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By Steven Stevenson

Myths & Facts about Team Hiring


Since 2015 my company, Elevator, has been introducing teams to companies, and we’ve learned a few things. Below are some myths and facts about team hiring. I started out writing replies in forums about the different perceptions about team based hiring. Instead of replying to each thread, I felt it better to answer them all together. I have collected a list of top questions and assumptions, but feel free to ask me directly if you have any questions or feel that there is something missing: steven@goelevator.com.

6 Big Myths/Facts about team hiring:

1. From companies: The team only cares about opportunities for everyone.

Part Myth and Part Fact. In dealing with multiple individuals in a team, this is one of the first topics we discuss. In many cases, it doesn’t make sense for the entire team to move together, and in those cases, we encourage future referrals. In other cases, teams often want to move together or work remotely together. This opens up a lot of interesting conversations, especially with companies that promote remote work. The real answer is, you have to ask to find out.


2. From teams: We don’t have to interview individually if we already work as a team.

Myth. In today’s work structure, contracts and responsibilities still rely on an agreement between the individual and the company. We work in the best interest of the team so that they have the ability to apply together and get opportunities. If you are looking for full time, part time or remote work, each team member will still have to go through the interview process. We have found this is actually to the team’s benefit. You can discuss success stories fully, because other team members can share a larger picture of what it looks like for the team to succeed.


3. From teams: It will be harder to find a company to match my team’s culture.

Fact. In any company culture, having more than one team work together can be the toughest part of any project. The advantage that great teams have is a good sense of what defines the way they communicate and succeed. When a company talks to a team, culture is a big question. Is this a bad thing? If you know what conditions makes you successful, then isn’t it good to find if the company has those conditions? Applying as a team gives you a better idea if you would actually work well at the company.


4. Team opportunities do not exist.

Myth. Many companies don’t understand team-hiring or can’t conceptualize a team opportunity. However, they completely understand acquihires and acquisitions. Here’s a common story about a well-funded startup struggling to succeed. A company has an engineering team creating the best product, but the market is slow to respond. Weeks later you hear about a possible acquisition from X, Y, or Z company to purchase said company. Low and behold, that acquisition is most likely more about acquiring the talent that built that product, rather than the product itself. Opportunities for the team exist, and our job at Elevator is to work with the companies and showcase those opportunities.


5. From teams: Only niche companies will hire teams.

Myth. We work with companies throughout the United States. Companies are heavily in need of hires, especially in software engineering. These companies need creative and new ways to attract people. From seed round to top 100 companies, every company has shown interest when we introduce teams. If we don’t currently have a company your team is interested in, we work with you to find companies you want.


6. From companies: Hiring an individual is easier than a team.

Fact. The interview process is already difficult, with the hiring manager, leadership, and other colleagues all having a say. Why would companies want to receive a team to further complicate this? If this were true, then why would companies want to have more than 1 candidate? Companies receive 1000s of applicants of which they have to interview dozens of candidates across several weeks. Interviewing more and more candidates is a growing reality. Any team may consist of 2–5 individuals. We find that the anyone applying in a team provides a better explanation of who each person is and a better chance of making a match to that company.


Our experience has shown us that conceptually there is a big difference between hiring teams and hiring individuals, but in reality it’s a lot simpler. Take 2–3 engineers applying to the same tech company. They all have great experience, work in similar technologies and complement each other. The company then has to figure out how many roles are available at that time for these 2–3 engineers. They go through the interview process, meet with possible managers, and get hired. This is no different than if a team were to apply together. Sure, there may be hiring difficulties, but that is also true applying individually. Team hiring is simpler than you think! Invite your favorite colleagues to join goelevator.com and see if any opportunities interest you.

My project aims to improve the way companies look at individuals. As companies venture to find the best teams, they find that all it takes is a team that communicates well together. At every company I’ve worked with there has always been a core team at its center. If you have a great team, then we want to find the best opportunities for you and your colleagues.

Mission Control Room

Take Hold of Your Career.

My current purpose at Elevator is driven by the belief that teams are everything. Now imagine how serious I took the question, “Do teams change people’s lives?

I asked this question in an effort to find the best way Elevator can improve teams for an individual’s career. So, we sought out research done by top companies about employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and culture growth. It’s no surprise that the most sought after companies care deeply about not only productivity, but also how to maintain the best company culture. In each case, teams were the underlying problem as well as the solution.

Let’s look at one of the most controversial team members: the manager. Google’s Project Oxygen presented their research on “Why Managers Matter,” and their findings are — of no surprise to us at Elevator — about the importance of teams. Behaviors such as being a good coach, empowering the team, and having a clear vision/strategy for the team are just a few of the top characteristics. Each of these traits are more than just desired behaviors in managers — they are values found in any good team player.

The Ideal Team Player is a book that we keep on the shelf here at Elevator. This book comes to a similar conclusion about what behaviors are expected in an ideal team player. A good coach, empowering the team, and interests in other team members is exactly what we see in all the great teams in the world.

Great teams take success seriously, and that means considering the team seriously when it comes to making decisions.

Other companies’ research shows similar trends about where the true power of the individual lies in deciding their career future. The real power is not in the title of the job, but in the teams that help you rise in your career. If you do look for a new job, you depend on your old team for your references. If a new project is coming your way, it’s your team that will help you succeed in accomplishing it.

If you’re looking to drive your career, look no further than improving and creating success for your team.

Before you think about all the people that you can put in one team, think instead about the few colleagues you want to work with again. Think about the people who know you the best and can provide solid evidence of your worth. After all, who better than your colleagues to help explain your accomplishments and your process? It’s not a far jump to realize that the direction of your career is not in your next job, but your work and relationships in your current team. It’s no wonder — when you do make the next career change — the company looks at your accomplished colleagues in the past. They want to bring your best colleagues back together again.

Companies use referral programs that tap into your previous teams to find the same value they see in you. Guess what has the highest satisfaction and success when changing companies? Referrals are at the top of every company and recruiter’s mind, because they know that a past team member is the most likely to have exactly what they want.

So if you’re looking to take hold of your career, build your team. Work on projects. Take your team to the next level. By enlisting the same behavior Google strives for in managers, you’ll see huge changes in your team. By recognizing the importance and power of your team, you will have the confidence and ability to make real changes in your company. Finally, by empowering your team, you move up together. Most importantly, you start taking hold of your own career.

Writing your team’s story.

Sometime in your career you will work with amazing people…teammates that make you feel like you can take on the world together. Your team is what’s great about the projects you work on. Innovation, execution and collaboration all come naturally to a great team, and we want to take your team to the next level. Companies have always relied on the experience of great teams to propel them in any industry. Your team’s successes may be exactly what companies, like our partners, need for their next big jump. With Elevator, our hope is to build a place for great teamwork to shine.

On Elevator, teams can showcase their success, their culture and what makes them great. Regardless of where you are in your current job, why not show the world how your team has succeeded? Who knows what opportunities are out there!

It’s time to write your team’s story. We wrote earlier about assembling a great team, but let’s go further. Top companies want to know what makes your team special. You’ve brought your bandmates together. Now it’s time to take the stage.

 

Highlight Your Team.

Everyone has their role in any project, but it’s not the role that makes you important in a team; it’s you. Are you the big idea thinker or are you helping keep track of the details? Do you like connecting people, or making the team more efficient? It’s important to tell others what makes each person in the team unique, and how each individual contributes to the team’s success.

Design Team on Elevator

Check out this Design Team

Present Your Achievements.

Showcasing your accomplishments as a team provides a new level of insight that companies rarely see. Unlike an individual resume, presenting team projects gives companies a bird’s eye view of how you work. If you are looking for more projects or a new company, the best way to explain the types of projects you can tackle is showing your achievements and the team that made you get there.

Anaytics Engineering Team on Elevator

Check out this Product Team

Every team has a reason to be proud of their past work, and it’s up to you to present them in a way that best highlights not only what you have completed, but how you got there.

 

Tell Your Story.

Building cohesion can take time, and the experiences that teams have together are what sets them apart. You may have met your teammates at a conference, through a school project, or maybe you even started off as office enemies. Whatever the team’s story, everyone should hear about it. Your story is what defines how you work, and how the team succeeds. Tell a story about how the team overcame a poor sales report, or how they relax when they’re under tense deadlines. Tell us about the opportunities that excite you, and the types of opportunities where you know your teamwork will shine.

Don’t forget to also take time to reflect on past accomplishments that you and your team are proud of. Reflection is the key to your team’s confidence in tackling challenges that lie ahead.

Branding Team on Elevator

Check out this Branding Team

Every story is unique, and it’s the team’s responsibility to celebrate what makes them different. Companies will entrust their projects to the teams that care about what they do. New opportunities, jobs, and projects are available everyday – it’s time to add another chapter to your team’s story.

 

Share Your Team.

You never know when the next opportunity will arise, so just like you have a LinkedIn profile, your team should showcase itself on Elevator . Once your team page is ready, share  the projects that you have accomplished as a team with your friends, family and colleagues.

Companies aggressively search for high-performing individuals in every industry.  Show that you are up for the challenge, both as an individual and as a team.

Join Elevator as we help all teams find the right opportunities for them. Let’s move up together.