3 traits you need in an ideal team member

By April 16, 2019candidate

A team is only as strong as its weakest link. Obviously, when it comes to recruiting new Talent you want to employ the ideal team member who is going to fit culturally with your business and successfully perform the tasks required. But do you know what makes an ideal team member to start with? And if not, how can you ensure you recruit one for your vacant position?

Before you even start your new Talent search, it’s essential to educate yourself on exactly what traits to seek in the ideal team member.  You must clarify the qualities a great team member has, and create a way to identify these traits in Talent during the recruitment process. Thus, reducing the odds of making a poor decision. You must look at your own work culture and ensure it’s a healthy place where people want to work, with no politics, silo’s or turf wars. You can’t expect to recruit the ideal team member to work in a toxic environment

The challenge is it’s not always black and white to understand who is an ideal team member. The Talent you are considering might have extensive experience relevant for the role, but if they are arrogant, or lack humility they will likely disrupt your existing team members, don’t hire. The intangible personal qualities a team member possess are more important than their technical skills or experience. Not that skills aren’t important, it is that they can be taught. Personal characteristics cannot, they are embedded in the DNA of the Talent.

So What Are The Three Most Important Characteristics An Ideal Team Member Possesses?

The three most important characteristics your ideal team member possesses are humility, hunger, and smarts. These are not overt, inherent traits that can be easily identified, in the majority of cases. Your ideal team member wasn’t necessarily born humble, hunger or smart. However, through the journey of life, they’ve come to understand these are important characteristics and embraced and developed these essential qualities through their own life experiences or work history.

Let’s Talk About Humility;

When we talk about humility or the act of being humble, it means they have a modest opinion or estimate of their own self-worth. They are respectful and unpretentious. Those working with humble people enjoy their work because the person is genuine, respectful and can be trusted. Someone who isn’t humble is usually dismissive and disrespectful to other team members. They will not accept criticism or feedback. They refuse to be taught anything. They are overbearing. And they’ll talk over people as well. Who wants to work with someone like that? Certainly not me

Let’s Talk About Being Hungry;

When we talk about being hungry, we’re not referring to their eating habits. We are talking about those who possess enormous self-drive. Those who are motivated to achieve not only for themselves but for the team and the common goals as well. They are always looking at self-development and how they can help others in the team do better. They are never satisfied and always strive for unattainable perfection. Their infectious, enthusiastic energy galvanizes the team and improves morale. The opposite of this is an unmotivated, self-interested individual who has a sense of entitlement. They will bring down the morale of the team.

Let’s Talk About Being Smart;

And when we talk about being smart, we’re not discussing their IQ. We are referring to how emotionally intelligent they are. An emotionally smart person is aware of how they deal with situations and the impact they have on others, and always display empathy for their team members. They read and pick up on subtle cues and signs of how people respond or act and they react instinctively to these to help create and build a more cohesive team. Someone who isn’t emotionally intelligent lacks empathy, are abrasive and rarely take responsibility for their own actions.

The thing is, skills can be taught. But if potential Talent doesn’t display at least 2 of these 3 important characteristics, then they are unlikely to be an ideal team member and will not succeed. Not only will they not fit, but they will cause issues with your culture and environment and negatively impact the team. Why take the risk?

So how can you seek these characteristics in Talent you seek to hire?

  • Ask specific questions during the interview targeted towards their behaviour and attributes. Leave out the generic ones that add no value.
  • If you are interviewing a candidate with other people in your business, make sure you get together straight away and compare observations.
  • Ask candidates to complete real-work to observe how they would act in the role.
  • Meet them in an informal environment (eg over lunch or for a coffee) watch how they treat the staff, it will provide valuable insight into their humility and smarts.
  • Don’t ignore hunches. If you have nagging doubts about whether they have the right attributes, don’t ignore them. Probe further until you understand exactly who they are and whether your hunch is right.

When you employ new Talent who are an ideal team member, the positive impact on your business is enormous. It helps create a great culture. It makes achieving strategic goals easier. It eventually contributes to business growth and an increase in your bottom-line. It’s certainly not something you want to gamble with.

If you are looking for the support and experience to ensure you incoming Talent is the ideal team member, get in touch with us today! We have over sixty years of experience in connecting business leaders with exceptional talent and ideal team players. Give us a call on 07 3040 4567 or click here and find out what we can do for you!


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