A good team reaches objectives, is meticulous and open to new ideas. The best team exceeds expectations, is passionate, and brings about the changes that propel us forward. A good team will support you in good times as well as in difficult situations. The best team will take the lead, whether things are going well or not, and will only ask for your support when they need it.
Whether it’s to replace or add members to its team, each company must go through this essential step: recruitment. CVs sometimes swarm over our career opportunities, while at other times we have to comb through our network to find a gem. In all cases, each employer’s mission remains the same: to hire the right person. Everyone wants a good team, but can we aim higher? Why not try to build the BEST team?
Define What Is Important
To set up this team, the first important step is to not rush into the process without upstream reflection. It may seem obvious, but the more importance we place on it, the more likely we are to hit the nail on the head when we do hire. In this reflection, we include the definition of our criteria as well as everything related to the selection process.
At Mirego, we are convinced that beyond technical skills, there are soft skills. Each individual comes with their own personality. The first thing we analyze in an interview is the fit between their values and ours. Gut feeling certainly has a role to play during the selection process; we like to feel that the person in front of us will have their place on our team. However, it’s also this famous instinct that leads us to make emotional decisions, and therefore, too often, to be wrong.
To avoid falling into this trap, we must take the time to define who we are as a company and who we want to have by our side to build the future. To really put our finger on what we must prioritize, we did the following exercise.
- Bring together a few members of your team that you think best represents the values of your business;
- Write on Post-its, individually, all the qualifiers or behaviours that you would like to find in the perfect candidate, regardless of their role;
- Then gather all the Post-its in large families; For example, “has personal projects”, “takes the lead to change things” and “is able to identify his contribution to a project” could be grouped under “sense of initiative”;
- Finally, keep the big families that are most important to you; they will become your criteria. Build your meetings with the candidates around these themes.
Clearly identifying the personality traits and behaviours sought allows the various interviewers to fully understand the ideal profile. Evaluating an interview according to these criteria makes it possible to minimize the risk of relying solely on our intuitions to choose the next team member.
Then, of course, time must be given to the technical skills’ evaluation. At Mirego, unlike the criteria determined for soft skills which are common to all positions, the list of technical skills required differs from one function to another. Each individual must have the knowledge to integrate the desired role, knowledge which is verified through open discussions as much as with technical tests. However, one element remains common to all positions: potential. Education and past experience certainly demonstrate various fragments of know-how, but a person with a lot of potential could reach the level of the team, especially if we take the measures to properly coach and surround them.
Finally, in order to ensure that our decision regarding the selected candidate is as valid today as in 5 years, we reserve a final time slot to discuss the future. For the match between the candidates and the company to be lasting, each party must offer the other a future that suits them. Obviously, we want our team members to take us further, but we also need to make sure we’re the best place for them to develop their full potential and appreciate the challenges we have to offer.
Establish a Selection Process
In order to guarantee the validation of everything we have defined beforehand, it’s essential to clearly determine the objective behind every meeting. Whether your process has one or four interviews, each discussion with a candidate must have a specific goal, and all your criteria must be covered by the end of the discussions.
For our part, we first take a few minutes on the phone to establish a first contact. Since this is a short time that doesn’t require any travel, this call allows us, among other things, to consider candidates who don’t fill all the ideal criteria. We could, for example, consider a project manager who has no concrete experience with Agile Methodology, since they will be able to overcome the learning curve quickly if they have a fiery attitude. We then schedule three face-to-face interviews, each of which serve a different purpose: soft skills first, then technical skills, and, finally, the long-term fit.
Setting up a selection process doesn’t only involve defining the “how”; we must also consider the “who”. As it relates, a learning that we have done over time concerns the interviewers. It’s essential that everyone understands their contribution in these meetings, and that everyone knows their opinion is taken into account. At Mirego, if, after discussion, one of us believes that the candidate is not the one we need, we will end the interview process. Each stakeholder has the same decision-making power. When a new member joins our team, it’s because everyone involved has given the green light.
In addition, we believe that the training of the various stakeholders is just as important. For their presence to be optimal, we present our internal guide for the best interviews. This guide covers both basic guidelines, such as not consulting your cell phone during the meeting, as well as more advanced skills, such as the formulation of open questions and the acceptance of silences which can sometimes be beneficial. We also take a moment to explain why we encourage an authentic and pleasant experience for candidates; we want them to have a better understanding of who we are so they make an informed choice about their career’s future.
Iterate Even When All Is Well
I have presented here a portrait of our recruitment process, a process that we have built up after numerous trials and errors. We are convinced that in order to continuously improve, we must not be satisfied with “good enough”; we must regularly try new ways of doing things. These constant changes, whether tiny or far-reaching, lead us to surpass ourselves and always take into account our constantly evolving reality. Our criteria will most likely change over the years, but for the moment, our ultimate goal is to build the greatest team, which is made up of individuals who care for the product they create, where cohesion between its members allows everyone to give the best of themselves, and who is as united in successes as it is in facing difficulties.