It’s impossible to build a fantastic team overnight. At Sunscrapers, it took us years to fine-tune our culture and hiring process before they brought us tangible benefits in the shape of talented team members who want to explore and grow as a Sunscrapers team.
My approach in building the team at Sunscrapers is based on a combination of what I think is the best of two worlds: the typically-Polish professional drive, hard work, and scientific talent + the open-minded Western perspective that fosters entrepreneurship and places emphasis on soft skills.
Here are a couple of things I learned when building our amazing team at Sunscrapers.
1. Instead of focusing on control, concentrate on designing and growing a culture
In my experience, the best thing you can do as a team leader is invest in building a culture for your team and organization.
Crafting a culture that allows every team member to thrive and develop brings on plenty of benefits later on. Note that hiring talent is a prerequisite for this because only a talented team will enable you the kind of autonomy team leaders need to focus on the broader picture (instead of getting sucked into the daily hassle).
I always hired people that I instantly knew I could trust to do their job well and create real value.
Note that many of our team members work remotely and that means that trust is even more critical. We’re experienced in managing remote employees successfully, and a big part of that comes from the right hires. Are you hiring a remote team and have some second thoughts? Have a look at these 4 essential traits of the best remote workers.
Moreover, building a responsible team allows everyone to develop a specific relation where we’re no longer the controlling boss vs. the obedient employee, but rather partners who team up to create some fantastic products.
The emphasis we place on self-development at Sunscrapers attracts really talented people who join our ranks and in turn help us develop the team.
Finally, we aimed to build a culture of feedback at Sunscrapers. What does that mean in practice? I want everyone to feel free to share their insight and help others grow. The build-measure-learn process is based on a continuous reception and production of feedback – and I want that to become the foundation for Sunscrapers.
2. Rigorous recruitment process
We designed our hiring process to make sure that we find workers with a professional fit, but also a cultural fit. Our multi-step recruitment process is geared at identifying quality instead of quantity.
That may make it a bit slower, but investing time in hiring the right people is the smartest investment a company can make. Here’s an article where our Head of HR, Zaneta, shares some more details about our hiring process and the rationale behind its structure.
When I talk about integrity and I mean the kind of integrity that I want to be inherent in our business decisions. Whether we decide to hire or let go someone or offer them a promotion, these decisions need to based on an underlying system.
We never take such decisions without first making sure how they fit into the structure we created for managing talents who are part of our team.
We hold regular individual feedback sessions and have established a timeline for promotions and salary raises to offer the team full transparency and motivate team members to walk the extra mile when working on our projects.
That’s right, building a fantastic team require some patience too. First, you need to wait for the recruitment process to start working and engaging the right talent to start building your team. But that’s just the first step.
To make sure talents thrive, we invested in a culture of continuous improvement. We wanted to create a place that professionals interested in self-improvement would appreciate. Our focus on growth and raising the bar of quality helps to bind us all together with a common goal and a strong desire for self-development.
My tip for you:
Spend time on building a culture for your organization.
To quote HubSpot’s CEO, Brian Halligan: “What I’d advocate is that you should spend countless man months trying to craft and evolve a unique, great culture.”
That type of culture cannot be stolen or copied. It gives you the kind of uniqueness you need to stand out on the market and attract talented employees. Finally, a great company culture allows management by values which is the highest type of management available to CEOs.
Looking for more specific advice about building dev teams? Here’s an article where our CTO Przemek shares some tips on how to build great dev teams.
Have you got any questions about developing a company culture? Or perhaps you would like to learn more about our culture at Sunscrapers? Give us a shout out in comments, it’s time we started a conversation about why culture matters so much in business development.