The need to hire team players isn’t new. Many organizations that frequently rely on teams to attain their business objectives have routinely screened new employees for their ability to be good teammates. Given the rate of technological change and the widespread and growing need to integrate emerging technologies, the demand for technical talent who possess strong team skills has also grown. Being a team player is now a necessity for getting tasks accomplished.
If you are new to the idea of recruiting good team members, it might help to review the characteristics commonly found in these individuals. If we’re going to create a list of the characteristics we look for in a team player that list would include (or exclude):
• Valuing team contributions as much, if not more, than individual contributions
• The ability to be candid with their input not just inclined to “go with the flow”
• Be a good, active listener
• History of working well in teams consisting of people with diverse backgrounds/interests
• Able to take negative or constructive feedback of their input or ideas without becoming defensive or withdrawing
• Can vigorously argue about issues, approaches, etc. without anger. Can disagree without being disagreeable
• Has confidence that doesn’t morph or be construed as arrogance
• In describing their team involvement how many times do they use “I” as opposed to “we”
There are questions a good interviewer knows to ask to uncover a candidate’s propensity for being a good team member. Additionally, they might look to see if they’ve ever been on a sports team. Being a member of a sports team often builds the kinds of interpersonal skills that translate well to the workplace.