Not every person you work with will be a good fit for every team you put together. There may be times you need to look outside your company for new team members, such as business analysts or software engineers.
Which traits should you look for in new team members? This is not an exhaustive list, but it should give you a good idea of what a desirable teammate looks like.
A new team member should be an expert in his or her subject or position.
This should go without saying, but it’s simple to fudge expertise. All one needs to do is show it on a resume and have a reference ready to confirm it. No matter what type of position you’re hiring for, know how to test your candidate.
For example, if you’re hiring an experienced trainer, have him or her do an impromptu training session for you during the interview. Make it something simple in the range of his or her expertise. Whether you warn the candidate ahead of time is up to you. By doing this, you’ll get a feel for training style and ability.
A new team member should be flexible and accommodating.
Especially if you work in an agile environment, the ability to be flexible and change course is vital. Every team member should be able to alter his or her work in a short time and have a good attitude about it.
A new team member should put the client and the project first.
He or she is there for the benefit of the client. Especially with younger people, dedication to client and project may not be there at the level you prefer. Quiz candidates about how they would handle themselves if a client got upset with them or if their work wasn’t what the client was looking for. Set up a scenario, and see how they respond.
A new team member should acknowledge he or she is part of a team and will work accordingly.
Many experts in this field prefer working alone and may not function well as a team member. Target interview questions to his or her ability to work within a team setting as opposed to working solo. Does he or she tend to lead a team or have a strong presence within the team?
You also don’t want a team member who won’t stand up for what he or she believes to be right. All team members need to contribute opinions, ideas, work, and evaluation. We’ve all worked with someone who merely went along with what everyone else wanted. You don’t want that person on your team.
A new team member should accept criticism and direction.
Simply put, all your team members should be open to receiving constructive criticism and direction from you, the client, and the project manager. Make it clear who can give that direction and analysis so the team member isn’t frustrated or confused if he or she receives feedback from more than one person.
What do you look for in your team members?