Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Hire the Best Players

-Everyone wants to hire the best team players, especially during a difficult economy when every pair of hands must do the best possible job.
So how can you make sure you're hiring the best and the brightest?
Bruce Piasecki identifies such people as "fierce individualists" and claims it's critical that you hire them if you want your company to move forward in these times.
"Invest in coachable hires," advises Piasecki, author of the new book Doing More with Teams: The New Way to Winning. "Many companies make the mistake of hiring high performers who are talented but perhaps not team-oriented and loyal. What they fail to realize is that even the most brilliant individual is less powerful than a cohesive, well-orchestrated team. Far less powerful, in fact."
 As Piasecki's book explains, the near future will be all about innovation for sustainable value creation, led by teams. The days when a larger-than-life personality is allowed to steamroll over the rest of the company are over. This destroys morale, which destroys results. (And without the ability to get results-and quickly-no company can survive in a swift and severe world.)
 Piasecki offers the following hints on the qualities you should look for and the questions you should ask:
• Conduct interviews in a team of four or five leaders. This will replicate the dynamics of the team setting the new employee will be working in, explains Piasecki. "Good team players tend to do well in settings of four or five people asking an avalanche of questions," he observes.
• Look for an intrinsic ability to "bond" with interview team members. Even more important than dress, training, or résumé, says Piasecki, is the candidate's ability to "bond" instantly to at least three to five members in the interview team. This doesn't merely mean an affinity for small talk or schmoozing. The bond we're discussing here must translate to action in a "reliable, sustained way" with those people-and it will reveal itself in the specific points the candidate makes.
• Also, look for a comfort level with the rapid-fire give-and-take of the interview team. Piasecki explains that people who work well in teams do certain things well in interviews. For example:
• They don't get ruffled. They answer your pointed questions with calm and with precision, without being terse. Like a captain, they do not have performance anxiety. They demonstrate grace under pressure, know when to exert force.

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