How to Find a Team Player

Identifying and hiring team players is vital building a success business. Understanding how to interview is the best approach to evaluate each applicant’s teamwork skills.

First, it’s important to figure out what a “true team player” is in 2017. Hiring personnel can then efficiently recognize this individual by asking the proper interview questions and paying attention for tell-tale signals.

Defining what a team player is in the modern workplace

The traditional idea of a team player is a person who is very agreeable, who “goes along to get along,” a company loyalist who always agrees with management and co-workers.

However, that concept is quickly becoming outdated as companies are increasingly looking to have their employees speak up and question accepted practices; with the intention of devising new and more efficient ways of doing things.

Today’s team player should be comfortable giving constructive feedback to others, even if that feedback is something unpleasant. They should also readily ask questions about accepted procedures, albeit in a way that doesn’t becoming argumentative or insulting. Modern team players should still be able to work well with people at every level of their organization and prioritize collective goals over personal goals.

Using work history to find team players

Candidates’ individual work history can be leveraged to provide clues as to how well they perform in a team dynamic. When going through the work history in the interview, identify which jobs involved working in teams to achieve specific, measurable goals, like the completion of a big project. Then, ask candidates what role they had in the team’s successes. Team players should freely credit the contributions of others, while not diminishing their own contribution.

Interviewing in a team setting

Conducting interviews in a team setting with four to five potential co-workers and managers can show you how applicants respond in a team environment. Applicants with good collaborative skills should succeed in this type of ecosystem, developing fast and solid relationships with all people in the group. They will also be able to confidently disagree with some ideas or bring up potentially-contentious issues without antagonizing others. Good team players will also be at ease with giving opinions in an appropriate way.

Great team players should be comfortable interacting with colleagues, subordinates and management. A team interview that includes people with varied statuses within the company can reveal each applicant’s capacity to work together with folks at all levels of an organization. Great team members will be capable of building relationships regardless of where someone is on the totem pole.

A team interview could also include someone outside the immediate team, but who the candidate might be working with, like someone from another department in the company. This allows you to see how well they can connect with those outside their immediate circle, and avoid feeding into a silo mentality within the company.

At Labor Temps, we connect our client companies to all kinds of candidates, including those whose excel when it comes to collaboration. Please contact our team of experts if your company is in need of a custom staffing solution.