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We have recently recruited a new facilitator in Sydney. I found the experience both rewarding and inspiring, so I thought I would share it with you.

The Leading Teams model is about empowerment and we apply our model to everything we do, including finding new members for our own team.

The pointy end of our recruitment process was to have the final four candidates sitting in the same room together with the three of us (Kurt Wrigley, Justin Peckett and myself) sharing their stories, presenting to the group and giving each other feedback. We also asked them to make the final decision for us…but I’ll get to that in a minute.

We talk to our clients about the importance of both competence and character when assessing someone’s suitability for a role or reviewing their performance and we certainly believe in this ourselves when we are trying to find someone for our team. Competence relates to skills and experience, whilst character is more about the person. At Leading Teams we place a significant emphasis on whether an individual will put the team’s needs before their own when required.

We received over 60 applications for the role and we shortlisted them down to 6 for interview. It can be difficult to assess character from the pages of a resume, so at this stage of the process we are primarily looking for competence – do they have relevant skills and experience?

The first interviews took place in a casual setting in a café/bar and we asked each of the 6 to bring 2 items of personal significance with them to present to us. This helped us get a better understanding of them as people. We also asked questions about the three key things we are looking for:
1. Their ability to fit and live our culture.
2. Their facilitation skills (could they be world’s best?).
3.Their ability to source and manage clients.

We then invited 4 to go to the second stage which involved spending half a day with us to experience a Leading Teams session, at the same time as the other candidates.

After Justin’s introduction to the session we split the four candidates into pairs and asked them to interview their partner before introducing them back to the rest of group. The three questions we posed were:
– What is your background (personal professional)?
– When was the last time you cried?
– What is one thing you’d change about your childhood if you could?

The questions encouraged a level of sharing that is probably not the norm for people who have just met, let alone competing for a job. All four challenged themselves and supported one another through the exercise. We could all sense the connection the group had made in a very short space of time. It also gave us a strong sense that we potentially had 4 candidates who could embrace the type of environment that we experience as facilitators daily.

We then had each applicant tell a personal story that related to the dynamics of a high-performance team and each member of the group (including the three of us) had the opportunity to provide them with feedback. This allowed us to see how they could perform under some pressure, which we find tests both character and competence. To be honest, we were blown away by their willingness to support each other with some detailed and insightful feedback.

The final component of the session saw each candidate present their plan for their first 90 days in our team which helped us get a sense of their networks and their understanding of how to build a business, while also providing us with an initial insight into what they would need in terms of support from us.

At the end of the process we posed the question to them… ‘Based on what you have seen, if you were us who would you recruit?’

This gave each applicant an opportunity to assess their own performance and to provide feedback to the others. The view in the room was unanimous. As a group we were clear about who would be the most suitable candidate for the role.

Thank you guys, you were outstanding and you contributed significantly to this process. We thank you sincerely. The only real downside to this process is that we can only recruit one of you.

Welcome to Leading Teams Shelly. We look forward to supporting you to become a world’s best facilitator and a valued member of our family.

Around the square: The behaviours we walk past are the behaviours we accept.

Tim joined Leading Teams in 2012 after experiencing our program as a client. Tim is a facilitator based in Northern NSW.