Right People, Right Seats: Hiring for Team Synergy

hiring for team synergy

Plenty of leaders are looking to create team synergy. That requires putting the right people in the right seats. That’s catchy and easy enough to say, but how does the process look? Well, for one thing, it’s not just about hiring. It also has to do with a system that many world-class entrepreneurial companies have in place for managing human energy. 

Gino Wickman, founder of EOS® Worldwide, calls it the Entrepreneurial Operating System, which is known as the EOS business model. The EOS system uses simple concepts and tools that help businesses and leaders run their companies better. Using this approach, any business can create more synergistic teams and boost their bottom line. 

First, let’s start with an overview of the principles of the EOS business model. These principles underpin the practices needed to hire the right people and to promote the team synergy your business requires. 

What Is the EOS Business Model?

EOS has six key components. They follow a natural order, but keep in mind that all six components are equally important and interconnected. The components include the following:

  1. Vision: Ensuring that there is a crystal clear plan for the organization and that everyone is singing from the same hymnal
  2. People: Putting in place great people (i.e., rock stars, A-players) from top to bottom
  3. Data: Having the right handful of numbers easily available that provide a pulse on the organization
  4. Issues: Building a muscle that allows the organization to be adept at problem-solving so that issues don’t linger 
  5. Process: Systematizing and documenting processes so that your organization runs like a Swiss watch
  6. Traction: Bringing discipline and accountability to bear in executing the vision

When these components are working together, all of the energy is going in one direction. This is how small entrepreneurs become thriving enterprises. They not only make great money, they are also able to attract and retain the best employees. Why is that?

Hiring the Right People

Entrepreneurial companies in all types of businesses share plenty of the same challenges. Wickman says that he “lovingly calls them the 136 issues that all entrepreneurs face.” The EOS business model was created to take a holistic approach to tackling these problems at the root. 

It seems that all of these problems can be mapped to the six key components. Get these components right and everything else falls into place. That’s because the components are part of a system that are all oriented toward your company’s true north: its vision.

When the executive team and all employees are aligned, you have synergy. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The best synergy means that you have a mix of people on your team. When the CEO, for example, is a visionary, the company needs a counterbalance. That counterbalance is the person who runs the everyday business and helps take the company to the next level. This leaves the CEO free to run with a vision and let the innovative ideas flow. 

Think Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandburg. Or Ray Croc and Fred Turner. McDonald’s may never have achieved world domination if it weren’t for Turner’s operational acumen. Sandburg and Turner are integrators. Although the aforementioned dynamic duos may be polar opposites, they were united behind a singular vision. 

Hiring Tips for Right People, Right Seats

EOS principles can be applied to all systems of the company, including hiring. The following are eight EOS-based tips to help you achieve team synergy.

  1. Ensure that the people you hire are aligned to the vision of the company. Skills can be acquired, but values don’t change easily.
  2. Look for relentless learners. Whether you’re hiring visionaries or integrators, you want employees who realize that they are never as good as they could be. Learners are continually interested in growing and expanding their horizons.
  3. Complement the existing team. Understand your company culture and how the people you hire will collaborate with them. You don’t want to hire clones. Look for diversity and balance in your teams. Wickman calls the combination of visionaries and integrators “rocket fuel.” There are other combinations of leadership styles that can be equally as powerful.
  4. Take the résumé with a grain of salt. Don’t throw it out, but don’t be dazzled by creative writing and inflated titles. Do the candidates have fresh ideas and passion? Are they aware of their abilities and deficiencies? Can they grow with the company? Focus on the important things.
  5. Lose the job description. Find new hires who have a proven track record of getting the type of results you need. 
  6. Get creative in your interview. There are plenty of boilerplate questions you can ask that invite similarly lackluster responses. They don’t help you get to know the person, how they think, and what’s important to them.
  7. Use objective hiring criteria. It’s not whether the person is part of your tribe or that they attended your alma mater; it’s about whether they can achieve the success outcomes required for the job. That’s where you’ll find common ground.
  8. Gather evidence of the ability to problem-solve. You need creative problem-solvers at every level of your organization. This means finding people who have the skills already and are willing to teach and empower others to learn the same skills.

Get the Process Right

It can be challenging to find the right people. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurial companies — or any company, for that matter. But when you commit to a solid operating system like EOS, you’ll find that implementing a good hiring process is just a matter of following good practices like those given above.

Looking for your next executive hire? We have a proven system at Y Scouts that can help you put the right people in the right seats.