How to build an exceptional team

The success of a business is largely dependent on its ability to hire the right people. We all know that. However, did you realize that hiring the workers is more than just picking individuals with the right skill set and drive? Employees’ ability to work together in a cohesive manner organically can have a drastic impact on the efficiency and output of a team.

Whether a team’s goal is to create an innovative service, crunch the numbers or manage a group of people, the dynamic between the individuals who make up that group matters. Merging personalities, backgrounds and the strengths and weaknesses of a team takes more than filling in a quick skill chart.

According to Harvard Business Review, high-performing teams are the result of individuals with superior levels of cooperation, participation and collaboration driven from trust and a shared strong sense of group identity. These exceptional teams posses high levels of group emotional intelligence and have confidence in their effectiveness as a team.

“When you create a climate of trust and the sense that ‘We are better together than we are apart,'” Vanessa Urch Druskat, an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire, told the news source. “It leads to greater effectiveness.”

Staffing firms helping their clients fill roles are aware of the desired team dynamics that promotes high-performing departments. However, with all of the data involved with appropriately filling these positions, a recruitment agency can quickly become overburdened with details, which can lead to an unorganized mess that promotes inefficiency. Firms desiring a more effective approach will find that up-to-date, intuitive staffing agency software, developed by industry professionals who know the staffing business, provides the details recruiters need in an easy-to-access format. The information that will help drive effective contingent staff placing and better allow a consultant to recommend the missing link in a department will be readily available.

Here are a few tips on how to create a strong team:

1. Balance power displays. Amidst the team dynamic, a manager exerting his or her control over the group constantly can squelch discussion and intimidate workers. However, fearing the position and being unable to lead a group will have negative consequences as well. Instead, your best strategy would be to let workers keep personal autonomy and feel free to discuss and bounce ideas around with the team. When it comes time for execution or making a decision you can lead the pack, while still listening and taking into account other people’s opinions.

2. Celebrate success. It’s unavoidable – there are lows to every job. However, there are highs as well. Building a high-functioning team will involve celebrating the highs and recognizing the individuals who help bring success. Both individual and group achievements should be celebrated and it doesn’t always have to be something big. Positive people help make a team friendlier and are willing to congratulate someone, clap or offer words expressing solidarity.

3. Define workers’ roles. It’s unlikely that members of a team will have the same job description or be directed to the same tasks. However, to avoid conflict it’s best to clearly define everyone’s role in the team. Hypothetically, if a worker knows his or her place in the team’s inner workings, regardless of whether a person is a contingent worker or permanent, they will feel more comfortable. Understanding the role and the expectations that come with that position will allow an individual to merge more effectively in a group dynamic and get acclimated to a job faster.


Facebook Snooping: Steer Your Staffing Agency Clear Of the Stupidity

As CMO for a large staffing software company, I am fully aware of the need to vet job prospects.  No company is going to the last stages of interviewing without background checks and personality tests.  But requiring candidates to turn over their Facebook passwords? Absolutely over the line – for a number of reasons:

1.    Employers and staffing agencies alike will be flirting with discrimination lawsuits. 
While everyone is in an uproar about having to share personal information with potential employers in the form of photos, updates and friends, both employers and staffing agencies need to realize that other information on people’s profiles put them in a protected anti-discrimination class, such as race, gender, age and religion.

If a candidate makes it down to the wire of the interview process and then doesn’t get the job after sharing Facebook information, they’d have the makings of a discrimination suit.  Who’s to say that candidate didn’t get hired – not because of their photos or friends – but because of their religion?

2.    There must be a separation between private and public. 
It’s just plain wrong for corporations to require a look at an applicant’s personal Facebook page, regardless if it involves asking for their password or looking over their shoulder.  Just as with the separation of “church and state,” there needs to be a similar division between “public and private” in any democratic society.

Employer’s do have the right to determine if an individual will be suited to the corporate culture, and in the case of governmental agencies, to fit the personnel restrictions for prisons or law enforcement (i.e., no gang affiliations, etc.), but they do not have the right to snoop through a person’s personal, private information.  That’s akin to opening a job prospect’s mail.

3.    Facebook forbids the practice. 
Amidst all the fuss over this topic, Facebook came out with a statement establishing their position.  “As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job. And as the friend of a user, you shouldn’t have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don’t know and didn’t intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job. That’s why we’ve made it a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password.”

It’s important to note that not only does the network believe its bad internet protocol to share passwords; it’s also a huge security risk.

4.    Facebook snooping may soon be illegal.
Not surprisingly, the noise surrounding Facebook snooping has generated interest in the legislative arena, as well.  Just last week Rep. Chuck Schumer from New York and Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut called for investigations into the matter by the Justice Department and the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

The investigation will explore whether this practice violates the Stored Communications Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Both acts prohibit intentional access to electronic information and computer access without authorization.

Schumer summed up his concern by saying, “In an age where more and more of our personal information — and our private social interactions — are online, it is vital that all individuals be allowed to determine for themselves what personal information they want to make public and protect personal information from their would-be employers. This is especially important during the job-seeking process, when all the power is on one side of the fence.”

Ultimate, any employer, recruiter or staffing agency that engages in this dangerous behavior is putting itself in a negative position when it comes to future hiring – because honestly – the best candidates won’t put up with this kind of nonsense.

I’m interested to know how other staffing or recruiting professionals feel about this topic.  Please feel free to share your opinion via a comment below.

Does Your Employment Agency Software Measure Up?

Maybe you don’t currently have staffing software in your office. Maybe you have a program, but it doesn’t meet all your needs. Maybe you’re just wondering, “What else is out there?”

No matter why you’re looking at staffing software, here are some features that you should be looking for:

  • Intuitive applicant tracking and resume management. In some ways, the entire program should be intuitive, but these two features are the bread and butter of any staffing software. It simply must be easy to use them and to learn, via extended use, the finer details of the program.
  • Contact management. I’ve written a lot about the importance of social networking in the staffing industry. You and your colleagues have to be able to constantly – and easily –  grow and manage their contact list.
  • Cloud compatible. Why take up precious hard drive space with a cumbersome software program? Log in and let the software company worry about the hardware.
  • Mobile compatible. Mobile is the new frontier of…well, just about everything. Most of us are already  running around with portable, pocket-sized computers called smart phones.  Staffing software needs to be compatible with these devices as we all want to acceess work data at home, the coffee shop, the airport, the neighbor’s house, at our favorite London pub, and so on.
  • Compatibility. Employment agency software should work seamlessly with social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook, software like Office, Outlook, SQL, and other enterprise programs.
  • Standardized and Customizable. Some reports are used by just about every staffing company, and some are unique to particular sub-sections of the industry. Make sure your employment agency software offers both.
  • Service, service, service. Yes, staffing software should be intuitive, but of course ongoing training and support will be needed for optimal integration. Stay away from employment agency software that doesn’t come with a thorough training program, a plan for installation and data conversion, and ongoing support.

Of course, I think that Bond US has the best suite of  employment agency software in the business. Contact us today for more information. Better yet, set up a free demo and see if we measure up to the standards above.