Team Fit Trumps Can Do and Will Do Every Time

When we bring anyone on board our team, we look for three important things: Can Do, Will Do, and Team Fit. Of these three elements, however, the Team Fit is arguably the most critical.

Why? It’s simple: Their Can Do and Will Do could be really strong but if they don’t have Team Fit, what they can and will do becomes disruptive.

In other words, if they don’t want to fit in with what we do, then we don’t want them here. And all the Can Do and Will Do aren’t going to change that for us.

If I only read this far and stopped, I would think I sound like the kind of boss that says, “It’s my way or the highway!” But I’m not. My style of leadership is collaborative, and our company culture reflects that. Because of that I would say hands down our employees are our most valuable assets.

So, let’s take a closer look at each of these three things and its relation to how I hire these valuable assets?

  1. Can Do: An employee must be capable of performing and excelling at the tasks required of the jobAre they capable of learning and performing the job?  Are they smart enough? Do they have right skill set already? If not, can they learn it or will they never really catch on? Before I hire anyone, I must know that this area is covered.
  2. Will Do: Employees must want to do the work it takes to do the job. Are they willing to put forth the effort required to complete the job effectively?  Do they have enough initiative and drive?  Or will they just become a drain on our resources? Once we hire most of our employees, they are not going to leave AP Recovery for a long time. I want to make sure new members of the team will have the same staying power.
  3. Team Fit: They can get along with the team and the company mission. Will they mesh with the rest of the team well enough to be a respected, productive, and contributing member?  Or will they become a cancerous disruption? I appreciate when we challenge each other’s ideas and ask another team member to defend their plan, but I don’t like when it doesn’t serve to move us closer to the goal of solving a problem for a client. Arguing out of habit or creating a combative atmosphere isn’t something any of us have time for when we are trying to reach our goals.

Our team’s goal first and foremost is to solve problems for our clients. If an employee accepts this goal and puts in the effort to achieve it, they will solve those problems.

The good news for our employees is the rewards are significant for the effort.

I enjoy hiring a person that was doing okay before they joined us, but then comes to AP Recovery and does WELL. That’s a big plus about this whole venture for me. We used to have 10 or 15 employees; now we have 75 or more. And we still have a personal relationship with each employee.

Not every hire we make is our best hire. We all need to be going for the same goal and if we are not, then we need to make a change. By looking for employees that Can Do, Will Do and have a Team Fit, that situation is the exception rather than the rule.  

What do you look for in your new hires? I’d love to hear your criteria in the comments below.

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Dawson Caldwell is the President and CEO at AP Recovery, the undisputed leader in off-site recovery audits and prevention technologies for disbursement management. Since founding the company in 1994, Dawson put his extensive experience in audit work flow and process management to work on behalf of AP Recovery clients. He admits that nothing excites him more in business than clients with a data-related problem his team can solve for them.