They say that if you want to go fast, go alone and if you want to go far, go together. Well, the latter is really hard to achieve when finding your "together" doesn't go as planned.

Back in the initial phases of opening my business, I had a friend who was set to take on a director-level role. She became a true confidante and I trusted her completely. One day, she came to me and broke the news -- she was experiencing big life changes and on top of all of that, she didn't know if this is what she wanted to do anymore.

I was heartbroken. As a friend, I had to support her. As a colleague, I was so frustrated. She was my lifeline and now I was back on my own.

Fast forward to today, we're still good friends, but the whole experience taught me that there's nothing that replaces a solid vetting and interview process. Regardless of who they are, a checklist and rubric is absolutely crucial to building and sustaining a dream team.

If you're searching for the perfect team, make sure you start here first.

Develop a better interview process.

According to a Glassdoor Survey on HR and Marketing Statistics in 2017, it was noted that, "A 10 percent more difficult job interview process is associated with 2.6 percent higher employee satisfaction later on."

Interviews that just touch on why the candidate wants the job are considered no good. In a fast-paced work environment, it's important to have candidates not just talk about how they are adaptable, but show it.

Consider implementing real-life situations into the interview. For example, if it's a design position, have them create a design on the spot. If it's a marketing position, give them a couple of real-life scenarios that your company has dealt with and see how they would respond. If it's an engineering position, have them develop and explain simple code to you.

Nancy Halpern, Principal at KNH Associates, a business development and talent management company, adds:

"Your goal isn't to develop a more difficult process - it's to create a more insightful and meaningful one. Ask people questions where you give them a choice or present a small case study and ask how the candidate would solve it. What you're aiming for is not what they say - but how they think."

Make the interview experience equal parts comfortable and professional.

The Glassdoor survey continues: "Organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hires by 70 percent."

People show their true colors when they feel comfortable, even if they're just a candidate. When you are outside of the interview, do your best to make the applicant feel involved - give them a tour, allow space for candid questions, and introduce them to potential team members.

All in all, you must find a balance between being the hiring manager but also getting them to loosen up. If you bring in and nurture a stressed and tense candidate, you'll never find out who they really are until it's too late.

Know exactly what you're looking for -- and do not compromise

 There's a balance between hiring someone who is unqualified and someone who is determined to get where you need them to go. Although there is no such thing as a "perfect" candidate, know what your non-negotiables are and trust that instinct.

Halpern adds:

"Do they have great questions? Are they already sharing ideas, insights, information? Do they model the qualities that your organization values? Be an observer of not only how they present themselves, but how they interact with you."

Remember, time may not be on your side, but be patient when creating your dream team. It's not often that you get to start from scratch.

Published on: Nov 30, 2017