Top 7 Qualities to Look for When Adding a Member to Your Business Team
You have decided to add a new member to your team! The reasons could be numerous ranging from replacing a member that left to responding to growth and needing to expand. This is an important step because choosing the right candidate can make or break the team. What are the qualities that are so important to ensure continued or expanded success? Whom do you want to work with? Somebody with a great attitude that is enthusiastic and reliable. They solve problems and take a fresh creative approach but also communicate the challenges encountered. They communicate both within their group and to other departments. They are curious and love to learn. They bring new ideas for old problems. Perseverance is the magic sauce that binds the problem solving, great attitude and communication style. Of course, the right skill set or competency is important. However, keep in mind that some things can be taught to the right person that loves to learn and will add new skills to the team. All of these things are imperative to choosing the right person for your team.
A positive attitude is necessary for any member of the team and especially when expanding. The person needs to be able to work well with a team and collaborate. This includes focusing on the success as a team rather than their individual success. The new person will need to be able to determine the personalities that already exist on the team, learn the company culture and contribute. Enthusiasm is contagious and provides a motivational force to tackle the tough challenges that lay ahead. A motivator will help to set the stage and continue to grow the teams' productivity. The new member of the team should be approachable so that others will openly communicate with them. The positive attitude also opens the door for creativity and problem solving. The person should be open to other's opinions and receptive to feedback.
If the person is an internal employee then you will have an opportunity to see some of these traits in action. If the person is an external interviewee, prepare some scenario or situational questions to gauge their capacity for this quality. Some characteristics to look for in a potential new team member include:
A good way to gauge the potential team member's attitude is to think about if you would be willing to get stuck in an elevator with them or could see yourself on an extended business trip with them.
The ideal team member will be trustworthy and reliable. They need to be able to have integrity so they abide by any requirements even under a great deal of stress. This way you will not worry about how they received their results. You also need to count on them to become invested in the team's success in order to meet their deadlines and trust they will speak up if falling behind schedule or getting ahead of schedule. Below are some examples of behavior to look for when searching for the new team member.
The team member needs to work well with others and consider the overall success of the team. They need to deliver assignments when needed and help others on the team. They need to produce the highest quality work they are capable of producing. They need to respond truthfully to questions without being mean spirited. These qualities set the baseline of the group's productivity.
Problem Solving and Creativity
The new team member should be eager or have a willingness to learn from the company, other team members and integrate their previous experience. They need to have solid problem solving skills in order to determine the root cause of issues so they can reframe the question for greater creative solutions. They also need to understand what works well in order to avoid changing the wrong aspect of the problem. They will keep up their knowledge base and identify upcoming trends in order to position your team for the future. They will also learn from other's mistakes in order to understand what to avoid with your team. The new member should understand that ideas could come from anywhere and be unafraid to look outside of their field. Look for the following characteristics in your next team member.
Problem solving and creativity are more difficult to learn so it is to your benefit when these qualities are present before they join your team. These qualities can make the difference between an average and exceptional team. They are also some of the hardest to determine during an interview or singular conversation. Consider using writing assignments, scenario testing and conversations with references to confirm these skills.
Communication skills are a vital component you will be looking for in your new team member. Communication includes verbal, written and body language. They should be able to provide and equally receive communication. Be prepared to work with the new member if they need to learn new terminology or jargon associated with your company. Great communication skills will make them approachable, provides creditability, enhances their reputation and the reputation of your team. Some examples to look for include:
Communication is the glue that ties all the other qualities and skills together into one package that will enhance your team. A good communicator can help keep your team visible by highlighting successes to other departments or other organizations. Great communication can also improve the desirability of others wanting to join your team.
Learning and Curiosity
Curiosity and ability to learn are essential skills for any team, especially a new team member. It will also provide the opportunity to ensure your team remains visible and your organization's reputation would improve. The ability to learn will also allow greater agility that is necessary to adapt to the inevitable changes that will occur. The ability to learn and the required curiosity are very difficult to ascertain during the actual process of choosing your next team member. You will need to rely on some secondary indicators, past performance, the new member's reputation and the interview process.
What kind of creative skills do you need for your team? You need to determine what you do not need because you do not want all the members to have the same style or they will have a collective blind spot. Some characteristics that would assist you in your quest for the next team member include:
Learning is a continual process and curiosity is the method that distinguishes the average employee from the high performing employee. This will also ensure they can strengthen all the other qualities you are looking for in a new team member.
Perseverance will be an indicator of your team's overall success. This is a skill that can get your team through those rough patches when an easy solution is not identifiable or if there are multiple issues to resolve concurrently. The new team member will also need to have perseverance to work through the acclimation period of integrating with their new colleagues. You will have to rely on their previous experience and reputation to gauge their perseverance level. Some specific characteristics to look for include:
Perseverance enhances the other qualities you are looking for in order to provide the best holistic package you seek in a new team member.
The one quality that most immediately think of is to ensure the new team member has the appropriate competency to contribute to the team. This essentially ensures the new member could perform the work and has the experience necessary to be successful. There is a reason this was chosen as the last quality. You will receive more applications and requests to join your team from those with the experience necessary to do the work. You are looking for those that will enhance your team and take it to the next level. You probably are more comfortable with what you are looking for with respect to work related skills. Take the time to identify which competencies can be taught if needed and which are critical to the role you want for the new team member. Determine if there any formal education, certification or licensing requirements. Some characteristics to look for that showcase high competency are:
The new team member may also be a subject matter expert in the field. They may have been published articles or books as an expert. Competency is the easiest of these seven qualities that can be taught partly because there are numerous training courses available for most skill sets.
There are many variables depending on your specific needs for finding the perfect new team member. The seven qualities discussed are universal and provide a solid foundation for your quest of completing your team. Carefully consider your needs and if the new member will be a shared resource or solely for your team. If they will be a shared resource then these qualities are still applicable but you will need to look for a broader spectrum when considering how they exhibit these characteristics. Expand the list based on your needs since each team requirements are unique.
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