Since 2015 my company, Elevator, has been introducing teams to companies, and we’ve learned a few things. Below are some myths and facts about team hiring. I started out writing replies in forums about the different perceptions about team based hiring. Instead of replying to each thread, I felt it better to answer them all together. I have collected a list of top questions and assumptions, but feel free to ask me directly if you have any questions or feel that there is something missing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 Big Myths/Facts about team hiring:
1. From companies: The team only cares about opportunities for everyone.
Part Myth and Part Fact. In dealing with multiple individuals in a team, this is one of the first topics we discuss. In many cases, it doesn’t make sense for the entire team to move together, and in those cases, we encourage future referrals. In other cases, teams often want to move together or work remotely together. This opens up a lot of interesting conversations, especially with companies that promote remote work. The real answer is, you have to ask to find out.
2. From teams: We don’t have to interview individually if we already work as a team.
Myth. In today’s work structure, contracts and responsibilities still rely on an agreement between the individual and the company. We work in the best interest of the team so that they have the ability to apply together and get opportunities. If you are looking for full time, part time or remote work, each team member will still have to go through the interview process. We have found this is actually to the team’s benefit. You can discuss success stories fully, because other team members can share a larger picture of what it looks like for the team to succeed.
3. From teams: It will be harder to find a company to match my team’s culture.
Fact. In any company culture, having more than one team work together can be the toughest part of any project. The advantage that great teams have is a good sense of what defines the way they communicate and succeed. When a company talks to a team, culture is a big question. Is this a bad thing? If you know what conditions makes you successful, then isn’t it good to find if the company has those conditions? Applying as a team gives you a better idea if you would actually work well at the company.
4. Team opportunities do not exist.
Myth. Many companies don’t understand team-hiring or can’t conceptualize a team opportunity. However, they completely understand acquihires and acquisitions. Here’s a common story about a well-funded startup struggling to succeed. A company has an engineering team creating the best product, but the market is slow to respond. Weeks later you hear about a possible acquisition from X, Y, or Z company to purchase said company. Low and behold, that acquisition is most likely more about acquiring the talent that built that product, rather than the product itself. Opportunities for the team exist, and our job at Elevator is to work with the companies and showcase those opportunities.
5. From teams: Only niche companies will hire teams.
Myth. We work with companies throughout the United States. Companies are heavily in need of hires, especially in software engineering. These companies need creative and new ways to attract people. From seed round to top 100 companies, every company has shown interest when we introduce teams. If we don’t currently have a company your team is interested in, we work with you to find companies you want.
6. From companies: Hiring an individual is easier than a team.
Fact. The interview process is already difficult, with the hiring manager, leadership, and other colleagues all having a say. Why would companies want to receive a team to further complicate this? If this were true, then why would companies want to have more than 1 candidate? Companies receive 1000s of applicants of which they have to interview dozens of candidates across several weeks. Interviewing more and more candidates is a growing reality. Any team may consist of 2–5 individuals. We find that the anyone applying in a team provides a better explanation of who each person is and a better chance of making a match to that company.
Our experience has shown us that conceptually there is a big difference between hiring teams and hiring individuals, but in reality it’s a lot simpler. Take 2–3 engineers applying to the same tech company. They all have great experience, work in similar technologies and complement each other. The company then has to figure out how many roles are available at that time for these 2–3 engineers. They go through the interview process, meet with possible managers, and get hired. This is no different than if a team were to apply together. Sure, there may be hiring difficulties, but that is also true applying individually. Team hiring is simpler than you think! Invite your favorite colleagues to join goelevator.com and see if any opportunities interest you.
My project aims to improve the way companies look at individuals. As companies venture to find the best teams, they find that all it takes is a team that communicates well together. At every company I’ve worked with there has always been a core team at its center. If you have a great team, then we want to find the best opportunities for you and your colleagues.