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Staffing Advice: How to Create a Rock Star Team

Amy Chan

Posted on August 07 2014

If you’re in the Staff Recruitment department and it’s your job to build an exceptional and cohesive team for your company, you are probably aware of the incredible challenges that arise in the interview and recruitment process.  If you post an opening online, you will get hundreds if not thousands of resumes.  How on Earth are you supposed to weed through all of them and find the perfect candidate?

First of all, there is likely more than one “perfect” candidate; your job is to find a perfect candidate.  Because of that, sometimes a great resume will be overlooked because you simply cannot digest every resume that gets submitted.  Don’t beat yourself up over it; however, you want to be as meticulous as possible when combing through the applicants to find those whom you want to invite in for an interview.

What should you look for in a resume?

A rock star employee will likely have a robust past, but that is not the end all be all.  You should of course consider a candidate’s prior experience, but even more important than that is the trajectory of their past: did they rise quickly in the ranks at a company they had had little to no experience in?  Did they excel in a difficult position?  Is the experience they gleaned from a project compatible with your needs, even if the duties are not identical?

When you’ve culled the resumes and found a dozen or so candidates whose past seems intriguing and potentially valuable, you must call them in for an interview.  This is the most important stage of course, because when building a rock star team, it’s how they work with others that makes a good team member, and it’s very difficult to discern this in an interview.  Not only is the interview very one-on-one, but the candidates have prepared, they know what you’re going to ask.

The most intriguing questions are sort of generic interview questions, but the answers tell you a lot of what you need to know.  For example, when you ask them to discuss a time when they failed, look for humility.  If they spin a failure too slickly, it’s a red flag.  If a person is able to admit that they had a poor judgment on a particularly issue, and that they messed up but learned a lot from the experience, that is far more preferred than a candidate who exudes a false sense of perfection.

Reading between the lines is what the interview is all about.  And after that, if you take them out to lunch, make sure to keep the discussion and conversation casual.  You want someone who will be a friend (a work-friend, not a best-friend), so if you can’t hang in a lunch situation comfortably and enjoyably, that is a red flag too.

Expand your network, read between the lines on the resume and in the interview, and make that rock star dream team a reality.