A recent Harvard Business Review article showed that avoiding hiring toxic workers improves company performance twice as much as hiring top performers. This is especially important if you are looking to hire for positions where team work is important. So, are you looking for candidates who will enhance team performance? What should you be looking for in a candidate’s resume? A 2015 Heinz and Schumacher research study gives some helpful clues.
Look for social service activities on their resume.
Researchers studied candidates’ willingness to contribute to the team effort rather than waiting for others to do the work. Candidates who listed on their resumes activities like working with the elderly or the disabled were significantly more likely to be team players. By contrast, candidates who participated in sports teams or students’ organizations were no more likely to be team players than the average candidate.
Put more weight on the more time-consuming social service activities.
The researchers next asked hiring managers to predict how much of a team player a candidate would be, based on the candidate’s resume. Managers correctly guessed that candidates with social service engagement would be more likely to be team players. However, managers were too optimistic about how much of a team player a candidate with low-intensity social engagement would be. The real team players were those who spent significant amounts of time participating in activities that helped the needy.
An example of this would be something like:
Full-time voluntary social year in the organization XY for disabled people, providing part-time support to a family with a disabled child for 2.5 years.
To sum up, if you are looking for strong team players, consider candidates who list a high-intensity involvement with needy populations on their resume.
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