How to Hire the Best Brains for the Best Team

A great leader needs a great team. But how do you build the best team in your business? Even if someone looks great on a resume, you need to make sure they’ll be great as part of the whole business team. And building a team starts — no surprise — with teamwork.

After candidates make it through the resume search, the networking search, the Internet search, and the first and second interviews with you, you’re ready to bring in the big brains. Rather than relying exclusively on yourself to choose your employees, let those who will work with the new hire conduct an interview. Try the following:

  1. Pick out two of the employees in the department for which you're hiring — two who truly display the “we” attitude. Be sure they get along well with you and with others on their team.

  2. Let them get to know the candidate first in a formal meeting and later in a more social situation, like lunch.

  3. Find out whether they were able to build rapport and find common values. Compare your experience with theirs.

  4. If a candidate passes the first interview with his potential co-workers, let the interviewers take the candidate to their department and get to know the others who they may be working with.

It’s important for you to spend some time with applicants in the working environment, too. Just be sure that you model the behavior you want to see. Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., were respected and followed because they believed in what they lived and they shared what they believed. Whether you're interviewing, showing others around your business, or interacting with your employees, what you do is what you get. Some of this stems from the fact that your shared values inspire your employees or employee candidates, and some comes from the action of mirror neurons, which are linked particularly to empathy and inspire mimicry.

Providing some interaction between you and your candidates in the work setting gives them a better feel for how you live your values. Let them see how you treat others, talk to customers, and consider everyone’s feelings. Doing so also gives you the opportunity to see how well the candidate follows your lead. Can she mimic your welcoming smile, your sincere handshake, and your desire to please the customer?

If the entire team wants this candidate and you like this person as well, you have your new employee.

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