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New Hire + Team Fit

When making a hiring decision, how do you consider the candidate's fit with their potential future team? 


  • This is a great question as I was just talking to a colleague about this yesterday. We are currently in the process of interviewing candidates for the team and one thing that is key to a candidates profile is the type of impact they are going to have on the team. Each team has their own cultivated working styles, process, and flow. It's important to look at how a potential candidate can impact this.

    Leveraging a candidates behavioral pattern had proven to help with fit within a team. This gives greater insight into how they are driven to work and what type of work they will be comfortable with. When you can see this type of data you can make a hiring choice based on their impact to the team and business. This also allows you to hire based on your teams needs. For example, if you know your team is needs a more analytical mind to help with specifics and data projects while still fitting the team profile, you can hire to fulfill that type of role to really complete and compliment your team.

    Culture is key as well. Its important to involve the team in the process and give sign-off on a candidate based on how they feel they can interact, make an impact, and fit within your business culture. I have had an experience where past employers did not listen the concerns of an unsatisfied team consensus on a candidate, who was going to be the team lead. Fast forward 3 months and you had one top performer give their notice, the hiring manager was let go, and the other top performer promoted to salvage that employee.

    It is vital to ensure that the team will be happy with the hire as well as the business.

    Does anyone else have examples to share of how poor or great hires have impacted teams and business?

  • Good question Diana,

    I have a recent observation to share that relates well here.

    I work with a sales group that is growing rapidly into a new market. For context, it is a medical device distributor who has been a stable presence in a local market for about a decade and has recently moved to fill a void created by rapid population growth and development in an adjacent region.

    This is new territory for them (geographically and existentially...) and they have had tremendous success in the past with traditional service based, "long game" salespeople.

    The discussion we had centered around the observation that it will take a combination of speed, ingenuity and creativity to grab market share in the growing territory. The hiring manager was looking for more of the same type of salespeople that have traditionally succeeded, but the regional director of sales correctly identified the needs of the team to be different.

    So when we assessed the pool of candidates, we looked for candidates to add that either complimented the existing team's skill set, or could "back fill" a role in the existing team to free up a successful team member that was a great fit for the new role. To fit on the "new" team, these candidates were asked questions in the interview about handling situations that were new and uncharted, and how they respond to failure or outright rejection.

    This allowed us to form the new team based on existing employees looking for new opportunities, and for excellent candidates to have one of two places to land on the team.

    Hope that helps!

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