I was scrolling down on LinkedIn a month ago when I saw a post from an HR Manager. The HR Manager was looking to hire a job seeker for a tech role within the company and he ended his post this way:
“We are open to hiring an existing team of TWO. If you have a current work buddy that you’d like to interview alongside as a package deal, hit us up!”
So, let’s talk now. What’s the good and the bad about this idea?
Why you should hire two work buddies
Integration: While for some people, integrating a new team doesn’t sound very scary, some other people, being very introverted or shy, could find it much more difficult. Therefore, hiring two work buddies could make this integration smoother, as they wouldn’t walk alone into a totally new and unknown territory. This is an easy way to get your team ready to go as soon as possible.
Performance: You hire two work buddies because you know it’s a working combination. The outcomes have been there in the past with another business, and it should be the case with you in the future. These two people understand each other, know how they can work together, can be competitive to try to beat their work buddy. All these factors should lead to higher productivity and higher performance than two strangers that would have to get to know the team before being fully effective and efficient.
Why you shouldn’t
Integration: of course, in theory, the integration should be easy. However, how many times I’ve brought two groups of friends together who don’t know each other for a dinner and see them not even trying to get to know these new people. The risk by hiring two work buddies is that they stick to each other and don’t integrate into the team. That could lead to some short- and long-term issues: if both have strategic roles and one leaves, the second one is very likely to leave too. And what if one fits perfectly within the team and the other doesn’t? A manager hiring two work buddies has to be ready for these situations in order to react fast.
Management: by hiring two people into a team, you could affect the balance of power within the existing team. The possibility of a ‘them against the rest of the team’ situation could lead to big issues, severely affecting the workplace.
Diversity: people get along with people they understand, and most often, it implies that these people have some common ground. Therefore, let’s take the example of a team of designers: to get the most creative outfit, would it be better to have two designers who have a lot in common or two totally different individuals? If two people in a team have the same opinion, is it worth having them both in your team? Diversity is a strength.
Growth: From an individual point of view, working with the same person won’t make you grow as much in the long run than with new people. Some co-workers work well together because they counterbalance each other’s weaknesses, but is this the best way to grow as a professional?
The good and bad sides need to be balanced to make the best choice for your business. However, are they the best combination you could get?