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How to effectively hire employees and build a team

Understanding how to design a recruitment process and find employees is essential for building a strong team that you can rely on to help your business succeed

Finding good employees is an important part of building a team at your company, but the recruitment process is only half of it. To really turn new hires into team members, you also need a defined onboarding process you can use to train and integrate people. Clearly mapping out the steps of hiring and onboarding is crucial to smooth HR in your business.

Table of contents

1. Why is hiring employees crucial?

2. How should your recruitment process look?

2.1. Understand your needs

2.2. Write detailed job descriptions

2.3. Interview intentionally

2.4. Assess candidate skills

2.5. Gather references

3. How do you take new hires and build a team?

3.1. Set common goals

3.2. Encourage diversity

3.3. Let your team experiment

3.3. Communicate regularly

Why is hiring employees crucial?

Finding and hiring good employees is an essential skill to master as a manager. The right employees will contribute not only to your business but to the environment around them and create a positive feedback loop of sorts. And if you want to build a team, you’ll need to choose your hires well.

While it might take longer the more criteria you have, finding the right new hires has several benefits. For one thing, finding employees that are a match for your business reduces employee turnover and saves money, since you’ll only have to go through the hiring process once.

Taking the time to find a suitable, skilled candidate also means higher productivity. Every business needs to provide training to new hires, especially on company-specific software and tools, but skilled employees catch on much faster. The right employees are also cultural fits and will interact well with your existing employees.

If your business is customer-facing, finding new hires that are cultural fits is even more important. When an employee who shares your business values interacts with a customer, they will present a consistent brand image and they’ll be more likely to leave a positive impression on that customer.

A group of software engineering employees working together

How should your recruitment process look?

Knowing why you’re looking for the right new hires is the first step in the recruitment process. The next step is to design steps that guide you towards the best candidates. There are a host of hiring best practices you can use to guide you.

Understand your needs

The first step to hiring employees is to know what your business needs. What skill sets are lacking? What roles aren’t yet filled?

Understanding your needs also means assessing company culture so that you know the ideal values and mindset prospective candidates will have. Always think of recruitment as addressing gaps in your company.

Write detailed job descriptions

In order to attract a candidate with the appropriate skills who is ready to meet your needs, those needs must be crystal clear. When preparing job descriptions, specify the skills and background you are looking for, and list specific responsibilities.

It’s a good idea to ask other managers in your organization what they need in an employee and then use those answers for the job description. That way you avoid preparing a generic post. Additionally, mention the benefits and salary associated with the position – salary transparency is incredibly appreciated by job seekers and demonstrates an honest company culture.

Interview intentionally

Job interviews are the most crucial stage of hiring and prove that it’s not all about a good resumé. Interviews are most useful when they give you a sense of the applicant’s personality and behavior.It’s a good idea to prepare a checklist or rubric ahead of time to evaluate answers.

This is where you ask about a candidate’s goals to make sure that they will fit in well at your company and get a sense of how they work. Behavior-based interviewing, such as asking them how they’ve handled specific challenges in the past, is ideal for this.

Giving job applicants enough time to prepare for interviews is also important. That way, they will be able to give thoughtful answers.

Assess candidate skills

Most successful interview processes involve a skill assessment. Think back to your job posting and the specific responsibilities you included, then have candidates complete a task that fulfills those responsibilities. Have the skill assessment be as close to the work required as possible.

Some companies even have candidates come in for a full or half day trial. The good thing about this approach, even though it makes the hiring process longer and can be difficult to schedule, is you can observe their interaction with others in the office.

Gather references

The simplest way to find out what an applicant is like at work is to ask people who have worked with them before. Remember, you’re hiring a team member, so it’s important that they can collaborate well and are a positive presence.

The first step is to check on the references that candidates have already listed. If that’s not enough, or they don’t have any references (which isn’t normally a good sign), look for people who may have worked with them in the past. Your best sources of information would be their past managers or immediate colleagues.

If all of these things have been done well, you’ll end up choosing between very promising new hires that are easy to build a team with.

A diverse team of employees in a conference call

How do you take new hires and build a team?

Successful teams are teams that are productive, work well together, meet goals and deadlines, and generally make the manager’s job much easier. Here’s how hiring employees that fit well individually turns into building a cohesive team.

Set common goals

The most basic characteristic of a team is that they’re all working towards the same thing. So to foster team development, give your employees goals to reach together. Once these goals are defined, you can determine how each person can contribute.

Having clear goals helps define the roles of each team member. Defined roles give employees insight into their position at the company and provide a metric for measuring employee performance.

Know your team’s skills

Team development is impossible if you don’t have a good grasp of everyone’s capabilities. Knowing who can do what well allows you to assign roles easily and helps you figure out whose skills complement each other.

Your goal is to build a team where all weaknesses are covered. To do that, you need to assemble teams according to the skills each member has.

Encourage diversity

Diverse teams tend to perform better and function more cohesively. One reason diverse workplaces perform better is that hiring employees from many different backgrounds leads to several ways of problem solving.

Diversity in your business doesn’t just mean age, race, sex, or gender. Team development is strengthened when you hire employees with different life experiences, socioeconomic backgrounds, and similar acquired characteristics.

Let your team experiment

Part of building a team is giving its members the freedom to try things and making sure they know mistakes are ok. Risk taking can lead to a more efficient way of doing things, so innovative thinking should never be punished. Instead, just make sure that when team members take risks, they aren’t endangering too much of your bottom line.

By the same token, you should appreciate employee failures as well as successes. Acknowledge that they think about problems in a different or new way and celebrate that ingenuity. You can take lessons from failures without reprimanding the effort.

Communicate regularly

Communication is a vital aspect of team development both within a team and between a manager and a team. You should regularly update your team on their goals, their progress, any issues you’ve found, and their good work. Always be clear that you are there to offer support if needed.

Team members also need to feel secure communicating with one another. Try different ways of getting your team talking and bonding. It can be as simple as asking people what they did over the weekend, or more like a team-building exercise.

Communicating, setting goals, and defining clear responsibilities are all easier with digital checklist software like Lumiform. The fully mobile app can be used anywhere, so it’s easy for employees to see when they’ve been assigned a new checklist. You can schedule every inspection and process that needs finishing so that team members have all the information they need to work together and get things done.

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