The challenge of building an entrepreneurial, functioning team does not always lead to a successful outcome. Companies are well-advised to think ahead at the beginning of their history and to understand a team as the social system it is, one in which what happens on an interpersonal level has a decisive influence on success. But how is it possible to create a completely individual cultural footprint for your company and to then find the ideal combination of skills and personalities in a team? As a founder, you have the task of building your own company and, especially in the early phase, of growing into your role as the person responsible for employees and resources. Not every founder has the time or talent for such a mammoth task. But now there are companies like Zealaxx, which dedicates itself to precisely this topic with its “People & Culture” focus – and does so specifically for startups.
Founding a small symphony orchestra
Putting together a startup team is similar to founding a small symphony orchestra. You need people who play different instruments, but it’s only with their coordinated and harmonic interplay that a melody results, one that ideally also sounds good. It should also sound good to the investors, who are often not just interested in the pitch, but also in the competence and dynamics of the team that aims to implement future success.
“When hiring new employees, you should carefully consider which skills are needed and, above all, which personalities are right and important for the team,”
said Daniela Limbeck, who is responsible for People & Culture at Zealaxx.
“Together with our startup customers, we develop smart employer branding to get both employees and applicants excited about the company. We do so by working out the individual unique selling points that are characteristic of the company. Our aim is to pave a holistic and sustainable path for the company’s future HR decisions right from the start.”
But how do you do that? Every one of us has probably experienced a situation in a company where the individual team members clashed due to their different personalities, couldn’t agree and, in the end, weren’t able to come to a useful or even good result. People often appear to be a good match only a first, and even HR managers with the best knowledge of human nature aren’t in a position to assess the individual personality of a candidate during the application process when it comes to how they will actually integrate into the given work environment or work culture. And this obviously goes in both directions, because applicants also have the opportunity to get to know the company and its culture better in order to see if they’re a good match.
Greater insight by using AI
Zealaxx’s experience with the additional use of the artificial intelligence (AI) developed by the Munich-based company Retorio has been excellent.
“It has given us a way to gain much greater insight into applicants’ personalities, far beyond the content of their resumes,”
explained Daniela Limbeck. The AI that is used determines personality traits based on videos recorded by applicants. The companies specify application questions, which are answered by the applicants in a video recording. Using a standard model of personality research, the AI evaluates facial expressions, gestures, language and voice. This makes it possible to determine how well the applicant meets the individual and predetermined requirements for the position in the company’s context very early in the application process. Zealaxx helps define these requirements.
“The interplay of our many years of recruiting experience, enriched by the analysis of the AI data, leads to a much clearer overall picture of the applicant. This has even further improved the success rate of our successful hires,”
commented Limbeck on the supportive use of AI in the recruiting process.
Good corporate culture doesn’t come about by chance
The fact is that good corporate culture doesn’t come about by chance. Establishing trust, communication, good cooperation and a common mental framework in the team requires effort. The true value of a well-considered team structure becomes most evident in difficult times and is now more decisive for the future success of a company than ever before. The added value that is provided by buying into support and know-how for this task is something that more and more young companies are realizing.