I discovered a interesting and detrimental hiring phenomenon occurring in an organization with which I once worked. IAS  ran a TeamScan assessment to clarify the strengths and weakness of this particular organizational team and what we  found was that all the members had the same – or very similar – strength sets. There was little, if any, variation on this important team.

Most of us like to be around people similar to ourselves (not always of course!), so it was NOT hard to believe all the team members were hired by the same person. However, on most effective team it is critical to have diversity of strengths. Yet, the complimentary strengths we need on our team are often viewed as the source of our greatest aggravation – mostly because those strengths are so very different from our own. If we are a “big-picture person” we often need “detail-oriented” people around us, but the problem is they drive us crazy. “Take-charge” type people need “collaborative” colleagues around them to succeed, but then “take-charge” people must not devalue their colleagues because they are not self-starters.

It takes significantly more energy to work with people who have complementary strengths to your own. If everyone on the team possesses the same strengths it takes considerable less energy to get stuff done and have positive relationships. However, there will be tons of things that get overlooked or placed on the back burner when they are important because you do not have someone on your team to handle them.

The key here is to know what strengths your team members possess and in what areas you may be lacking. Then, when you are hiring, be deliberate about looking for candidates who can fill in the gaps within your team. Of course, it is a given that the candidate must also be a fit for the role you are going to place them in. A behavioral assessment tool, like the one IAS uses, provides clients can help you better determine this and hire confidently to create a functional, well balanced team.