Cookies 🍪

This site uses cookies that need consent.

Finding the perfect match: Our approach to hiring and fostering team success

February 13th, 2024   |   Tom Inniss

The traditional attitude towards hiring was that companies would pick the most proficient, highly skilled individuals possible with the salary offer they had. Nowadays, while skill is important, we have become more aware of the importance of soft skills; communication, team-work, empathy and creativity. 

This is because the way the team works is as important as the work they deliver in order to maintain a happy and motivated work environment.

At Brew Digital, we place a high importance on people, and work hard to not only hire those that we think will fit into the values and ethos of our company, but to foster a strong team dynamic that allows those personalities to flourish. 

As a relatively new recruit, I thought that was an interesting approach, and wanted to dig deeper. I asked some of the hiring managers at Brew Digital to reflect on two questions that really explore that people-centric attitude:

1.) What do you look for when making a new hire? 

2.) How do you cultivate a good team relationship that allows people to flourish while ensuring coordination?

If you’re a recruiting manager at your own company, or you’re looking for ways to improve the harmony of your team, these answers might be of help!

Sophie Caswell, Head of Innovation and Strategic Growth

For every candidate we’re looking for potential. Sure, some people who come through the door can get going straight away in a position we’re hiring for and that’s great, but what else do they bring? Do they think in a certain way? Do they have experience we don’t have? And that doesn’t always have to be in the core competencies! What do they like to do outside of work, which indicates a type of interest or creativity that adds to or augments the diversity of skills and perspectives? The footprint of a person's capabilities and their suitability depends on all the things they bring including their general attitude.

Skills and knowledge are vital but it's what you do with them that makes the difference.

It's a constant challenge particularly when we’re growing so rapidly. I think that’s the key – knowing that it's a WIP you’ve always got to keep evolving. You can’t expect exactly the same values and culture when you’re 100+ people than when you were 10, but understanding the most important one or two values you have as a culture and how to spot people who naturally bring those to the team is key. If you do that you’re halfway home. That means that you have a disposition to all be pulling in the same direction when it comes to what you’re trying to achieve and what to avoid. 

Gareth Llewellyn, Managing Director

When I’m hiring, I try to ensure that the successful candidate will be a good ’fit' for the company, but we have to be nuanced about what we mean by ‘fit’. Many organisations say they look for a good ‘cultural fit’, but cultural fit can very easily mean hiring people that look and sound like you, and have the same kinds of views and experiences – that runs the risk of having a big lack of diversity of people and thoughts and ideas. So instead, I try to focus on someone's values. Do they have similar values to the organisation – values such as trust, being authentic and providing great value? If they do, then in my experience, they are more likely to integrate well into the company culture. And a final point on competency: technology and tools move so quickly, being an expert in something that is already being left behind is less important than the willingness and ability to learn what’s new.

Rob Parvin, Head of Web Development 

At Brew Digital, our recruitment process is carefully designed and consists of five key steps to ensure we find the best fit for our team, in terms of both competency and team dynamics. The initial stage involves reviewing applicants, and, working closely with our Talent team, conducting an initial screening call. 

If the candidate progresses successfully, they will have a call with myself or the hiring team, during which we assess their competency and team dynamics. This stage allows us to explore their development experience, soft and hard skills, as well as their expectations for a new role. We also take this opportunity to provide a more detailed explanation of Brew Digital, discussing our organisational culture and how the candidate would fit into the business.

Upon successful completion, we proceed to the technical assessment. This take-home task is another competency evaluation, and tailored to the specific role the candidate is applying for. Once the assessment is submitted, we will review this from a competency perspective. If successful, the candidate progresses to the next step: the peer panel interview.

This is an opportunity for the candidate to meet with people they’re likely to be interacting with daily, such as project managers, designers, and other developers, helping to assess the candidate's suitability. This stage also allows the candidate to evaluate if Brew Digital aligns with their career aspirations and if we are a company they see themselves working for.

Steph Smith, Head of Design

When I’m hiring, I always try to keep in mind that skill can be taught and talent needs to be nurtured, but a genuine personality, enthusiasm for the work and a connection with the existing team is innate. It either exists or it doesn’t, and if I believe someone will enhance the existing team, then they’re most likely to succeed.

A happy and motivated team is a creative one.

Jim Wigger, Web Developer Team Lead 

When hiring, attitude and honesty are two of the most valuable attributes I look for. Is the candidate someone who can form their own opinions, articulate and defend them in a collaborative team setting, and are they open to new ideas and concepts? If they have these skills, then they are more likely to fit comfortably into a team of similarly minded people.

Lacking interpersonal abilities is disruptive and discourages the other members of the team

Technical competency is always important but direct skills can be grown through training. Lacking interpersonal abilities is disruptive and discourages the other members of the team, which means there's very little time to work on personal development in that area before it negatively impacts the way the team works together.

I believe a big part of being a line manager is to represent the team's interest in the business, rather than simply passing messages down. To this end, make sure that each member of the team is able to say what they value in their role and do everything possible to guide them on that path. If they are interested in a particular technology, then work across the business to find suitable projects. Coordination can sometimes make this tricky, for example, introducing a new framework, but there are always opportunities within Brew Digital for trying things out.

Stay up to date

Sign up to get the latest content from Brew Digital delivered straight to your inbox.