There are a few things that pretty much every job posting has. Such details as the job title, the job location, a summary of the main responsibilities and a list of key qualifications are all commonplace. We do have to go on record and admit something about that last piece, however. All too often, we notice that “must be a team player” is a requirement on job postings – no matter the industry. And this is such a big pet peeve of ours!

What’s so wrong with having “must be a team player” on your job posting?

Well, let’s look at the obvious. How many candidates have you ever interviewed who have made the claim that they don’t play nice with others? With several thousand job interviews beneath the collective belts of the Hire Value Inc. team, we can safely say that we’ve never encountered a single job applicant who claims to be unable to work on a team.

In all of our years of experience, we have never heard anyone say, “I will take this job and then complain about how it really is a step back for me” or “I will spend my time looking for other people’s mistakes and then point them out to them”.

Requesting a so-called “team player” on your job posting is the equivalent of requesting someone who is a “good worker”. Every single one of your candidates is going to claim to be among the best you can find. You may as well ask for your candidates to ensure that they are “human beings” because your “team player” request isn’t bound to weed out any of the individuals you’re attempting to avoid.

Why not just say what you really mean?

In other words, our advice to hiring managers is to be specific about the personal qualities they’re looking for in their candidates. Clearly, you want to make sure that your applicants aren’t just qualified for the job positions you’re offering, but that they will mesh nicely with the culture of your working environment. Be clear about what would be expected of them if they were to join your team.

Here are a few definitive qualifications that we would suggest:

  • When others have new ideas or different approaches, you will be the one to find the common ground.
  • You’re always looking to the future, knowing that completing tasks today will ensure that we all have great results.
  • You sincerely enjoy being around others and are equally happy for others, if not more, than for yourself when everything goes well.

Each of these character traits demonstrate the type of attitude you want your new hire to have. They are clear about the type of personality that would be the best fit for your company. “Team player” is an arbitrary term that could mean anything from someone who enjoys stepping up to play ping-pong during lunch to someone who is completely willing to take credit for the work his/her co-workers have done.

Make sure you’re getting the type of job candidates that will make your team stronger. You’re not looking for someone who will just play along. Find someone who will help to make your team a more productive force.

If you could use some assistance with finding ways to attract the type of talent who will improve your team, please give Hire Value Inc. a call at 403-978-3827 today!