Identifying a Good Team Member

As I discussed in my previous article, hiring the right core team is important for your business’ success. To build the right team, you must be capable of identifying a good team member for your business by being able to recognise the individual’s traits and whether they will suit the role.


Being adaptable in a job is a crucial skill to have, because there are always changes occurring in the workplace as well as in the industry. These changes can be the arrival of new competitors, shifts in the economy, new contributors entering the business and a change of business priorities. A team member who can adapt to these changes while continuing to provide high quality of work is an important team member to have.

A good team member is not someone who will resist change, but rather accept it and adapt to it in whatever way is necessary for your business. Is your candidate at ease with the unknown elements of their potential job? Are they comfortable with learning new skills or adjusting their focus to achieving different goals?

A candidate who demonstrates this level of flexibility is someone you can be confident will adapt to the changes in your business and industry. It’s good to provide one and have a position description for the role offered to begin with, but be very clear on the adaptability front when hiring. New businesses can’t operate well unless team members are adaptable and ready to commit for more within their roles.


Another important trait to look out for is the ability to take initiative and complete work without encouragement from yourself or others. A good team member is self-motivated, and will complete their work with great enthusiasm and interest. Self-motivation can lend to the team member’s adaptability, as these team members often possess the drive to grow with the business through shifting their goals and being open to learning new skills. As a leader driving the show, remember a small pat on the back goes a long way for most deserving individuals, and must be practised all times.

Identifying a good team member can often be a trial-and-error process. To be honest, if you get it right 50% of the time, you are doing better than most corporations and institutions. While there are many factors to take into consideration, such as the candidate’s experience and hard skills, being adaptable to constant change can only be experienced once the candidate has been hired.

I have always rated good attitude and adaptability above hard skills. In most cases, these technical skills can be learned and experience can be gained. A flexible and self-motivated team member will be quick to learn the ins and outs of your business so that they help you achieve business targets.

In my experience, I can say that you can mould certain aspects of a team member’s characteristics, but changing their basic DNA is almost impossible. Either they have it or they don’t. In short, it’s futile to try changing people. If you are not hiring out of convenience, there is a lot out there to choose from – keep looking and don’t settle or make near-enough choices.