It’s time to hire a new member to your team, and you’re eager to find someone just like Joe.
Joe is the last person you hired, and things have worked out great. Joe is smart, he has a great attitude, and he gets things done effectively and efficiently. In fact, you think to yourself, “If I had a whole team of Joes, we’d be set!”
And you’d probably be wrong.
According to Kolbe Corp Founder Kathy Kolbe, the biggest mistake most managers make when hiring is they try to hire too many people who are alike. Different people instinctively solve problems in different ways, and if you have too many people who take action in the same way, you’ll create inertia that will stop your team in its tracks. One entrepreneurial-minded risk taker with one great idea after another is a blessing, but if you put a bunch of them in a room together, you’ll never finish a project. A couple calculated engineer-types who exhaustively research every decision can be invaluable, but if that’s all you have in the room, you’re going to…also never finish a project.
“Conatively,” Kathy explained on a recent episode of the Powered by Instinct podcast, “All managers should be looking for synergy.”
The exception happens when you’re looking to build a group of high performers who maybe even compete against each other. For instance, if your goal is to have a bunch of salespeople who individually strive to get results, you’ll do best by finding similar people who instinctively act in similar ways. We see this a lot with big customer service teams where different people all carry out the same job duties. But, if a collaborative team is what you’re building, you need to find a variety of team members who can bring different instinctive strengths to the table.
In either scenario, the first step to finding someone with the right strengths for your team is to better understand those strengths. For more information on that and immediately actionable advice to help you build truly productive teams, listen to the Powered by Instinct podcast.