Before You Choose Your Team

We talked about some questions you should ask when you CHOOSE YOUR TEAM.  These are really important.

Here are some other things to do BEFORE you invite them to join your team:

#1)  Check their references and follow-up with them personally

This is something you shouldn’t delegate. You want to talk to people that have worked with them, that have managed them and that know them well.  Be sure that the references are not just friends.  Ask for a wide variety of references and be sure to talk to them ALL.  This is time well spent and you will never regret this investment.  If excuses are made, this is a RED FLAG.  Don’t simply let references tell you what they think.  Ask them specific questions:

– What value did this person bring to the team?

–  Share about a conflict you’ve experienced with this person?

– What are their strengths and weaknesses?

– What should I know about this person?

– Can you give me 2 other people to talk with about working with this person?

Sometimes we begin talking with references and everything sounds great so we stop.  Keep at it. Often you’ll discover a “nugget” that you needed to know.

You want to walk into a new relationship with your eyes wide open.  Just because there is some negative reviews doesn’t mean the person shouldn’t join your team.  You, the leader, need to know what you’re walking into. References are the best way to get personal insight, but you have to do your homework to bring value to this.

#2) Observe them in their role

Sometimes this isn’t possible, but if someone is leaving another job to join you, take the time to go see them functioning in their role.  Visit their office, see them in action.  This needs to be appropriate and you need permission to do this, but this is an important step.  You will see the differences between your organization and the one they work in, and that will help you know how to place them and what kind of support they will need.

#3)  Ask MORE questions

Ask questions about their dreams, their goals in life, what they’d like to be doing in 5 years, where they would want to live?  These questions can give you clues as to how long they’ll be with you, how they’ll grow into and beyond their job, and how personal decisions will affect their work life. Again, don’t make decisions based on these things, but go into it with your eyes wide open.

#4)  Google Them

Not sure of legal ramifications on this, but spend some time identifying their influence on social media.  Ask permission, ask to be their “friend”, follow them.  Their public image reflects on your organization.  Check out that public image. Again… eyes open!

#5)  Have them spend time with your team

Encourage your team, your staff to connect with them. They should share a meal together, connect in a work context and outside a work context.  Then, you need to follow-up with your team:  what did they think?  did they connect? any red flags?  Your team members should give you an honest appraisal and opinion.  Ask for it.

There are no guarantees when bringing on new staff, however, if you don’t do your homework and if you don’t take it seriously, the odds of someone failing increase greatly.  You want the RIGHT people.  Do the work to ensure that these are the people you’re getting.

Russ/2014

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