Is your company in high-growth mode or have a large ongoing project coming down the pipeline? In these instances, the hiring process can be tricky—if the new hire isn’t a good fit for the organization or the team, it won’t work out and you’ll have to start all over again, meaning more time and resources spent onboarding someone else. This has led some companies to shake up their approach to hiring by bringing on an entire team at once. Sound a little crazy? Keep reading to find out how this new trend can benefit the team dynamic and productivity of your company.
How does hiring a team work?
Since hiring a whole team isn’t typical, you may not know exactly where to start or how to attract applicants. Teams who already know each other or currently work together may apply and be considered as a whole. Companies can simply advertise that they are looking to hire a group of co applicants—make sure you specify how many people per team and what skill sets you are looking for.
Looking for a group of freelancers or consultants that already work together could be a potential solution if you are looking for help with short-lived or irregularly occurring projects. Some recruiting firms actually specialize in group hiring, so consider using outside resources to help you find the most effective team for your needs.
Is this new hiring style actually being used in practice?
Many companies have realized the benefits of team hiring and implemented this technique—Silicon Valley startup Stripe noticed a disconnect in the typical hiring process; people work best in teams, yet companies hire individuals. With almost 100 positions to fill, the company came up with its “Bring Your Own Team” initiative, allowing a maximum of five colleagues to apply as a group. Group interviews and challenges determined if the group, as a whole, would be hired. The CEO claims this idea stemmed from, “frustration with conventional hiring,” and that the company will continue onboarding in this way until it no longer generates results.
This modern method of hiring has also created opportunities for new technology—another startup based out of Seattle called Elevator has created a platform that allows recruiters to hire entire development teams from other companies. Elevator believes that since employees tend to be more productive when they’re on a team they’ve already worked with, it wastes time and resources to start this process all over again when moving companies. Instead, teams will simply move together. Each individual builds their own profile and resume, then links their account with any colleagues they want to work with. Elevator matches teams up with skill sets specified by employers, and the whole team starts working together at the new company at the same time.
What are the benefits?
Hiring as a team essentially shortens the integration period—meaning the team can start being profitable for your company faster. Collaboration will flow easily because the team members are comfortable interacting with one another, eliminating that transitional period when new hires might be nervous to speak up; they already have a built-in support system. Since the team is familiar with everyone’s work style, they will have a cohesive skill set that plays well off individual strengths and weaknesses. They are already efficient and effective in communicating and completing tasks, minimizing the amount of training and team-bonding time you must give them.
Team hiring will also help you fill several positions at once, and screening whole groups will save you time and resources in the hiring process. It can be difficult to know how someone will interact within a group when you’re interviewing them individually—they may say they’re a team player, then not get along with the one they’re thrown into. When you hire a team, you can be sure they work well together and examine their past team projects before making a decision. Consider having teams perform a mock task during the interview process so you can really get a feel for the way they will tackle problems together.
Are there any pitfalls?
While there are clearly many advantages of team hiring, there are potential drawbacks as well. If it becomes apparent that only some of the team is going to work out long-term, terminating the others could be very detrimental to the morale of the remaining members—team hiring can end up being an “all or nothing” situation. Group hiring can also add to your payroll expenses if you find the perfect team, but it has more members than you originally planned and budgeted for. You could also miss out on an individual hire that may have been a great fit for the company because you chose to go for an entire group instead. It’s very important to make sure your current staff still feels included; you don’t want your individual employees to feel less adequate or productive than the shiny new team. Consider integrating your individual employees with the new team for company-wide team building exercises. There also may be a learning curve to perfect this new process, so be prepared to make adjustments to the way you recruit, hire, and train. This method of hiring certainly isn’t for everyone, but it is worth trying if you’re looking for fast integration and highly productive teams.
Now that you know the pros and cons of team hiring, are you ready to add this method to your hiring toolbox? If you need some additional insight or guidance on team hiring, consult the experts.