This post was written by our Co-Founder JuIiet Eccleston

There’s no escaping the shockwaves rippling through the country after the recent resignations of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis, with both saying they are unable to agree with Prime Minister Theresa May on a number of key issues. Given that Johnson is the sixth of Theresa May’s cabinet ministers to step down in just nine months, the drama which is unfolding before the public eye highlights the importance of building genuinely cohesive teams that are pulling in the same direction. Politics aside, team dynamic is something which every business owner has to consider.

A risky business

When looking for new team members, hirers seek individuals that share the values and vision of the existing team, who can collaborate with others and form successful professional relationships. The problem for managers is that, despite the most rigorous of interviews, it can be difficult to judge how much of a team-player a candidate is until they are actually doing the job. Consequently, employers will want to reduce the risk of disruption which might happen after introducing an unknown individual into the workplace.

References – not always accurate

But, some might ask, isn’t that what references are for? In a way, yes, but I’d argue that they aren’t always reliable because they don’t give a full picture of what it’s like to work with an individual.  As an extreme example, a charity recently provided a glowing reference for an employee who had ‘behaved inappropriately’ towards colleagues. This led to him being successfully appointed to an executive position with his new employer being none the wiser. While cases such as this are, thankfully, rare, it does show that employers wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable to wonder if the testimonials that they are receiving are wholly reliable.

Personal recommendations – an honest insight

It’s my firm belief that a far better way to establish what a potential recruit is really like and, consequently, the likelihood of them fitting into your team is to receive a recommendation from someone who has worked with them professionally, but who isn’t writing a formal reference. Instead, they are vouching for an individual because they genuinely believe that they’d be a great fit for the job, not because the potential candidate is asking them to.

It’s one of the reasons that I co-founded AnyGood?, a platform where individuals recommend people that they have worked with – either now or in the past – for roles. When one professional vouches for another in this way, it’s a genuine personal endorsement rather than something which might only be written out of duty, meaning that it gives you an honest insight into how well a person works with others. Better still, the recommendation comes at the very first stage of the recruitment process, meaning that no time is wasted shortlisting or interviewing an entirely unsuitable candidate. What’s more, it means that you’ll be able to target passive candidates who aren’t actively looking for a job but who could be open to an attractive opportunity.

So, with the wrong hire potentially costing your firm somewhere in the region of £132,000, not to mention the disruption that it can cause among a settled team, it’s vital to hire an individual that is the right fit. It’s my opinion that there’s no better way than having them come recommended by someone who can vouch for their ability to be a team player.

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