At Singularity University I was in the incredibly lucky situation to build a team pretty much from scratch. I spent a significant amount of time and energy vetting literally hundreds of candidates before I settled on the wonderful crew I now work with.

Your team is everything Tweet This Quote

The thing with teams is—they make or break your company. It might sound like a platitude by now, but your team is everything. There is a reason why smart VCs keep telling the world that they invest into teams first, ideas second. Good teams figure out what to do, good ideas are just that: Good ideas. They will never turn into a good company without a stellar team in place.

With that being said—how do you find your dream team?

First: Invest time and energy into the process. Hiring is hard work. Probably one of the hardest things I do—it takes shitloads of time and energy to review applications, talk to candidates, be truly thoughtful and diligent.

Invest time and energy into the process. Hiring is hard work. Tweet This Quote

Second: Ask the right questions. And ask lots of them. Personally I love to talk about past experiences and dig deep into specific areas—as I can learn more about a candidate from his past actions than from hypothetical answers to forward looking questions. I also want to understand how a candidate ticks and what drives her. One of my favorite questions is: What do you want to do two jobs from now and how does this job help you get there?

Don’t make the mistake of hiring someone you have doubts of or you feel there is something off. Tweet This Quote

Third: Never settle for second best. And trust your gut. Don’t make the mistake of hiring someone you have doubts of or you feel there is something off. Chances are—your gut is right. And you end up with a candidate who is not the right fit.

If that all sounds like hard work—it is. And trust me: It’s worth it. You will spend a good 2,000 hours per year with this person (assuming you work about 240 days at eight hours a day together). It’s worth spending a decent amount of effort on finding your perfect team.

This post originally appeared on Pascal’s personal blog.

About the author

Pascal Finette

Pascal Finette

Pascal is the Managing Director of Singularity University's Startup Lab. He is also an entrepreneur, coach, and speaker who has worked in Internet powerhouses, such as eBay, Mozilla, and Google, and Venture Capital—starting both a VC firm and accelerator program.

  • Kendra Larson

    I really liked your article. Finding the perfect team can be a challenge sometimes. You have to make sure that they are going to contribute to the project just as much as everyone else. Its hard to determine if a person is going to be a good worker or not, until you actually start working with them. I have learned this in college, through doing group projects. I have had people that have worked hard in my group, and people that really did not give a crap. The worst part is, is that sometimes other people get stuck doing most of the work and the other people that did not do anything, get the credit for it too. I find that in so many ways incredibly frustrating. That is why I think that group projects are unfair and I would rather just do the work myself. Then, I do not have to work harder to pick up the slack for someone else. Thank you for sharing this article!

  • Jessica Andrew

    Thank you for sharing this article! Finding the perfect team is really important because you want to be working with the best people. Also, you want to be able to get along with them and be able to split up the work load between everyone. Group projects are important in school because you have to be able to stand up for the amount of work you put in compared to everyone else. You have to be able to handle these situations in a good way and get everyone to get in on the work.

  • Jessica Andrew

    I agree with you Kendra. The only way I like group projects is if I get to pick my group. I usually pick people who I am friends with and I know that they will contribute in doing the work in the project. If I don’t get to pick my group, then I usually get stuck with people who don’t care and just shove the work load on everyone else.

  • kgallaher

    Great post! I think teamwork is easier said than done. It really is essential to work with people who you are compatible with. I was shocked to hear that we will spend 2,000 hours with our teammates. I think it’s important to work with others who think and work like you do, but have different attributes. A strong team with a passionate idea is everything!

  • Mallory Benham

    Hiring and creating a team is difficult, but when it works, it is proves to boost your success and therefore is key to the business. Within building the perfect team , diversity is essential. A fantastic team needs different perspectives in personality, work style, and background to provide balance. Great post!

  • storres001

    I do appreciate the posts on how to properly run and start successful businesses. However, I did not think this was what we were going to be spending the majority of our time on in these Unreasonable posts. I thought we were going to be learning more about companes that are doing good for social justice and then give them feedback on how to improve. Like I said, I do appreciate these tips and lessons for us on how to be successful business people I just did not think that would be what we would be spending most of our time and energy on. With all that being said, this is a good article about how to hire becauase that is honestly the most important part of starting a business.

  • Wilson Mugabo

    This is a great post. I always find myself working best with a team be at work or school. The only challenge is finding the right teammates to work with who you share a common goal and purpose

  • Erin Todd

    I believe teamwork is a great tool to success. It is hard though when we find people that are on either ends of the extreme. There needs to be an all round diversity of skills and ideas that make a team dynamic, but outliers are hard to deal with.

  • 204Ted

    Creating a team can be difficult. The nice thing about the private sector is the ability to review people and chose them for your group. In previous military experience, your group was whoever else happened to be assigned with you. Sometimes it worked perfectly and sometimes it didn’t. Being forced into groups like this lets you see more of what type of personalities you can and cannot work with.

  • Ashley Nicole Rietbrock

    Thanks Pascal for sharing this article with us. I found it to be very interesting. I believe that teamwork is very important beucase if you don’t have people around that you can trust and knew that will work together they will sucessed and be secessful. However, I do agree with you that it take a lot of hard work to get the right team that you want. As a senior in college graduating soon I think this will help me because it shows that you have to show your best at all time and how you can help the company. An employer is looking for people that can work well in teams and I am going to have to prove to them that I can be part of there team and would be helpful. Thank you again for sharing this article with us.

  • nbaker3

    It appears that while there are objective measures to pick a team member that a strong people-intuition is necessary to construct a good team. In a way, the start-up owner has to know HR type stuff to have a good team.

  • Jack Strader

    First off, what is Singularity University? And how can I get in? Second, are there candidates for teams that work well for certain tasks or jobs and not for others? And if so, what characteristics do you look for in a well-rounded problem solver that could help you avoid building a team that only specializes in one task or set of tasks?

  • danphaw

    The first qualification is to quantify “shitloads of work.”

  • Gaby Perez

    Great article Pascal! I completely agree with you that a team is what makes or breaks a company, it also makes them stand out. I am a senior in college and looking at the career market I know I want to find a company that creates a great organizational culture. I am looking for more than a job I am looking for my passion, and working with people who are equally as passionate will improve anyones experience. It does take hard work to find the perfect team, but when you do imagine all the things you could do!

  • James Sullivan

    It seems like building a well developed team takes a lot of hours and experience. It sounds like in order to have a good team you need to work and understand the people around you, no interview is going to build you an awesome team. Interviews are quick and most of the time the interviewee is saying what the employer wants to hear because they need a job. I do agree having a solid team in the work force is great but it is very hard to develop this type of team from interviewing.

  • dbickel

    Good article about building a team and creating the environment around you for success. However, it can be very hard even through interviews to know if an individual is right for your team. I think that understanding your employee’s idea of success and understanding how they plan to get there can provide tremendous amounts of benefit to a company. Building the right team, will take time and work (as said above). You need to get to know people, converse, agree, disagree, argue, and laugh.

  • karnold001

    I am in complete agreement that a team can make or break your company. You will never be able to achieve anything if your team does not work well together. I think it is important to spend a lot of time on the interview process because you really want to know the person that you could potentially be working with, but I do question the integrity of interviewees and if they are being honest or simply saying what they think the employer wants to hear. So in addition to interviews I think you need to interact with someone on a more casual basis in order to better understand their true personality.

  • dannyjoseph14

    I like the idea of investing in teams first and ideas second. No matter how great the idea it is nearly impossible to sustain success without proper team dynamics. I think that almost every company understands the importance of building a strong team and that is why so much time, money, and effort is put into the hiring process at most organizations. I also believe it is very important to maintain and build teamwork skills collectively once a strong, compatible team has been selected.

  • AndreaOlsen22

    This is a great thing to think about. It is necessary to first make sure you can work with the person. You are going to be spending tons of time with them. If you can’t work together from the beginning, you waste time trying to gel together, arguing, and etc when you could be coming up with new ideas. Enjoying the people you work with and building relationships with them is the most important thing. The ideas will come after time by being able to work together and hear each other out.

  • Halea McAteer

    Reading this gives me quite a bit of reassurance. As a senior in college, there are many times where I feel frustrated in my job search and as though my resume is probably not even being looked at by a human being. It seems like for most in job searching that if you don’t put the right keywords in your cover letter or resume, you won’t even have a shot. It’s nice to know that there are companies and people out there who really do care about the application process, giving careful consideration and time to selecting their employees. Rather than having a machine that searches for key words or the like.

  • Arnthor Kristinsson

    I definitely agree with the fact that it is important to have a great team. I think the question about “where do you see yourself two jobs from now?” Is a good question to understand the person’s future hopes. It’s good to learn past experience as well and I think that if a person has past experience in working with a team/group, that is great quality.

  • JakeEllis7

    I really appreciate this article because I am currently looking for members to create a team with. Do you happen to have any recommendations on where to find partners for ventures online?

  • aburns002

    “Don’t make the mistake of hiring someone you have doubts of or feel there is something off.” I agree with this quote. When it comes to making an important decision such as hiring a team, you need to analyze every angle of potential teammates.

  • Persophine Reid Tiapula

    make sure you get someone that fits the position you need them for. don’t hire someone that is good at customer service sales and put them behind a desk in the back office to write reports. also, you shouldn’t hire someone because you feel bad and think they need it and later on have to fire them because they were not doing their job well, where is the integrity in that? I really believe that you should “invest time and energy into the process”. make sure they fit

  • JuanFonseca1995

    Great companies arose due to the diligence, perseverance, hard work, and outstanding dedication that came from a great team assembled. You can have good ideas, but you need the right cast of characters to implement and successfully enable your business plan, in doing so your vision will become a reality. Think of Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon or any other Fortune 500 company, they all have the most well-rounded employees that can work together and that is how they consistently bring much innovation and change into our global work environment. Sports teams are perfect examples because the teams that win the championships, are the teams that have athletes that work together, as opposed to working against each other. Hence, hard work beats talent, when talent fails to work hard. Anything is possible and you should feel blessed when you find the right group of people, who share the same vision and people that are positive and confident that they can make their dreams into a reality.

  • Spencer Rafii

    With my company, Student Painters, I am searching through the vast amount of student who want a seasonal job this summer. All students want money for the upcoming fall, but few will work for it. From craigslist adds, to many fliers dropped around local schools, I am trying to source at least 12 student employees, with no prerequisites, any ideas on how to get my jobs out there?

  • John Mulhern

    This article is exactly right. The concept that you get what you work for is absolutely true, especially in something as important as hiring a full time team. Putting in the work as wading through the details is the best way to see the best results.

  • eljefeboulder

    Well stated. I have found that the best teams that I have been have been teams filled with people that all have a mutual liking and respect for each other in addition to similar drives. Finette really drives the value of the hiring process home when he points out that 2000 hours a year could be spent with that person, not mention that you may work together year after year.

  • sadeakindele

    I completely agree, teams play such an integral role in he success of a business that the selection process can be quite daunting. You want people who you get along well with because, like you said, you will be spending so much time with them, however you also want diversity of thought in order to come up with your best ideas.

  • mpierson19

    I think teamwork is the biggest advantage to have a one up on other companies. When you have a team that all shares the same interests and same goals, you tend to get alone really well and accomplish the goals you want to accomplish.

  • Dena Keizer

    Thanks for posting! Teamwork is extremely important in various aspects. It is very beneficial to have a team that all has something in common but sometimes it works out even better to have a team full of different interests because each member can bring a new perspective to the group.

  • zoeantonow

    I like this post, great advice on how to carefully select your dream team. The only sad thing is that you can only learn so much about a person at first, and true qualities–such as greed, for instance–may not show themselves until even a decade later. This happened to my father, a small business owner, and so I am still weary of the hiring process. Either way, this article is great for some tips on how to make a stronger team, and hopefully helps to weed out the people who could otherwise lead toward failure.

  • byrnesbk24

    This is so interesting to me because I have seen my buddy (who owns a gym) go through different employees from his start and every time they leave or he lets them go he always tells me “they just weren’t on the same page as me”. Maybe he should read this so he doesn’t make the same mistakes. It wasn’t like these employees weren’t good trainers or coaches but they just didn’t have the same work ethic or drive as my friend needed from them. I feel like sometimes you don’t really know how a person is going to work out unless you see it for yourself. Has anyone else experienced this?

  • MeierKM23

    I completely agree with this article. Although I am not going into business or entrepreneurship, I know I have been on teams and will continue to work in teams in college and eventually in my career someday. There are many examples of teams that you can be on. Ones that I can say I have taken a part of is sports teams in high school. Our success showed how well we worked together, knowing each other well, and helping each and every one of your team members improve as well. Another example is group projects in college. I know not a lot of people do not like them because of hectic schedules, different ambition levels of each of the group members, and roles of each person in the group. You know you had a good “team” or group when you feel successful when your finished, but as many experience didn’t have such a good group and it didn’t go over as well as the group wanted. Lastly, I know working in a hospital or clinic I will be considered to be part of a team someday, and the group of people you work with and how well you work with them will determine the outcome of your job. I bet hiring people is in fact a lot of work. Sounds like you got it down pretty well and know what you are looking for in candidates. Thanks for sharing your article.

  • MeierKM23

    I completely agree with this. A team may have many different ideas but they can all be brought together and share the same interests and goals, and accomplish what the team wanted to do.

  • MeierKM23

    This is definitely true. Putting in the work for something that you want to accomplish is very important in the first place but like he said hiring is a lot of work. So, putting that same work ethic into that is just as important. You want to go through the details to find the best candidates to work together which will then be a huge accomplishment.

  • MeierKM23

    He did make a good point about the teams first, ideas second. Without those teams that did work together, there wouldn’t be great ideas. It does take a lot of time, money, and effort and which makes it an important process, so you might as well create the best team you can.

  • MeierKM23

    This is a good point. A lot of college students deal with group projects and it is important to get along with everyone and to be able to stand up for the amount of work you are responsible as well as everyone else. Your going to have disagreements but it is how you deal with them with your group that will make you successful.

  • Matthew Montoya

    I am super thankful that this article was posted. Following a post regarding getting the most out of a team, I had a lot of inquires regarding how to put together the right team. I really liked the idea of investing in the team first and ideas second. I think people commonly have great ideas and goals, and try to fit a team around those ideas. This may work, but at the same time there may also be a stagnation present on creativity beyond the idea. If you invest in a team that is competent and works well together, the ideas will flow. Not only will they flow, but when you reach a point where more ideas spark, you will have confidence that the team can carry out the innovative and hard working processes needed to be successful. I do think there may also be a counterargument to this point, but for the most part, I think choosing the team initially is one of the most important components of being a successful organization long term!

  • Amy Rink

    Thank you for posting this article!! I found it to be very relatable. I used to work for a business where it seemed they couldn’t keep an employee longer than a than a month. After reading your article it clear to see the steps that should be taken to successfully hire employee’s for future!

  • Mabel

    This is an extremely helpful article to potential employees to how to be presentable at job interviews. This also talks about what kind of person can fit their corporate culture . The gut feeling that they mentioned is extremely helpful , i feel that gut feelings go a long way in how things pan out.

  • GSonDUBS

    Interesting read. I wish there were more specific questions/examples/guidance on finding that team member.

  • conner_faulkner

    I agree the team is a very important part of any business or group.

  • amykahl8

    It’s really hard to get things done when group members don’t get along. This happens with group projects all the time. Personally I would look for team members who were willing to do just as much work as me to get things accomplished.

  • amykahl8

    I think it would be very useful if your former employer asked those hypothetical situation questions.

  • amykahl8

    A lot of time can be wasted if the team leader doesn’t ensure that every one will work together, it can actually hinder the work progress.

  • mleano

    In a human resources class that I’m currently, it seems that there is much research focused on the interview process alone. The leading research from McDaniel, Journal of Applied Psychology (1991), states that structured interviews comprised of the same questions to the same candidates yield that best results because interviewers often have biases. How much weight should one give to a personal interview during the hiring or team building process? It often seems that the interview process is not a discussion of qualifications, but rather to see if a candidate is personable and can work well in and with a team.

  • ChaiseSheldon

    This was a great post. In most posts the thing that people focus on are the ideas behind the company. I agree that a great idea is important but without the right people to bring the idea to light it is just an idea that was never acted upon.

  • Thanks for this note @gsondubs:disqus ! Can you expand on that a little? I’m sure Pascal might be happy to do a follow up post with some more specifics if we can prompt him with some more details.

  • Agreed @disqus_5lw9tZgah1:disqus ! If you’re interested in more posts on why it’s important to listen to your gut, check this one out by @daniel_epstein:disqus

  • Brilliant post, thanks Pascal! A couple follow up questions for Pascal & readers…
    — Couldn’t agree more with the importance of asking the right questions (in this and so much more in work & life = ) What other specific questions do you ask and why?
    — Say you do go through all those steps of diligence in hiring & yet a new hire is not working out as you may have hoped, what are your thoughts on next steps in remedying this situation?
    — Also, if one quality could trump all when hiring a new team mate, what do you think that is & why?

  • Thanks @mleano:disqus for this comment! What are some of the more recent publications & findings you’ve learned in your HR class to know when hiring a team?

  • mleano

    Cat George Here are a few of the relatively recent articles I used regarding the interview process:

    Banki, Sara, and Gary P. Latham. “The Criterion-Related Validities and Perceived Fairness of the Situational Interview and the Situational Judgment Test in an Iranian Organisation.” Applied Psychology 59.1 (2010): 124-42. Web. Situational interviews (SI) and situational judgement tests (SJT) in an interview where used to determine an applicant’s potential initiative. It was determined that there were some proximal values that demonstrate this.

    Macan, Therese. “The Employment Interview: A Review of Current Studies and Directions for Future Research.” Human Resource Management Review 19.3 (2009): 203-18. Web. 26 Feb. 2015. For future research, Macan looks to identify the characteristics that may compose future interviews as well as their constructs.

    Mcdaniel, Michael A., Nathan S. Hartman, Deborah L. Whetzel, and W. Lee Grubb. “Situational Judgment Tests, Response Instructions, And Validity: A Meta-Analysis.” Personnel Psychology 60.1 (2007): 63-91. Web. 26 Feb. 2015. In an attempt to add more structure to the interview process, McDaniel studies the results of knowledge based responses or situational based responses.

  • thanks for sharing!

  • Shae Moyano

    very good points, I think that the team is crucial for a company, teamwork depends on good reliability and communication skills, many teams don’t function as well as they should because of lack of communication, as well as lack of leadership, when forming a team is crucial to know first what areas or things you are looking for so that the hiring process can become easier.

  • Shae Moyano

    very true, I think that members need to learn and work together to accomplish a common goal, there is a reason they say that there is no “I” in team and that is because individually we can accomplish little, but having a good team collaboration is much stronger.

  • tcwells

    I wish that this article was written and published at the beginning of the semester. it would have made my life a million times easier. Well you live and you learn. I most definitely have learned.

  • GSonDUBS

    I understand it’s a hard question to answer, but possibly his “Top 10 favorite interview questions”. What are the important things we should look for when interviewing a person – Body language? Dress? Education?

  • Tawni Meyer

    I think going to someone who has built their dream team and see what kind of questions they asked would be important. So you can compare the questions you gathered and see if you are on the right track. I agree with following your instinct on the person as well. While i dont think you should go alone on that it is helpful.

  • CamilleYip

    This was a very good article! it helped to explain how companies are looking for a team member and not just a single person with ideas.

  • Thomas Miller

    The hypothetical future situation questions?

  • Thomas Miller

    Agreed. In any group setting I have worked in, I have found that a diverse group of individuals generally comes up with the best solutions and ideas.

  • mindhamrr11

    I never really thought about how important the hiring process was, and that’s a very interesting point to invest in your team first and ideas second.

  • Thomas Miller

    I have noticed the second point being used in my most recent job interview. You are more likely to learn about a person and how they tick from their past experiences and actions than you are from their answers to hypothetical questions.

  • kbell003

    This article made me question what would happen if in the current leadership positions that I am in or the groups that I am apart of, if a third party were to come in what they would say about us. Would they say that I could stay in m position or that I am not suited for it? I think that this is a very interesting idea because when we look at teams, a team dynamic is more important than the individuals and their respective skills. When we look at something successful, we always find the team behind it has a great working relationship which is more important than any of their individual skills.

  • joconne4

    Working with people in general is always going to be an ongoing challenge. We would like to be able to systemize everything in a way that is the most efficient and successful. However, the human element in things will ensure that there will always be difficulties. I believe that the most we can do is just try our best in that respect.

  • Jennifer Diaz

    I never realized how important it is to “invest in teams first, ideas second.” I have had some bad experience with group members throughout school and it can be very frustrating. To exceed well during a group project you have to get along with your group members, communicate, and then brainstorm ideas. I will start taking this into consideration during the next group assignment I have and see how well it plays out.

  • nherzick

    This article was actually a very good read! Thanks for posting

  • Radaya123

    He stated the obvious here; You can’t do it by yourself. It would make sense that the people you do it with are the best at what they do to help you in your endeavors, whatever they may be. But what he should’ve made note of is how you need people who are strong in themselves and want you to succeed.

  • Chelsea Haffele

    No matter what type of team you are a part of, it is important and makes what you’re doing either worth it or not worth it at all. This can be a work team, sports team, or a school project group. The people in your group can make or break your experience.

  • rntom

    I like this process and have personally been told not to hire friends or family just because it might not work out but this seems like a good start.

  • Michellelele123

    I was thinking the same thing! Building a team for the purpose of this article doesn’t apply to my life, but your right that a team is a team and it can apply to others as we’ll and it’s important to pick a good one!

  • Brooke Bower

    Soon I will be graduating with a degree in social work, and I still find this article useful. I will soon start applying for different jobs and I believe it’s important to work with a team that is cohesive. You want to be able to enjoy the people that you work with, and work well with each other. You should be able to count on each other and give advice to one another or just be able to vent to someone. This article makes me think about what employers are looking for when they are interviewing people. I will keep this in mind while I start interviewing with different agencies. Lastly, I love the second question that asked about where you see yourself working in the future two jobs. Its important for employers to know were their potential employees want to be in the future. This says a lot about a person.

  • Brooke Bower

    I couldn’t agree more. In school, we do so many group projects and I normally hate it because there’s always one person who doesn’t do their part or lets down the team. But after reading this article I realize that they have us do so many group projects to learn how to work together as a team. Ideas cant transform into products without support and a team to help you succeed. Teams also give you different ways to look at ideas and help problem solve.

  • Eric Brinkley

    I think the interview is a key for both parties that are in play. The person that is being interviewed can make a decision about whether or not this is the right fit for themselves, also this is advantageous for the company to make a decision about what kind of person their getting.

  • ZakFritz

    I have been on sports teams for my entire life, and the saying “You’re only as strong as your weakest link” cannot be more true. It is vital for anything in life to have a strong team that can pick up the slack that one person cannot do alone.

  • Thomas Tessier

    I also agree that sports teams are good examples of this. I like how you said “hard work beats talent, when talent fails to work hard.” Knowing you have the wrong person for the job you should take immediate action. if you know it won’t work then it won’t work.

  • Faisal AH

    Its a really good article to read. I haven’t thought about that before. thanks for posting

  • Alex Marski

    I really enjoyed this article! I can relate to the second part the most by personally being in interviews and being asked personal in depth questions. Employers do this almost everywhere for any job position and find it very helpful for the hiring process.

  • Jessica Andrew

    Thank you for sharing this article. Having a good team is key to having a successful business. Since I am in college right now, a big part with having a team is group projects. I have to select based on what I know about the person. Hoping they will be a good teammate. When I start applying for jobs, I want to make sure that the people working there are good workers and people to get along with.

  • Jessica Andrew

    I agree with you. I have been asked some in depth questions as well about my experiences. It is hard for the interviewer to know someone based off of questions. That’s why a lot of people are looking at the persons social media sites to see how they act outside the work area to see if they would be a good fit.

  • Alex Marski

    Yes that is a good point about the social media. Some employers rely heavily on social media to determine a job. Glad to see you agree.

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    I enjoyed reading this article. I agree with you 100%. The only way a company can grow is with strong hard working team members who get along. If you have a team who does not listen, compromise, or work together, then do you really have a team?

  • Abby2017

    People that are chosen for a group can make or break you experience. I think that is a really good point that you made.

  • wegener61

    One point I think is missed, is knowing the members of the team that you are already working with, and how to assemble a team with working personalities, and one that can get rid of that lingering principal of Social Loafing. Psychological Tests are somewhat effective, but being a good judge of character is the most important in hiring. Look at Harley Davidson’s productivity with such a small number of workers. Their teams are impressively assembled.

  • Skalahe13

    I enjoyed this article because of the emphasis it puts on teams. I liked the part about a good idea being just an idea without a good team behind it. I think many places don’t put too much into hiring teams because they think the ideas they have will lead them and although this may be true sometimes when the ideas stop coming they will have nothing without a good team.

  • What made it stand out to you?

  • Samantha Lavenau

    I agree with this 100% as for me being on sports teams growing up. The team is not going to succeed with one all-star player, and everyone on the team needs to be willing to work there hardest. It’s a team effort, and everyone should have something to contribute.

  • alexlavine

    I agree with your 100%. The people you work with will be what makes or breaks your company. Not only that, but if you enjoy being around the people you work with that is going to make a huge difference. I coach basketball and I love the basketball part of it, but each year is different because each group of kids are different. When you have kids that are hardworking and positive it makes the job that much more enjoyable.

  • Jansscor16

    Thank you for the article! This is definitely something to keep in mind when in a position to hire team members. I think it is interesting how you talk about asking the right questions, I would be more inclined as an interviewee to speak freely if the questions aren’t so uniform and straight forward. I think learning about the past really delves deep into who a person is, I’ve had countless interviews where I’ve rehearsed my answers based off of common questions. As an interviewer this is most likely what interviewees will do. This is definitely helpful information.

  • Jansscor16

    I agree with what your saying, finding a person that fits into your already assembled team is vital. I don’t know much about Harley Davidson so it is interesting to learn about how they work.

  • Jansscor16

    I completely agree, knowing what is lacking in your business and what needs to be improved upon is the vital in determining who to hire. Hiring a person lacking the same skills your company needs will only result in an even further negative function.

  • ClaytonEI08

    This article could not have been more on point. A team, or a culture as I like to call it, is everything. There has not been one successful person in this world who has become successful all on their own. In one’s pursuit of success, there will be times when things aren’t going well. There will be times when you need somebody to pick up the slack and to help motivate and push you. But keep in mind, that you can’t have just anyone on your team or apart of your culture. You need those who share the same vision as you, who believe in the same ideas as you. That same passion for something your team and you share will only help you and the pursuit of whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. Like the old saying goes, “you’re only as strong as your weakest link.” Choose your team wisely.

  • Glassborow

    This article is great, it gives you all the important information you need to know in 3 short steps, it’s to the point and gives you what you need to know! I think the part about listening to your gut is the most important, because as the author said, chances are it is right.

  • jvlewis1

    My dream is to be a video game creator. My favorite genre is fighting. I know I need a team especially since my game has a story to it. It’s challenging trying to create a story line that is big and epic all by myself. A team is a must, plus I need a designer, a person who can code, and many other people. If I did it all by myself, than it would take a really long time and it might not be awesome as it should be.

  • theboz827

    Having a great team is definitely necessary to function healthily in a work environment. Otherwise it’s often difficult to grow, or feel you can speak your voice. The team I currently work with is fantastic, and it makes such a difference in my feeling about my position. I have grown so much because of the people I work with.

  • What has inspired you to form this opinion?

  • Jonathan C

    I agree, especially with the last thing you said. Not only is a team important for the quality of your results, they contribute profoundly to your own personal growth and abilities! Taking time to choose a team is not only an investment in your company or product, it’s an investment in yourself.

  • Jessica Peardon

    This article is great not just for hiring future employees, but for everything. So many times we work with people because they are our friends. For my committee in my sorority I let my friends be on it. Now, I realize they might not be the best fit. It is hard to say no, but it will only benefit you in the long run. You are the boss and you have to do what’s best for you.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I would agree with these three key concepts when trying to find and balance the perfect team. I like the third one best, don’t settle for second best and stick with your gut feeling. It is so important to find someone to fit your team that genuinely “fits in” to the system rather than taking the smartest, fastest, or most efficient person and throwing them into a team that they are not compatible with. These things must be considered before hiring or drafting someone onto a team, regardless of how difficult it might be. Simply interviewing and asking questions to a potential employee/teammate does not seem effective enough to truly gain insight into who they are and how they might work with your team. Having a training session or test-out with a future employee might be a good way to see how they work with the current team. These are all things to be considered when forming a team, but what do you think is the most effective technique to finding the right people in the most efficient way possible? Thanks for the post!

  • milkienr18

    i totally agree that the team is the most important part. Yes, you can come up with ideas on your own but just imagine the type of ideas you can come with if you have a great team, with a great vibe that can build off each other, Your good idea could become extraordinary with the help of the team. I also agree with the process used as well. You need to pick a group of people that are going to work well together and feed off each other to help each other get to a common goal with out any problems.

  • Anniep1023

    Teamwork is essential to any success story. While you might think that you accomplished something on your own, there are many people who helped you along the way. These individuals helped mold and shape you into the individual you are and without them, you may not have been able to accomplish all that you have. It is important to appreciate all of the people you work with because they are not only helping you succeed, you are helping them as well.

  • Garrett Nelson

    You hit it right on. Like the Wisconsin Badgers, finding all the essential parts that help a “machine” or team work is essential to success. For example, Bronson Koenig fits as the point guard while Frank the Tank works as our forward in order for us to be successful. Knowing the roles and responsibilities of a team is critical to success as well, and you see this in the Badgers. This is just one example of how actual “team work” and the pieces of the team are related to one another and how they work together. When one piece of the puzzle is struggling, then the rest of the team will struggle until they pick up that broken piece and improve upon it. Just having one superstar player usually does not get it done. What do you think the hardest part of finding the key components to a machine/team is? What are some things you look for in certain roles of a team and the relation that has with the characteristics of the people filling those roles? Thanks for sharing!

  • Garrett Nelson

    I think the hardest part about building a successful team is to know when to say no, whether it is to friends or people you are really close to, and to accept those pieces of the puzzle that you might not be completely familiar with. Risks are definitely involved when developing a team, because if you only choose those who you know already, how will you ever find the working pieces to become better and improve? (Unless you already have all the working parts in people you know). I agree, doing whatever is best for your team is critically important which will have a positive effect in the long run. What do you believe is the hardest part about finding the right pieces to the puzzle, when trying to build the best team?

  • Kayla Martin

    I work for a company that bases a lot of its decisions on how good of a fit they will be with our employees. Which can be nice but they also will look for differences so that we don’t all come up with the same ideas. I am in college and work with mostly college some high school and some older people. We all bring something different to the table so it is a nice dynamic. Sometimes it can cause problems being that most of us are in college but it is a good group and place to work so I keep working there.

  • Garrett Nelson

    This is a good example that shows how roles are essential when forming a team as well, because if you get a bunch of people that all do the same thing and have the same abilities, then it would be tough to create when there is not a programmer, or designer, or coder, etc. Same goes with forming a basketball team, or debate team, or even a governmental congress. Without a set of unique and different teammates, it would be quite difficult to make something that everyone can take part in and fill their roles. What do you think is another essential element when forming a team of people?

  • l2yza

    I recently sat through a presentation for school in which a panel of aviation professionals said that exact thing. How well your going to fit into the team seems to be a massive factor in the decision making process.

  • amykahl8

    I think in some ways an interview can determine if someone is a personable person, however interviews can be very nerve-wracking and people might not act how they normally would. People can act polite for an hour if they think it’s going to land them a job.

  • amykahl8

    I feel like that is a good way to develop a good work team. I have worked at places where some people just didn’t fit in with the goals the work place had and kind of hindered the progress and hard work everyone else was putting in. Had the company went through that process, some conflicts could have been avoided.

  • amykahl8

    There are some people on my track team that do not go with the flow and do their own things. Kind of acting like they should get special treatment and be able to do things their way instead of how the coach would like things done. These people also hardly show up to practice and I don’t understand why they are still on my team. If I was a boss I would have the same expectations for everyone. It’s frustrating when someone brings the whole team or company down because of his/her bad attitude. I think a trial run is the best way to see if people mesh together. However that might be hard to organize.

  • amykahl8

    Where I work has good employees, however other places where you have to work as a team such as group projects or on my actual track team there are some issues. Not everyone thinks the same or has the same commitment which can be very frustrating.

  • Ell247

    With the team being the second most important part of having an idea for a business, this article is spot on. The team is everything and it is quite easy to find “team members” or partners to fill a role. The issues however is finding quality genuine people who are as passionate about your venture as you are. Being an entrepreneur, I have learned that there is a lot of graphic designers and web developers. Being able to filter out the ones who you can trust and learn about, that truly see the potential of your venture and share the passion for it as you do is extremely challenging. After months of searching I finally found a couple of partners and I hope within the coming months I can return to and share my success story!

  • Mezzo999

    I definitely agree. It is true that great team is made when there is a comfortable vibe in the air where anybody would feel free to raise their opinions to support or object an idea.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I would agree, trial runs are hard to test, especially if you have a large number of people on the team. I think it really depends on how many people make up the team that determines whether or not it is going to be fair for everyone and everyone gets the same treatment/attention, or if it is different amongst each person, giving it a more personal approach of teamwork and character. Having a small team of people would probably work best in a situation like this where everyone would be on the same page and know their own roles and responsibilities to be a part of the team, going with a closer more personal approach to coaching. What do you think the hardest part is of coaching and maintaining a team that has a large number of people in it, in order to be successful?

  • Travis Mattice

    I really liked reading this article. I think it hits home for anyone running a business or trying build a team for a project. Your team is everything and if you have one bad egg it can make things very difficult. Take the time to pick the people who fit best.

  • Kayla Martin

    I agree, my work has a grace period where you make sure that you are a good fit for the company and that the people in the company likes you. I don’t know if it would be too hard in other companies to try it or if it is just something we do at my work because we are a college town. I just know it works for us.

  • shelbysterling

    I totally agree with this. I think that one of the best benefits to having a team on your side is the fact that you learn and help mold other along the way. When you have just one person or a few people who don’t work together, they are constantly crossing paths and it becomes more of a competition. When you have a team you are supporting each other, depending, learning and working together to accomplish something that you all are proud of. Not to mention how much you can learn from someone else.

  • hansends21

    We are currently in the process of hiring for my job. It is most definitely a very long process, and all of these questions come to mind. After we do interviews and we are dicussing the candidates, I always try and play devils advocate. I try and think of things that are off topic from what the rest of the group is discussing to get everyone thinking deeper. It really is a very hard, yet so important process.

  • amykahl8

    It seems like it would be more important for large companies or for people providing a customer service since it matters how those people can interact with others a lot.

  • amykahl8

    I agree with this. I may get a good grade on a test or run a fast race but it’s important that my parents, teachers, coaches, and teammates help me gain the skills and knowledge I needed to get there.

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    Amy, I completely agree. I have been in many group projects and some were very challenging. My most recent group project had 6 people and 6 different personalities. It was definitely challenging at first, as many wanted to have the “leader” role.

  • amykahl8

    From personal experiences I have had with bad coaches I would say it’s important to not favor certain people over others, even if they may be more skilled. Everyone can contribute to a team in their own way even if it isn’t by being the best at the sport and scoring the most points. Some people can still bring great ideas to the table. I have a great coach now and he makes everyone feel important and asks everyone how they are doing and what goals they want to achieve.

  • amykahl8

    A company may never know how much they could achieve if they silence people and don’t allow everyone to voice their concerns and ideas. I think it would be wise for companies to have weekly meetings where everyone, including the lowest man on the totem pole gets to speak up.

  • amykahl8

    I think being able to work with hardworking kids is great but it’s so much more meaningful when you have a kid who doesn’t want to be there and you can show him how fun it can be and teach him hard work pays off.

  • amykahl8

    No, you don’t really have a team if everyone doesn’t work toward the same goal. On my own team that I’m on there are some people who don’t show up to practice most days of the week and make excuses to get out of going to the meets which is very frustrating towards the people who are very committed and show up everyday.

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    I agree with you as well. It may be hard to determine if someone is right for a job. I think it is very important to take time when interviewing someone because of this. It costs more to rehire and retrain people. That’s why taking time during the interview process is a must and can allow less turnover.

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    This is true. A team leader should give out specific roles and follow up with them when necessary to make sure everyone is on track.

  • amykahl8

    I was recently in a group project where I for once didn’t have to take the role as the leader and it was quite refreshing. However, it was weird for me to be in a group when I didn’t have to take the reigns because somehow I am usually stuck doing that.

  • amykahl8

    When an interviewer asks open ended questions a person’s personality can really come out. But if an interview consists of basic questions the person might just say what he/she thinks the interviewer wants to hear.

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    This would frustrate me very much. I have a similar situation and it is frustrating. I hope the coach will soon realize what the teammate is doing wrong and fix the problem. This would bother me very much because I too am very committed and team-orientated. I wish you the best of luck!

  • Garrett Nelson

    I agree, that is huge not to favor people over others. It’s an important job of a coach to make sure people fill certain roles that they are comfortable with and able to maintain while on the team. I think that’s what determines what a healthy team is verses an unhealthy team. Sometimes you may not always get to determine what role you play or how involved you get to be, but having a coach or leader that can balance that relationship amongst everyone is typically going to have more success. You can see this not only in sports, but everywhere else is life as well.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I think this can be seen on many different levels and environments, because having a healthy relationship with the coach/leader is extremely important but in order to have that there needs to be roles drawn out that are fair and equally balanced so people feel worthwhile and satisfied with where they stand. Having this healthy relationship on a team is important in maintaining the motivation to contribute and work hard. I’ve been in a number of different roles on certain sports teams and jobs where I didn’t like what I was doing or the position I was put in and my motivation for being there and making a contribution went down in a hurry. What are some other things to keep people motivated and “hungry” to contribute to a team?

  • Kayla Martin

    I think it is important for small companies you can always move people around in large companies so people can work with people that you like. Small companies should have a grace period to see if people can work together.

  • Shae Moyano

    that is so true on how people may just pretend to be something or someone else just to impress their interviewers or future employers.

  • alexlavine

    The people you work with is so vital to your businesses success. Not only for production, but more importantly for the relationships and the work environment. Do employees push each other to be their best, to they trust each other and work together? I think these are all important questions to ask when your thinking about hiring people.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I think all interviews are different and structures in a way to fit the needs of the company or organization trying to hire. But from my own experiences, I think the first interview is used to determine if the person is personable and whether or not they could potentially be a good fit for the company. I’d say it good to give a little weight for the first interview(s) but that should not determine whether someone is fit for the job or not. Currently at the place I work at now, typically they will have training/or try-out sessions to see how the person works with other co-workers and in the environment we work in. I like this strategy as it actually will show how the person handles this new situation. I would put more value into this rather than simply sitting down and interviewing. What do you guys think?

  • RadebaugVP02

    I like this article, it proves that everything in life takes time and effort. We get what we work for. Taking the time to see things out can only benefit us and help us make decisions moving forward. I think when finding the perfect team one needs to take the time to figure out if this person could work well with everyone, not just yourself..that’s what will make a perfect team.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I agree with this, it is about the entire team getting along with one another, not just with the boss or a couple people. I like that you say see things out and be patient in order to build a successful team as it will pay off in the long run, rather than just rushing and forcing a team together. Maybe in some cases it would be alright to make a quick addition to the team but then later make adjustments as needed. What do you think is the most complicated part of building a successful team? Or the easiest thing?

  • theboz827

    The level of commitment can definitely be one of the most frustrating aspects of working with a team, especially when you want to work hard and can’t seem to pass that on to others. I had issues with that as well in prior positions.

  • theboz827

    That is awesome! That must have been a wonderful relief.

  • theboz827

    That’s very true; recently a co-worker of mine mentioned something similar, that when you want someone to answer more thoroughly, ask open-ended questions. Her example was asking kids about their day at school. If you ask, “How was your day?” They will usually say, “Fine,” but if you ask, “What did you learn in school today?” Or “What was the best part of your day/classes?” they will be more likely to provide a more thorough answer, since it’s not a yes/no question.

  • Colin Hickey

    Picking a group of people that work well together and feed off of each other’s ideas is key. People will work significantly better if they respect each other. Keeping the team intact is extremely important to succeeding because without the team, all you have is that idea that isn’t being worked on so partly isn’t going anywhere.

  • MattDennert

    Having the perfect team isn’t always easy since I am a sports guy I tend to look a things in a sports setting and when I was reading this I was thinking about a pro football team where everything has to go right for the team to make it to the super bowl and you are not going to be able to do that if you don’t have the proper team and a team that you like.

  • Samantha Lavenau

    I agree! It is crazy how we work so hard for a degree but in the end it is who you know and your energy in the interview. Yes, qualifications help a lot but the employer is not going to pick someone that they know will not work well with their other employees. Chemistry between the company is huge and is what makes a company so good.

  • Samantha Lavenau

    I agree with you! Someone may be the best qualified person for the job and be very social able outside an interview but be a mess during the interview because of anxiety. I myself am a very social person but when it comes to talking in front of people or an interviewer I go blank. I like the idea of multiple interviews because then I can get comfortable and hopefully show my true self in the end.

  • kolinjk29

    It is very hard to find hard workers that will help you grow as a company. I experience this first as a manager at a fine dining establishment that I run. We get numerous applications every week and sitting down to find the right person for the job is sometimes hard to decide on. Finding people that are truly passionate about their careers is something that is hard to find. When you get the right people your business will begin to grow into a successful establishment. Thanks for posting

  • RadebaugVP02

    I think the most complicated part about building a team is finding a common ground. Everybody is different but if you find something in common in everybody is makes communication easier. From there everybody can bring their own ideas to the table, it’s just a nice start-up to be able to communicate well.

  • ryanstorto

    After graduating from college in a couple of years and going out on interviews, I think it’s important to know what the individual we are interviewing with is going to ask and why. I’ve heard some people getting nervous and always worried about whether they are saying the “right” answer instead of what they may actually feel. This article made me look at it from a different perspective, one actually from the individual doing the hiring’s perspective. It was interesting to see what someone is thinking when they are setting up the interviews and putting together their team.

  • CPanella1

    I love your point because personality plays a huge role in the future as well. But I know for me I became the person I am today these past 4 years in college so maybe who I become means more than the degree I paid a ton for! I would only want to be on a team I had great chemistry with and could be around everyday to help uplift me on rough days and vice versa!

  • Nathan Tessar

    I like this article because it shows that hiring a great team takes time and can be a long process. If you want s good team then invest time and effort into finding one and you will recieve it. Don’t just hire because you need people. Overall good article and well put together

  • Will Ettl

    Picking the right team is the most important part. You need the right people around you in order for you to build and become bigger. If you do not put the right parts together than you will only plateau and will never grow but when you bring in the appropriate pieces and put them together just right than everything will work out in your favor.

  • ryanstorto

    It is such a difficult time these days where you keep needing more and more school, but that still doesnt even guarantee you a job. It is more about who you know not what you know so when you look at it that way, everything is a team effort.

  • afallon14

    I agree with you! Pretty much every job I have had, it has been necessary to be able to work with other people and share ideas and if you can’t do that then you may not be right for the job. It may take time to develop for some people, but it is worth it in the long run to be able to have people skills and work with people you may not know to create connections.

  • barema28

    I agree with you! All about who you know not what you know these days. Along with that is personality and your people skills. Thanks for sharing

  • Ryan Dow

    Every interview that I have been part of has made the interview all about the group environment. And about 85% of the questions have been group work questions.

  • Bjackson5

    The only I in team should be the one that each individual dedicates. If this can be done efficiently there can be a maximum amount of progress produced by the team, bringing them closer to their goals. Its sad that many people can’t see themselves as a teammate to their family members, friends, or even athletic incorporation, but this shows how much more we should be aware of how close we can be with those we surround ourselves with.

  • purperoar21

    A team has to be a support system. Any ounce of envy or jealousy will be an automatic failure in obtaining a successful team. Therefore being surround by people who genuinely want to see you strive are the kind of people that will continue to help you improve yourself. Unlike some who bring their competitive personality into the team setting. Looking out strictly for yourself when in a team is destructive and will not harmonize or move in sync with one another.

  • Jac Williamson

    This article gave me hope for the real world! As a current student-athlete, I’ve been instilled with what it means and what it takes to be on a team since I was a child. I agree with the idea that your team is everything. It’s one thing to be on a team with many talented players, but it’s another to have good court chemistry because it’s inevitable to be successful. Since the same concept applies in the workplace, it’s promising to know!