Forget the “Unicorn” and the “Rockstars”

Usually, in order to save on budget, or even due to conventional hiring methods, many companies find it ideal to forego bringing on teams where each person is an expert in a different area. In fact, with most traditional hiring practices, they’re overly focused on bringing on individuals. Conventional hiring methods don’t encourage strong team-building and collaboration, or even putting the right resources in place, although managers acknowledge that teams are essential to organizational success.

Writing at Work Futures, Rachel Mendelowitz explains, “We want people to collaborate cross-functionally and perform well on teams, but people are individually hired and individually compensated…. In short, the way we’ve set up our workforce drives a marketplace that pits individuals against one another, yet we are constantly encouraging them to collaborate and work together to innovate and drive results.”

That individualized focus is to the detriment of a company’s capabilities and potential because great teams outperform great individuals by far, as all resources to get the job done are strategically in place.

The Foundations of Teams of Experts

Establish Goals

A team may be tasked to redesign a website, build a mobile application, generate leads from online advertising, improve eCommerce sales, and still so much more. To know what a high performing team is for your company, you must first know where their efforts will be focused on, and how to allocate those resources. Depending on your company’s goals, a high performing team may require a wide range of skills and knowledge in areas like mobile development, UI architecture, web design, QA testing, SEO, and much more. Before building, or outsourcing, a team, you’ll need to establish your company’s goals and be very specific.

Team Roles

In developing your company goals, it will become evident what the key resources required to make your team successful are. Look at the responsibilities required to reach your goals and identify the specific roles that will need to be formed to carry out these responsibilities. Sometimes, even conversations with individuals, or light research in these areas, can help you best understand specific roles that, when brought on, can benefit in the long run.

For example, you want a developer to start building a web application for your company. However, with this task comes a lot of intricacies required, and for those intricacies come experts that are required to have a successful output. You need not only a developer to build the application, but a designer to create it, a QA tester to test it, UI/UX experts to ensure users interact with it easily and purposefully, and a project manager to oversee it from beginning to end. The right combination of resources enables maximum productivity and high quality deliverables.

Leadership

A great team is often a reflection of great leadership. If you want to build, or hire on, a high performing team, either you or the person you appoint to lead the team, must possess great leadership skills. This means the leader has to be a visionary, inspire his or her team to grow in a constantly evolving environment and also be able to strategically put all the pieces together to achieve ROI from your business goals.

Execution

Have you ever worked in a company where it seemed like you spent more time talking about what might work than actually finding out what works? Sometimes companies spend hours discussing the pros and cons of a particular business goal, strategy, or campaign, and it never seems like a decision is reached.

In any department of the company, execution is important, but it holds significant weight in the digital age where activity, technological updates, and frequent engagement are critical to success. Of course, it is important to spend time planning and coming up with the best strategy, but it should never stand in the way of execution.

When It’s Time to Hire an Agency Team

Why would an organization consider partnering with an agency to outsource a team? There are several reasons, but ultimately it’s because companies don’t have the appropriate resources to get the job done on their own. In some cases, organizations have only one or two dedicated experts and can’t keep up with all of the complexities of tasks it may take to accomplish a business goal.

Building a team that encompasses everything into one efficient package can be difficult, especially if you are working within budget or sourcing constraints. Depending upon your existing team and resources available, it may be more financially and strategically wise to hire an agency that’s already proven to demonstrate high performance.

What to Look for in an Agency

Only when you have a general idea of the expertise and services you need, as well as what success should look like, you can start looking for the right agency criteria. Here are a few things you’ll want to look for:

Knowledge and Creativity

Always look for examples of agency expertise and how it has helped clients achieve results. Having the right resources can only go so far if agencies don’t have creativity as well. So, when looking at client examples, such as an agency’s portfolio or case studies, also look for the ways they have helped in unique scenarios.

Vision

It is helpful for agencies to be able to articulate a general vision for your company, as well as be able to understand your current activities and speak to strategic opportunities that will help you achieve your business goals.

Tools and Resources

Knowing the tools and resources they have access to will help you understand how they plan on helping you meet your goals. It can also give you an idea of how tasks and objectives will be tracked and progress will be measured.

Execution

The most important criteria is a demonstrated ability to bring all of these things together and get the job done. Resources should be appropriately put in place to provide proven results.