3 Reasons Why You Are Building Incompatible Tech Teams

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A technical team needs to be composed of members who have the required skills, technical knowledge and can work well together. The harmony and productivity of the team are pegged on complementary skills and working styles.

Mismatched teams do not work well together. If anything, they perform poorly, make little to no progress and increase the risk of short tenures. The result is losses and regular hiring of people to fill the same roles.

The three reasons why you are building tech teams that are not compatible are:

1.      You miss each role’s intricacies

Tech stacks have been so fragmented that some specialized technical roles are very similar yet different. While recruiting for these roles, it is necessary to understand the more exceptional specifications to get the right candidate and be successful in the long run. Distinguishing between these closely related roles will aid in avoiding misalignment between the hiring team and the recruiters. An excellent example of such functions is a data scientist and data analyst. Both of them interpret the data. However, while a data analyst focuses on interpolating historical data, a data scientist extrapolates the predictions from historical data. These subtle differences should be well distinguished.

2. You are not emphasizing on the EQ enough

While you need to get a team with high technical skills, it is essential to also look into their EQ. Emotional intelligence (EQ) defines the ability to identify and manage both your emotions and that of others. EQ gives an indication of conduct which affects performance, leadership, and discipline.

While verifying a candidate’s technical skills, make time to get to know them in person. Make time to vet them on EQ to have an all-rounded team.

3.  You fail to evaluate the candidates in the context

Here is a sample evaluation to drive this point home:

  What you’re looking for  What the candidate has
Senior back-end developer Full-stack capable, but back-end focused
Some light front-end knowledge (for context) 8 years’ full-stack development experience  
Will be a part of a team of 35 developers A career spent working with small teams (teams of 3-5 developers total)  
Will work mainly with 2 product managers, 3 front-end developers, and 1 other back-end developer   Stellar results on skills tests  

Here are the red flags.

Full-stack capable, but back-end focused – how much knowledge and experience do they have on front-end development? Can they communicate well to get the work done? Will they want some ownership of the work done or over the processes involved?

Previously working in small teams (teams of 3-5 developers total) – this implies that the candidate comes from a small company. Hence, there is a high chance that they are self-sufficient. Can they collaborate with others? Do they prefer working solo? How fit are they to work in your team?

It is vital to find a team that has the right mix of soft skills, technical skills, and team compatibility.