This month, our leadership journey takes us up another step on the leadership ladder. If you haven’t read my last blogs on leading yourself and leading within a team, please do so before you read this one; self-care and leadership within a team are foundational to other successful stages of leadership.

Whether you have a team of 2 or 200, the elements in this article will assist you in building and developing excellent teams in your workplace.

A 2017 CareerBuilder survey found that 74% of employers stated they hired the wrong person for the job. Research by Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees in the United States cost businesses anywhere from $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity each year. Why is selection and hiring so costly? What are the points to consider as you look to build and develop an effective team?

Through my research and decades of building and developing teams, I have found three essential elements to effective selection and hiring the best talent. To have a successful 21st-century team, you must consider skills, behaviors, and team integration.


As you look to select and hire the best candidates for your team, skills are the foundation. You must have a way to gauge skills for the position you are selecting for and know the candidate  can do the work. You need to look for three sub-areas of skills when hiring: education, experience, and accomplishments.

When it comes to education, think about the future. Don’t hire for the education required now; based on your company vision, define what education will be needed years in the future and hire against that requirement.

Experience matters, but how can you validate the experience? Too often, resumes overindulge on experience, but leaders don’t validate the experience with hands-on tests.  How would requiring a hands-on test and validation of key experiences enhance your hiring process?  How can you set up the interview process to validate the experiences of all candidates? 

Finally, there are accomplishments. What level of accomplishments will you require for this position? How do you truly validate the accomplishments on a resume?  With the hard skills evaluated and vetted, now think of the required behaviors for the new hire.


This step is about asking, “Does the candidate demonstrate the skills to get the work done?”  There are many ways to validate required behaviors.  One of the most popular is to have the finalist take a personality assessment such as the DiSC profile.  The key is to choose an assessment that will provide the required analysis you need.  For example, if you want to gauge strengths and weaknesses instead of behavioral tendencies, then the Clifton Strengths 34 would be more beneficial than DiSC. There are many options in the market—you just need to determine which one works best for your situation. 

Once you decide on an assessment, think through the competencies required for the position. What competencies do you want the new hire to have? Seek to find 8-10 competencies you can gauge candidates on. Once competencies are selected and assessments have been taken, you can better prepare for the final interviews by developing behavior-based questions that force the candidates to think through problems. After the interviews, you’ll have a better idea of which candidates are the best fit for your team—and you are ready for the final stage of selection and hiring; team integration.

Team Integration

Up to this point, you may have candidates that seem to be great fits for the positions.  However, if you select them before this last step, you could cause severe turmoil for your team.  The first two steps enable you to assess if the candidate is a great individual selection but assessing team integration will allow you to see if they are a great fit within a team.

If you have used behavior-based assessments like DiSC, you can continue to utilize them by integrating the personality styles of other team members. The essential question you are trying to answer is: “How will the candidate’s style add value to the role and team?” The issues that arise from not assessing team integration with new hires can cause higher turnover in your team, productivity loss, and overall performance degradation. 

Lawrence Bossidy, a former GE executive, once stated, “I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.” Does your company have a solid selection and hiring process? What skills are needed for the future? What behaviors do you look for?  How do you confirm excellent team integration? If you don’t know, the process outlined above can get you started.