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How to Build your Team

Posted by Anonymous

Getting a business up and running can be very overwhelming and you may start to feel like there just aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that needs to get done. When your workload becomes too much for a single person to handle, it is time to start thinking about bringing in some help. It can be difficult for some people to trust others and put their growing business into someone else's hands for fear that they will not care for and nurture the new company with respect and integrity. To help make sure you are covering all your bases, it is important to organize your steps toward building your team.

Assess your own strengths, weaknesses and expectations.

As an entrepreneur, you have brought an idea as well as the drive and a plan to turn the idea into a profitable, successful business to the table. What other strengths do you possess that will help your company grow? When put into a group environment, what skills do you have that make you a key player within that team? On the flip side, are there any skills that you lack? Is there any area of your business that you often wish you had a different perspective on? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you to decide what kinds of people will best complement you and fit into your team. People who share your strengths should be able to carry out the tasks you delegate in a way that will meet your expectations, and people who excel in the areas you struggle with should be able to fill in the holes and show you perspectives you have yet to see.

Your expectations for your employees should go hand in hand with the kind of work environment you hope to create. As the leader of your potential team, identify the kind of work environment that best suits your managing style. What kind of workplace interaction do you feel helps you to be most productive? Create a list of your strengths, weaknesses and ideal work environment to help you describe the kind of people you are looking for to become part of your team.

Get the word out.

In order to bring people onto your team, the public needs to know that you're looking for potential candidates. There are various Internet avenues you could take such as craigslist.org, monster.com, careerbuilder.com, etc. These websites either allow you to post a description of the job position you are looking to fill, or browse through resumes of people looking for work. Recruiting agencies, or head hunters, are another alternative that can save you time by carrying out the search process for you. You will most likely have to pay a fee, but it could be beneficial if you feel that the recruiter has a clear grasp as to what you are looking for in an employee. Also, if you happen to know other small business owners who have recently hired an employee they are happy with, ask them if they have any referrals. Often times young, recently employed people have similar friends that are just as willing to get out into the workforce. Referrals from friends or other people you respect are a good idea because usually the recommendation is deserved and you can already trust at least one reference.

College campuses are good places to find hardworking, eager people and a smart way to meet these people is to attend job fairs. Job fairs are frequent events that colleges put on to help their students network and talk to different kinds of companies to see what they may or may not be interested in doing once they enter the working world. Use these fairs to really get the message of what your company is about to potential employees and even use them as a screening process. If you meet someone you think would be an effective fit with your team, show special interest and offer an official interview where you can talk in more detail about a job offer.

No matter what combination of advertising you choose to use to begin your hiring process, make sure to be clear and sincere in your expectations. Specifically describe your ideal work environment and your ideal employee. This will help job hunters align their expectations with yours and you can avoid spending the time to interview someone who does not really see themselves with your company. When you hire someone they need to accept that job offer, it is a mutual selection and you both need to be sure it's a good fit.

The selection procedure.

Interviewing is the first step toward selecting a team member. Make sure you receive the candidate's resume before entering into an interview so that you have a chance to organize your thoughts about the person's experience and skills before you meet them. Based on their resume generate some open-ended questions that will provide you with more information on areas that interest or concern you. A good interviewee will have done their research about your business and should have questions of their own, so be prepared to answer these questions in a specific and effective way. You should have a general idea of what you want a potential candidate to know about you, your business and the position and your answers to their questions should reflect this information.

After an interview you should know whether or not a person is suited for your team, and if they are, additional information about how well they will perform in the specific position might be required. Possible employment tests to determine potential success include:

  • Cognitive tests: assess reasoning, memory, perceptual speed and accuracy, and skills in arithmetic and reading comprehension, as well as knowledge of a particular function or job.

  • Personality tests: assess the degree to which a person has certain traits or dispositions (e.g., dependability, cooperativeness, safety) or aim to predict the likelihood that a person will engage in certain conduct (e.g., theft, absenteeism).

  • Sample job tests: assess performance and aptitude on particular tasks (e.g., performance tests, simulations, work samples, and realistic job previews).

  • Physical ability tests: measure the physical ability to perform a particular task or the strength of specific muscle groups, as well as strength and stamina in general.

  • Criminal background checks

  • Credit checks

  • English proficiency tests

Please note that these are just possible tests and any test given must be relevant to the job in which the person is interviewing for and must comply with all federal anti-discrimination laws including, but not limited to:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

Making your decision is entirely up to you and is usually based on experience, test performance (if any are administered) and general likability. Regardless of who you hire, it is always important to maintain veracity and class. After your job offer has been accepted, you should call all other interviewed candidates to let them know of your decision and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you.

Organizational structure.

Whether you have just built your first team or you are introducing one new member to your existing team, it is important for everyone to be aware of their specific roles. By having a clear cut idea of everyone's specific responsibilities you can avoid internal conflict and the disruption of productivity. A good way to ensure all of your team members are aware of your organizational structure is to create an organizational chart. An organizational chart visually defines jobs and displays the reporting hierarchy within a company. It can also distinguish departments and serve as an "office guide" when a person is unsure of where to go with a problem or suggestion. In addition, these charts also show the "workflow" of a company and can serve the purpose of identifying a specific weak point that might require a drastic change or just some additional support.

A team is only as strong as its weakest player, which is why setting the right pathway for building your team is crucial to the success of your business. Organization and thoroughness will be your best tools for selecting team members that complement, support and challenge each other in the workplace. Be confident in your leadership skills and your ability to motivate your subordinates to achieve the goals you have envisioned for your company.

 

 

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