Making the right hiring decision is without a doubt something we all continuously strive for and aim to achieve. However, what we often tend to forget is that in order to be able to make the right hiring decisions, we should first and foremost know our current teams first.
Let me clarify though – when I say know our teams – I don’t mean know them in terms of what are their hobbies or what kind of music they listen to. What I mean is that you should know the current strengths, weaknesses, and cultural indicators within your current teams.
And that’s where conducting a team analysis can come in handy.
From this blog you can expect to learn:
Happy reading! 😉
Most businesses have inherent strengths, areas for improvement, and goals to achieve. Ideally, the information to find out what these are would be readily available.
Unfortunately, that is often not the case but putting in the work to learn about your teams and the people in them is definitely worth it.
Doing so allows you to:
- Effectively apply the team’s efforts (both at a team and individual level)
- Identify potential skill gaps within teams
- Learn what characteristics make someone a good fit for specific teams
- Understand why some team members perform certain tasks better than others?
These are only some of the benefits of having more detailed knowledge about your teams. As you can see there is almost a 1-to-1 connection between what most of us experience as individuals and the challenges most businesses face.
In fact, much like in our individual experiences, having the right information will allow you to plan for the future and have a very clear idea of the type of talent you’re looking for, want to attract, and will accept as a new part of your team or teams.
Perhaps one of the most common ways of carrying out a team analysis is by asking your employees to complete a SWOT analysis. This can go a long way – ask them what they think they are good at & what they see as areas of self-improvement and development.
The template below can be used to assess the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, and threats first on an individual level and then, later on, get combined to determine the composition of the respective team.
The danger with this, however, is that their answers might often be biased and less objective. Because let’s be honest – we all are our harshest critics, while simultaneously, often having the tendency to overestimate our capabilities.
If you choose interviews as your main method of data collection for team analysis – they should be conducted with existing employees. Employees who are part of the team that you’re planning to recruit for. This would ideally include managers and individuals who will work closely together with the new hire.
When interviewing make sure that you:
- Maintain a structured interview process every interviewer adheres to ;
- Ask all interviewees the same set of questions (also in the same order);
- Precisely record all the answers you get to be able to equally compare and evaluate them against one another.
Now another method of conducting team analysis is by using questionnaires or surveys. They can prove to be quite useful as they can easily be distributed throughout the entire company and allow you to gather thorough feedback.
Not only is this time-efficient and easy, but also allows for participants to provide their insights and answers anonymously facilitating the likelihood of more honest answers. However, in most cases, this will lead to socially desirable answers that are extremely subjective.
The results of the Team Analysis can help you decide on the hiring criteria for a position
There are four main points to consider here:
- Cognitive diversity in a team is always good
- What are the requirements of this job specifically?
- What is the company environment?
- Is there a structure in place that enables teams to work with team members on both ends of the spectrum?
Cognitive diversity in a team is always good.
From a scientific perspective, it’s always good to have cognitive diversity in the team as both sides of the spectrum bring their pros and cons.
When looking for candidates, screen them for skills that your teams need or are lacking to become more successful. For example, you might live in the assumption that collaboration is something to always prefer over individualism, it’s in fact not desirable for every position you are hiring for. When in fact, neurodiversity within teams is of utmost importance.
Let me give you a few examples:
- When only having collaborators in the team, the team will be less creative, less efficient, and take longer to come to decisions, as there’s a constant search for consensus.
- When only having individualists in the team, the team members will be very much focused on only their own goals and don’t learn a lot from each other, as less information is being shared and less feedback is being asked.
- Working in an agile culture may require a focus on speed over accuracy as there is more tolerance for error within the development progress, so if your current teams members are more focused on accuracy when making decisions it might lead to less efficient processes.
What are the requirements of this job specifically?
Teams and roles have different requirements and this is important to consider. For example, in some roles having a high problem-solving ability is a must e.g. product roles, whereas in other roles it is not as important.
What is the company environment?
If your Team Analysis results reveal that some traits may be linked to your company culture, then this is also important to consider. For example, if 75% of the company is highly flexible, then this is indicative of high cognitive flexibility being an important trait to possess to work successfully at your company. Then you should look for a candidate who also scores on this side of the spectrum so that they are a good cultural fit.
Is there a structure in place that enables teams to work with team members on both ends of the spectrum?
This relates to the team environment. Take cognitive flexibility as an example. Does the team environment have a structure in place which works for both very habitual people as well as very flexible people? For example, in this team is there more time to adapt to sudden changes, do you follow schedules and deadlines, and are there well-planned projects? If this is the case, then candidates on both ends of the spectrum should be able to work well in the team. If not, then you may want to look for a candidate that is more suited to the team environment.
Our games, focused on measuring cognitive abilities and personality traits, not only assess your candidates but also your current team.
With the team analysis feature you can find out the overall characteristics of the teams in your company. Doing this is extremely helpful because it allows you to understand where your strengths lie and decide whether you wish to increase your strengths or diversify your teams by bringing in people that offer something new to your team.
How does it work
Step 1. Analyse your team
By using the Team Analysis feature you will be able to let your current teams complete the games first, and collect science-backed insights into your team’s cognitive abilities and personality traits. Below you can see an example of what the Team Analysis Report looks like within the Equalture dashboard:
Once all the team members have completed the game-based assessments, you can begin translating your team insights into testing profiles when it comes to assessing candidates. This brings me to my next point.
Step 2. Translate your team insights into testing profiles
Now, if you’ve decided that you need to hire to fill existing cognitive ability and personality trait gaps, based on the team analysis, you can decide which games to include for a job opening. These can be games representing cultural indicators, top-performer indicators, or skill gaps.
This way ensuring you can collect the right candidate insights once you begin the candidate screening process.
Step 3. Let your candidates complete the games
When initially screening candidates, there are lots of blank spots. After all, a resume or motivation letter might provide you with a first impression, but it doesn’t objectively reveal someone’s skills, potential and fit with your culture. And ironically enough, those are exactly the insights you need to properly assess a candidate’s fit with the job and the company.
By introducing game-based assessments at the start of the hiring funnel you create a solid first impression of a candidate and base your hiring decisions on insights that actually determine someone’s success within your company.
Step 4. Benchmark your candidates against your hiring criteria
Receive a profile for each candidate, providing you with their results, benchmarked against your team and company, to select the right candidate based on scientific insights.
Now you can hire the right people based on science, not gut feeling.
Will my team members & candidates receive their results?
And you know what’s the best thing about using Equalture’s game-based assessments? You can become an employer that gives something in return because both candidates and team members will receive their game results.
There are four main reasons:
- They provide you with data-backed and objective insights.
- Gamified cognitive ability tests reveal both conscious and unconscious behavior.
- No room for social desirability bias since you cannot know which traits are measured per game and the only thing they can do is play.
- Gamified cognitive ability tests are more immersive, thus reducing feelings of anxiety.
It’s always better to experience something yourself, right? 😉
By assessing the current team first, you will get a clear overview of the current representation of your team – so for example, if your team consists of highly flexible people only, or not. This will help you determine what to look for in your next hire.
The main takeaway from this you should have is that there’s no right or wrong when it comes to this. A team can benefit from having members on each side of the spectrum, some being more flexible and others more habitual in nature, depending on the different responsibilities in the team. There is no one-type-fits-all when it comes to cognitive profiles and jobs.
It’s just about hiring for what you need most in your open position, and what you need most in your team. After all, hiring success is made up of two components: understanding the needs for your hires and collecting the right candidate information to assess whether they fit these needs.
There you have it – the closest you’ll get to having a crystal ball that will allow you to look into the future and predict how successful someone will be in your team!