When it comes to building a team, experience isn't everything. That’s the view of Jason Gault, founder and managing director of TeamJobs. When you bring a mix of skills, personalities and motivation to the table, a business starts to find momentum when a culture is formed.
Lets delve a bit deeper into what it all means and how you can apply your side.
Teams Are About Motivated People
Jason picked up the conversation.“Obviously it’s great if people have recruiting experience but that’s only half the battle. For me, it’s important that we get real people – people who are balanced, confident, have character,” he says.
“Anyone can deliver a process. It’s about delivering that extra layer the ‘who we are’, the people of this business which is so important.
“You look at everyone at TeamJobs, they’re all real characters, they’re very comfortable in their own space. We’ve created the culture to be like that. I know everyone in the company really, really well.”
Some of Jason’s 30-strong team have been with the business for a decade. He encourages staff to take on challenges and grow.
“Not everyone wants to be an MD or a manager but it’s about finding someone who wants to be better than they would otherwise be and develop and progress,” he says.
“I’ve always said the test of a new person is, I want them pushing hard enough that they make some mistakes. I’d rather be tucking in a few edges than them not trying hard enough and playing it safe all the time.”
Teams Are Not About Being Perfect
Being part of a team can mean admitting you don’t know everything.
“The thing that works for people to associate with you is frankness and openness,” says Jason.
“We believe we’re very good at what we do – but we’re also the first to explain that we didn’t always know everything and we recognise the journey that we’ve been on.”
Even when dealing with major employers, he says it’s important to “treat people as people”.
“Yes, they’re our client. Yes, we have to nail our service. But we treat them like we treat anyone else and we have the confidence, the knowledge and the character to talk about the exciting things that are happening in our business that might be relevant to their business.”
That can even mean asking clients for advice.
“I will phone a client – as I’ve done in two instances in the last two weeks – to ask their advice about something I was challenged with in my own business, just to bounce an idea off them. Clients love that and they help me and I’ve got another contact. That to me is what it’s all about, building that partnership.”
Teams Can’t Specialise In Everything
TeamJobs started out trying to be all things to everybody, Jason admits. It’s common in high street recruitment agencies.
“It’s very hard to be a specialist in everything,” he says. “If you go into a dedicated IT recruitment company, there probably would be 30 people and they’d all work slightly differently and that guy wouldn’t know a lot about what that guy does.
“The first thing we’ve done is nail our process to the floor – and the process in theory works for whatever you recruit for. Our big add-on to clients is how we do it. Behind that, we’re then learning to a high degree different sectors.”
TeamJobs has an executive level recruiter specialising in leadership roles, particularly in manufacturing and engineering. It has a commercial arm and intends to hire a finance specialist.
“Specialism is definitely where it needs to be. It’s getting that credibility with a client that we know enough about their sector,” he adds.
Teams Need Shared Values
A good team has to have common values and ethos, Jason believes.
“In recruitment, because you get so many fastballs, I need people who instinctively know what needs to be done in this situation to make a client feel comfortable and that we are dealing with it,” he says.
“By creating values in the team – how we behave with each other, how we treat each other, how we expect quite a lot of each other – those translate into the way we deal with our clients.
“If you spend any time in any part of the business there will obviously be different approaches but the general ethos is the same, where we all go above and beyond, whatever it takes to get it done.”
Teams Need Trust And Encouragement
“If we lose even one person, even if they weren’t a high-performing person, I see that as a real negative unless there’s a good reason,” says Jason.
“If there’s any thought they’ve left our business for any other reason than that they’ve moved away or there’s a fantastic opportunity to progress their career – if we lose somebody because they’re disillusioned, disengaged, we haven’t developed them or whatever – I see that as a personal failure.”
He adds: “The culture we have is colleagues and friends, including me. We’re like any team of 30 people, you get frictional moments and challenges along the way but everyone’s very protective over who we are. I really feel I can trust any of them to a very high degree.”
Lets Round Up
A culture centred on teamwork comes from understanding all the dynamics and responsibilities of the people who represent a company. When solving problems together, being part of something and an all round goal to support and collaborate helps create a strong company ethos where everyone has a key role to play and a foot in how a company develops.