Across industries, every organization will eventually need to compile teams to work on their most important projects. The selection process for these teams can be especially important for small businesses, which oftentimes don't have the resources to invest in a lengthy hiring process.
That's why this article will look at how a small organization can create a cohesive team simply by looking at applicants' resumes.
1. Have a Clear Goal
Before considering applications, it's important that a small business have a defined mission for their team. Of course the overall goal is to have the project completed, but consider who the team will need to finish the project by the deadline.
For example, if a small business wanted to create a new app, they might consider who would have the technical background to wireframe it, develop it, enter it into app stores, market it, maintain it, etc. By having these roles planned out before looking at applicants, a business can go into the process with a clear head with which to make rational decisions.
2. Value Diversity
A diverse team is one that is prepared to tackle a wide array of obstacles. With this in mind, a diverse team is any group whose members come from different backgrounds and possess different skills. Diversity doesn't only allow a team to handle multifaceted issues, but it also gives the team the ability to solve complicated issues.
For this reason, it's wise for a hiring manager to consider where their team's experience comes from. If all of a team's training comes from a technical background, for instance, the team may be unequipped to deal with issues of making a marketable product, for example. This is why, whenever possible, small businesses should seek out a variety of experienced professionals when building their teams.
3. Look for Leaders
While some hiring managers will fear hiring too many leaders onto a team for fear of how they might interact, it is almost impossible to have too many leaders. This is especially true for small businesses, where teams are often smaller and more reliant on each individual member's contributions.
How does this work? Nobody started off as a leader; they learned to lead by following the examples of others and learning how to work together from all perspectives. Someone with leadership experience will know when to lead, but will also know when to step back and let others take the lead, which is why any hiring manager should greatly prioritize leadership experience on an application for a team.
4. Avoid Egos
Just as an organization will want to seek out people with leadership skills who will be team players, they'll also want to avoid applicants who put their ego before the project. While this tip seems obvious, resumes that suggest an ego problem are much harder to spot with an untrained eye.
The biggest indicator of someone who doesn't play well with others is a resume that reads as a laundry list of solo projects. In most industries, employees are more likely to work with others than by themselves, so this suggests that the applicant was intentionally looking for work without a team focus or thinks of their role as more significant than their peers' contributions.
5. Accept Weaknesses
An experienced hiring manager will be able to spot a weakness or two based on an applicant's resume, but don't put it in the rejection pile immediately. The point of having a team is utilizing one member's strengths to compensate for another's weaknesses, so consider how an applicant's weaknesses could be covered by other members. The first step on this list is crucial for this to work.
Say, for example, that you're noticing an experience gap in an applicant's graphic design resume. While this may be a deal breaker for a solo position, consider if any other promising applicants have strengths to complement this deficit and/or weaknesses where this new applicant excels. Instead of dreading weaknesses as an obstacle to workaround, consider them part of the ideal team structure. Nobody can be a master of everything, and having too many experts in the same subject will result in a waste of resources for the hiring organization.
A successful team requires thoughtful and strategic hiring, but this task is more feasible than it may sound. By using the above tips and tricks for knowing a good team member based on their application, any small business can hire a qualified team to successfully complete its projects.
About the Author Helen Cartwright is a passionate blogger, who excels in the digital marketing and technology niche. When not wired in marketing strategies for companies like Hloom, she ghost-writes for a variety of authors who have their work published on leading online media channels such as The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.com.