XPG Insights

Staffing industry recruiting news, advice and thought leadership.

XPG Insights

Staffing industry recruiting news, advice and thought leadership.

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Balancing Your Team

Hire the Right Mix of Diverse Talent

Every team is made up of a group of individuals. The concept of team by definition means that each employee is not a duplication of only one type of person, but of different individuals with complementary skills that are united in some way. If you compose your team correctly, you end up with a mix of top performers in different areas who come together as a strong unit. The result should be a “whole that is greater than the sum of its parts”.

We find when people are hiring employees or revamping a team, the process is to find the best people. While we might sound crazy to tell anyone not to hire the best people, we would expand the term “best” to include that you are hiring who is “best for your team.”


Supplement Your Own Weakness

As a manager, we are usually aware of the areas that lie outside of our strengths and competencies. Build your team to fill in those weaknesses. If you can’t think of your weakness, think of the last person you were forced to fire and what they had to say about you! Like anything you are building, you want to reinforce the weakest points.

Keep “Deep Smarts”

One area we push that often gets lost in most reorganizations is to hold on to your deep smarts in some way. Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap coined the term and wrote a great book on Deep Smarts that our CEO references today as it holds true, maybe more than ever. “Deep smarts” is the intelligence and knowledge that can only be acquired through direct working experience at your company. It is the history that is written on the minds of someone who knows the past in terms of how your culture was formed, the mistakes that have been made, the ways the company has grown and why it has been successful. It cannot be attained through a training manual or in an orientation.

A person with deep smarts is someone who has value in the depth of his or her institutional knowledge. This is someone who meets your standard criteria of attitude and performance but may not be your superstar. This individual’s specific value does not come from being your fastest, most agile and promising person on your team, but has significant importance for consistency, continuity and perspective. It is the individual you can count on to do the job well while offering valued perspective and reflection that directs the activities of the future. Why is this so important?

Newly hired individuals may believe in an original idea and present a “newly” launched program, when it is the second or third iteration– and it fails every time for the same reason. This costs time, money, effort and creates distractions. Plus, it reduces confidence in the company because there will be a group of employees who recognize the lack of good direction from their leaders and are frustrated in repeating the same mistakes.

Hire People Who Challenge Each Other

Another easy mistake is to hire people who will agree with you all the time. While attitude is always a key component of any hire and you must have people who are culturally aligned, having a voice that appropriately challenges and expands the viewpoint and possibilities adds value as well.

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