All great startups, initiatives, and projects start with an idea. But truly successful projects happen due to successful teams. This is what we have learnt recently, while leading the organization of a large environmental campaign, where its team, excited at the beginning, then lost all its energy and ultimately quit without making an effort to finalize the campaign.
It is clear that no one is safe from failure. However, this should not be an argument for giving up on the efforts to succeed. Certainly, proper leadership and management play great part in project work, as they can bring at least some guarantee that people would know what to do and do it as required. However, these days it is not efficient to constantly track people and always tell them what to do, especially when you have other important tasks to accomplish. You want your team to function as a well-oiled clock mechanism. That is why at the stage of building a new team for a project it is important to approach the question of selection and assessment of your team members more from a qualitative angle then from a quantitative one.
To do that you need to have clear vision about what kind of people you are searching for. A good suggestion for such a vision is to have a well-planned distribution of roles for the future team members and clear description of the job criteria and requirements. Having a clear understanding of what a person has to do at the job, what skills he/she must have to do it successfully, and what results to deliver significantly increases your chances to run the “project race” till the finish line.
Why this step of clarifying vision, roles, and requirements for the future team is crucial at the very beginning of a project? Because the beginning directly influences the ending. Every project is like a story, and all stories have their end. Some of them are good, while others turn out to be not so good. However, if we don’t know from the beginning where we want to end up at… if at the beginning of a story we do not know where is the princess and the dragon that we should defeat to get to her, then we have a freat risk of pointlessly wandering around and ultimately failing the adventure. Understanding what to expect from our crew means having a clear vision of what we need for the crew and the project to succeed. Consider the World of Warcraft, where you need a well-matching team to go into the cave campaign and get the treasure. With projects and startups it’s practically the same. Any investor will tell you that a good and promising startup is not so much about an idea and a product, but about a good team. This is its main value and strongest point.
Now, imagine that you have a very clear vision and understanding of who is the best potential teammate for our startup or project. Next, you have decided to search for such a person through our media channels. But how can you understand that the application you receive on your job post is genuine, and the person behind it is the same person that you would see at the job interview?
First “traditional” idea may be to collect the CV’s of applicants and starting looking through every single one them. This process looks very similar to panning off river mud in searching for the gold nugget, just like the goldrush guys did in California back in 19th century. But such work takes a lot of time and efforts, yet you will not have enough data about the candidates, only what they listed in CV’s, which are usually quite generic.
Another idea would be to explore the potential candidate’s social media profile. Theoretically this will allow you to see what kind of person is your potential team member. But in this case you should take into consideration the trend of people faking their social media life.
Frankly speaking, we have been talked with dozens of recruiting agencies and all of them were telling us that they rely on these 2 methods to define the candidates for the job interview. Considering the high time and effort needs of these approaches, wouldn’t it be more productive to study professional information and public profiles only of several candidates most suitable for the job rather than all of the entire bunch of applicants?
Now, imagine that you have a middle step between posting a new job vacancy and setting up a job interview with potential candidate. And this step would save your time and efforts by providing you a well organized visual profile of the candidate with only the necessary information about him/her, the information that would help you make a better, faster, yet more informed decision on who to take to the next step of onboarding. Moreover, you would be able to easily compare different applications one the basis of your criteria and crucial requirements for the best candidate. That would be great wouldn’t it?
Let’s dig into what are the criteria that are so important to assess and evaluate your candidates?
First criteria should be related to personal background of the candidate. These can be about his/her life position and values that he/she brings to the team.
Second “set” of selection criteria is about assessing professional expertise of the candidate. In other words, this is about how he/she performs as a specialist in the required domain. The criteria here include professional experience in the domain, technical and soft skills, current occupation, background studies, and other ones that you as employer need to know to make well-argumented decisions about your candidates.
Last but not least, it is a good practice to introduce the cultural fit criteria in the application process. Here you assess how well the candidates would integrate into the environment of your team and startup / project culture. Will he/she appreciate the hyperactive startup-work schedule everyday? How well will he/she deal with a certain situation that may appear? And so on. The assessment here can also include some “traditional” criteria, such as the motivation of the candidate to join your team and understanding what the job is about.
Having these data combined all together in a nice, well-organized, and user-friendly structure will significantly improve your candidate pre-selection process and will save you a lot of time and efforts in finding the top proirity applicants to be invited for the job interviews. If you are interested to see how such pre-selection process and structure look and work, and implement them into your recruitment and onboarding, you can check our most recent solution, the ENVERACE pre-selection tool, and take it for a free trial. As a result, you will get all your job candidates well arranged into a visual report and leaderboard on the basis of the ENVERACE Suitability Score. Contact us to start the trial.