Crucial Elements to Consider When Recruiting for High Talent Teams

Adding to the team

Recruiting is always challenging, the hiring process is always filled with so many unknowns and risks. The challenge is even greater when you’re looking to add to a team that’s already functioning well. The potential to throw off the existing team, ruin a good thing, and not successfully find the right fit really puts the pressure on when the time comes to expand your team. Another point to consider is the subtle differences between expanding a team, versus, replacing a member of a strong team. Expanding an already great team seems less risky because you are adding on to it, but you may run the risk of adding an unnecessary appendage to the team, a team appendix if you will. If the addition is not seen as a critical addition that is truly of value and strengthens the work of everyone else, then you run the risk of planting the seeds of resentment and can start to corrode the foundation of the team. In similar fashion, if you are replacing a member of a highly functioning team, then you need to be really careful in your approach. It is advised to not look for a clone to swap in with hopes of not missing a step, this just sets the stage for unfair comparisons and unrealistic expectations. A better approach might be to look at the exit of your team member as an opportunity to restructure the team’s tasks and move tasks around within the team that will create efficiency. This way you can find the fit for the new structure, and find someone who was hired to fit in, not just hired to be the same as the person who left.

But what elements are needed to find people who can fit into the existing team, and make the most of your recruiting efforts?

Here are some elements to consider:


Intrapreneurship is a relatively recent concept that focuses on employees of a company who have many of the attributes of entrepreneurs. They think and behave like owners; showing the long range vision of not just their personal career, but the organization as a whole. They are not “clock punchers” who only work within the time and duties of their employment contact. They take complete ownership of their role and are driven to make their position succeed with the same effort, determination, and ownership that an entrepreneur would with their own business. The qualities of an intrapreneur are exceptional work ethic and integrity, adaptability and willingness to change focus and direction to do what it takes to make their role successful, highly internally motivated, and solution focused with a commitment to find a way to make an innovative idea with potential work.

For more info on intrapreneurs check out these articles by Forbes and INC.


PSYCAP is a collection of core skills that create the foundation to strengthen employee success. Higher PSYCAP is associated with higher performance, lower stress levels and better well-being. The qualities of high PSYCAP increase the flexibility and level of demands that can be placed on an employee, it is a mark of a high capacity employee.

I wrote an article about building and developing Psychological Capital (PSYCAP), titled: Investing in Psychological Capital- Maximizing yourself and your talent pool, Check it out for a more detailed description of PSYCAP.

Strengths based vs All-Stars

This is a really important element to consider when hiring to a team. Are you looking to create a well rounded team or team of well rounded individuals? I can personally say that I have been on both and there is quite a different dynamic with each kind of team. The way I like to explain this concept is to compare this with the Brad Pitt movie Moneyball, where a baseball manager who couldn’t afford to hire a team of well rounded All-stars, so he hired a diverse team of players that were not well rounded but had strong skills for a single position and the passion, and personal grit needed to make the most of the opportunity. If you are interested, here is a good article on how to build a team “Moneyball style” in software development.

This may seem a little counter intuitive at first, to think of not necessarily looking for a team of well rounded all-stars, but to look for a team that collectively have high strengths is all areas, while as individuals have personal areas of weaknesses. However, if you hire the team to play to their strengthens, and strategically choose the people whose strengths compensate for the weaknesses of the others, then you create an environment where everyone is focused on doing what they are really good at and completely supporting each other to move the team forward in a unified direction. This fosters collaboration, pride in one’s work, and naturally boosts employee morale.

The risk of hiring that team of all-stars is that with many people who possess the same skills, all looking for the chance to show their talents off. You could accidentally create, at worst, highly competitive environment where people are more focused on their egos than the team, and at best, a team of individuals who feel they don’t need to work together and collaborate. Plus, like in sports, the All-stars tend to be the ones who are being headhunted and less likely to stay with the team for the long haul.

The Takeaway

If you see the value in these elements and are wondering how to recruit an intrapreneur, with high PSYCAP, to be part of your Strengths Based team, then the best advice I can give you is – give your team complete access to the recruitment process. Include them at every stage; the gap analysis of the team’s current strengths, the adjustment to everyone’s positions to fit the new person in as a critical member, the drafting of the job description and posting, short listing the resumes, and being part of the hiring panel. Give them the sense of ownership and lean on the professional judgement and intuition that they possess that made them a high talent team to begin with.


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