Hiring T-Shaped Professionals To Build Collaborative teams

Over the past few decades, research depicts the need for knowledge and experience of  young professionals in order to possess a deep knowledge about the industry and the ability to apply knowledge across multiple situations. The most recent emphasis on T-shaped professionals links back to a 1990 study by BCS(British Computer Society) on “Hybrid Managers: From Potential to Reality”. The “T-shaped Professionals” are in high demand for their ability to innovate, advance research, build relationships and strengthen their organization.

“The Reality is that when people come out of school, they’re often “I” shaped. Our challenge and anybody’s challenge who is looking to use this idea to collaborate are to look for people where there is a nascent T-shaped potential” - Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO

Who is T-Shaped Professional?

The “T” shaped individual has two main personality attributes.

  1. Depth Of Knowledge-  The vertical stroke of “T” represents the knowledge of the person in the respective field. The current education system is producing I-shaped professionals with disciplinary knowledge about a particular industry. To understand the system one must know how it functions from top to bottom. They must have intelligence regarding analytical thinking & problem solving.

  2. Breadth Of Expertise- The horizontal stroke of “T” represents the ability to apply knowledge across multiple situations. It is made up of two things, empathy and enthusiasm about other people’s disciplines. To create an innovative and creative process one has to be actively a part of a wide range of activities with the industry that acknowledges particular expertise.

Why Hiring T-Shaped Professionals is Important When Building a Collaborative Team?

Many companies have defined T-shaped professional as someone who specialize in one area but have a broad knowledge about other responsibilities and tasks. There are many benefits of hiring T-shaped professional such as:

  • T-shaped Professionals are lifelong learners, which is necessary when you are working in a team.

  • They are empathetic, which is important because it allows them to imagine the problem from another perspective– to stand in somebody else’s shoes.

  • They are analytical thinkers; by scrutinizing the problem they find solutions with a broad vision.

  • The deep knowledge and wide range of expertise in their field make them a great problem solver.  

  • They are enthusiastic about other people's disciplines, to the point that they may actually start practicing it themselves.

  • They are the finest choice to make a collaborative team.

How Do You Find T-Shaped Professionals?

To build a successful collaborative team you can’t judge the person by his/her resume. You can leverage the technology such as talent acquisition platform to find the perfect employee.

  • The first step in finding T-Shaped professionals is to have a rich talent pipeline in place. You must select the best and avoid the rest. To build a richer pipeline, take the assistance of an online hiring software, it will save your time and money. To begin with, you provide a job description. With instaTalent Culture Fit powered by IBM Watson, companies understand their candidate's personality better than ever before and without an interview. The instaTalent Culture-Fit hiring software uses algorithms powered by IBM Watson to assess a candidates’ natural way of speaking and language based on their social media feeds, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Building on the skill fit, instaTalent Culture-Fit provides the employer a more comprehensive understanding of the candidate's personality. This way you can get the desired candidate easily.

  • The second step involves asking them the right questions. During the interview process, you can notice how they talk about other people. Ask them how many projects they have done. If all they can talk about is “I” then that’s a problem; The right T-shaped professional will talk about how others have helped them in what they’ve done. It’s easy to sniff out empathy, collaboration and interest in working with the team.

  • The third step is to look for evidence of working in team projects.

It’s common #RecruitingProblem that hiring T-shaped professionals is more challenging than hiring “I” shaped professional. The more complex your needs are for a team player the more research you have to do. Read this article “Think Before You Hire”.

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