Hiring a winning team should be easy right?

You simply pick out your selection of the best resumes and hire them.

Unfortunately, hiring a winning team isn’t this simple. We have all hired people that have disappointed us in more ways than what we would like to explain.

You have to know what you want before you interview people.

In this article, we will be covering a step-by-step process that will assist in screening candidates to ensure that they become valuable assets to your business. This process will result in better productivity, staff morale and a strong team overall.

  1. Set clear goals before you do the interviews
  2. What are the things you should ask?
  3. What sort of person would fit your goals?
  4. What do you expect from this new employee?
  5. Choosing your winning team
  6. Where to from here?

As the person doing the hiring, you should ideally be doing the interviews yourself. This will allow you to analyze the potential employee ’s body language, general disposition and their ability to communicate effectively with coworkers.

1. Set clear goals before you do the interviews

  1. What sort of person would fit into your company or the position that is available?

For example:
Are writing skills essential for the person that will be joining the company?
Will substantial correspondence be done via email, social media, twitter etc.? If this is the case, then it is essential to read the applicants resume and see how well they communicate through writing. Ask them to show you some of the work they have previously produced.

Example of good job posting:

Ultimately, an employee is a reflection of the company. With modern technology playing such a large part in business, an online screening may be a necessary prerequisite for all potential candidates.

What sort of personality type are you looking for?

Are you looking for a designer or developer that will be interacting with and pitching projects to big clients?
If so, you have to consider that the ideal candidate is well groomed, well spoken and able to communicate effectively with corporate clients. It is essential that they can communicate well when they conduct the interview.

Remember, people buy people before they buy the product.

An effective employee has to be knowledgeable, be able to confidently sell the product and ensure repeat or referral business.

If this person will not be dealing with the public and create new sales but will be working in the office environment, you have to consider how they will fit in with your current infrastructure.

Will their personality traits integrate well with your current employees?
For example: If you currently have a strong team of quiet introverts, it is possible that adding a rowdy extrovert to the team may disrupt the dynamic and current production.

Knowing what you want before you do the interview is essential, you cannot “wing” it.

A bad employee can spoil everything that you have built up to this point.

2. What are the things you should ask?

The standard; “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” does not work. People will tell you all the wonderful things and make the bad things seem “not so bad”

Considering point 1 discussed above, make clear notes of what questions would be pertinent to the position you want to fill.

Ask the hard questions, the things that you know happen on a daily basis.

  • Give them scenarios and ask them how they would deal with it.
    For example: “Say X happened in the office. How would you solve this issue?”
  • Ask them how they would handle conflict with a customer or a fellow employee. Have they dealt with something like that before? If so, how was it handled and what was the outcome?
  • Ask them questions that would allow you to see if they fit in with the culture of the company, and with your management style. These questions vary from business to business but can be variants of a sense of humour to flexi-time.

Time is precious. If you find yourself at a point in the interview where you know that this selected candidate will not fit into the ideals of your team, simply thank them for their time and move on.

“Time is money” – you know the old cliché.

3. What sort of person would fit your goals?

As mentioned, you need to know what you want.
Make a list of goals you wish this candidate to reach and question them on how they would do this.

Essentially, the ideal candidate should have a set of goals and values in line with your company.
For example: If your company promotes sustainable living and a green lifestyle, your employees should follow these values in their day to day lives.

Is this person goal driven?
This is essential if it is a sales or target driven position. You want someone that is going to make sure that every opportunity presented to them will be given all the attention needed. When assistance is needed from management, they must not feel inferior or shy to ask for help to secure the deal.

If filling a senior or team leader position:
Do they show compassion and leadership qualities, but also know the rules and regulations as to what the company requires? Will they come up with solutions or just add to the problem?

Is this candidate capable of producing a product that fits your goals?
While you may be exclusively interviewing qualified web designers and developers for your team, a qualification may not be enough.

The ideal web designer for your team should be able to produce a design that achieves the goals set out on your website itself. To do this, your designer must have an understanding of your target market and their behaviours.
For example: does the design appeal to your target market and direct them to your leads generator?

The ideal web developer for your team will need to be capable of developing a backend that allows the functional appeal to your target market. Furthermore, they will need to have a good understanding of what information your company needs, as administrators.

Do you get the idea of where we are going here, right?  
You are the employer looking for the winning employee to add to your team. You have to make sure you have clear goals as to what you expect from this potential employee.

4. What do you expect from this new employee?


Every employee must have a job description.
It is your duty to know what their duties and responsibilities will be.

From the job description, you can ask the candidate if they have performed selected duties before.
Again, ask them to explain.  It is easy for someone to say that they have the experience. Most candidates want the job and will definitely exclude certain facts. Their last (if any) experience with a task, like the one you are requesting, could be five years ago and may not be up to date with the new product upgrades etc.

For example: “We use X platform for development. Do you have previous experience with this program? If so, what is the most recent project you have worked on with X?”

This is YOUR team, YOUR winning team, you are allowed to ask the questions that matter to you, without making candidates feel like they are being interrogated.

5. Choosing your winning team

It is your winning team. It is your prerogative to be fussy and selfish with who you choose.

Be honest with yourself and, most of all, TRUST YOUR GUT!!!!

Put your resume’s into 3 categories:

  1. Absolutely NO!
  2. Maybe
  3. That is what I want!

Focus on the third group: THIS IS WHAT I WANT

From this group of people, you have to get down to the nitty-gritty of selection. The good, the bad and the ugly, as they say:

  1. They have all the skills – but might not fit into our culture
  2. They will fit perfectly into our team – but lack some skills or you want to follow up or ask more questions.
  3. They have it all

From the third pile, you will find the best-suited candidates to join your winning team.

However, with that said, (and this is where a lot of people make a mistake) you have a wonderful, good, loyal potential employee, but they miss some criteria in the skills department…

If they are what you are looking for don’t leave them, ask yourself some questions:

  • Is what they are lacking in skills worth our time teaching them?
  • Will they be an asset to our business in the long term, if we invest the time in them?
  • Do they have potential to be greater than this position?

Now you have narrowed down your winning team down to exactly what you want.

The final step once you have made your selection: Reference checks on all employees.
You will not regret making the calls and speaking to the right people.  This you only have to do when you are not getting pre-qualified employees through a personnel agency.
This task might seem daunting, but you will save yourself a lot of “I should have seen that”, or “why were they not honest from the beginning”.

6. Where to from here?

A new employee, bright eyed and bushy tailed, and some just downright nervous that they will let you down, or not fit in. It is your responsibility as the employer to put their minds at ease.

The normal formalities will be done in terms of signing contracts, introductions, etc.

Some things to run through with your new employee(s):

  • Welcome them to the team, and tell them that you look forward to working with them. This seems like a simple task, but a lot of people underestimate how out of place a new employee feels.
  • Tell them a little about the company, how you have grown over the years and what your vision is for the future. You want them to buy into the vision.
  • If you have all new employees for only one department, then explain to them some of the things you would expect, such as:
    Teamwork – explain to them why it is essential to work together and what the consequences will be if this does not happen.
  • Demonstrate the importance of unit productivity.
    For example: Explain that if paperwork is not handed over in time, it might go in late into the factory, which will delay the factory and delay the delivery to the customer.
  • Company culture – Tell new employees what they can expect when working for the company. Tell them about some fun activities that you engage in to motivate staff. Some team building activities, anything to make them excited to sit behind that desk and work to help you reach your goals.

Keep your tone of voice friendly but firm.

If you have time, ask each employee to stand up and introduce themselves and a short resume of themselves.

With these methods, your team will quickly be bonding and motivating one another toward productivity within your company environment. With a happy team in a happy environment, you will soon see the benefits in the growth and production of your company itself.

If you have any tips or processes that have worked for your company, please feel free to share and help other employers build their own winning team.