people who need direction and will be well led by the star of the team. Alternatively, being able to hire a team of highly experienced members to get the job done would also work if budget allows and most importantly, if their strengths differ and can gel to result in success. But even more than skills and experience, finding the right personality fit is what makes a team work well together and excel. Because if your highly qualified team member is unable to work in a team and understand what is required to be a team member, your team will fail despite their levels of qualification.

Finding those able to work with tolerance for others is also key. Firm culture has never been more important than it is today and tolerance needs to be a requirement of any employee in today’s world. Team members need to understand the culture they are expected to fit into and be able to comply. With International Day for Tolerance around the corner (16 November), it is a good reminder that it is a vital part of any working environment and no more so than when working in a team.

Natasha Hampton is the Head of Operations at GRM Search.

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