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How to find and keep your dream team

Finding the right people for your startup is super important. You want a team of skilled folks who are passionate, dedicated, and ready to push your company forward.

When you’re hiring, it’s a big deal because you’re shaping the future of your business. It’s common to feel like there’s got to be a better way to build a team that really clicks and gets stuff done well. But it’s not just luck—it’s about having a plan.

In this week’s edition of Let’s Talk, our experts talk about how to find the perfect people for your team, ones who not only have the skills but also the right attitude and drive. We’ll also look at how to make sure they’re happy, engaged, and excited to do their best work.

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Lauren Anderson, Talent Strategy Advisor and DEIB Expert AT Indeed

Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson, Talent Strategy Advisor and DEIB Expert AT Indeed

“Building a dream team isn’t just about luck—it requires strategic planning, intentional hiring practices, and a commitment to creating synergy among team members. Effective teams will work seamlessly together to achieve organisational goals—and enjoy doing so.

“Start by setting clear intentions and defining the specific skills, expertise, and experience that each team member will need to create a well-rounded, multi-skilled team. Embrace diversity and prioritise candidates who not only have the necessary qualifications but also align with your organisation’s culture and values—recognising that a diverse and values-aligned team is better for creativity, collaboration, and innovation.

“Highlight the importance of teamwork by fostering opportunities for team members to build relationships, rapport, and respect. Encourage open communication and goal alignment to create a cohesive and high-performing team. Set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, define roles clearly, hold team members accountable for their work and recognise them for their positive efforts. Lastly, remember that strong leadership is essential for guiding your dream team towards success.

“By implementing these strategies, you can build a team that will exceed expectations and drive your organisation towards success.”

Job van der Voort, CEO of Remote

Job van der Voort
Job van der Voort, CEO of Remote

“When companies struggle to find their dream team, it may be because they aren’t casting a wide enough net for talent.

“The shift towards remote work as the new normal, which has seen 37 percent of Australians working from home on a regular basis, represents an opportunity for businesses to find talent that previously would have been out of reach. Embracing remote work allows for businesses to engage a highly skilled and diverse workforce without the confines of a physical border.

“Finding talent is not the only benefit. Businesses that hire and work remotely also see gains in productivity. Our own research, where we surveyed over 1,000 business leaders, decisionmakers, and employees across four regions globally, reports improved productivity by working from home. More than half (58%) of those with a remote workforce in the same country and nearly three quarters (72%) of those with an international remote workforce stated that productivity has increased since adopting a distributed model.

“For short-term needs, businesses can also consider remotely hiring freelancers or contract workers. They allow businesses to scale up or down rapidly based on needs, and they offer access to specialised skills without retaining full-time employees long term. Bringing project- specific skills to teams and promoting a more efficient workplace whilst introducing new talent to the business.”

David Price, CEO at Employsure

David Price
David Price, CEO at Employsure

“Attracting top talent is key to keeping your company competitive. It’s so important to ensure your recruiting practices are up to scratch – you never know when you’ll need to hire new staff for your dream team.

“A job ad may be the first time someone has heard of your business, so make that first impression count. Consider how the title and description being advertised will be perceived. It must be accurate, reflecting all the duties and responsibilities of the role while meeting industry standards for salary, but it should also be practical and thoughtful – why should an applicant apply? Does the job offer real purpose and value? Have you outlined career progression? If not, then assess how the ad, and ultimately the position, can be improved.

“Jobseekers desire and require; flexibility, work-life balance, physical and psychological wellbeing, and roles driven by purpose in the modern workplace. It’s not enough to simply offer a higher salary than competitors. Providing pathways for career progression, opportunities to learn new skills, and chances to take on new challenges shows that a business is committed to the growth and development of its employees.”

Cia Kouparitsas, Chief Customer Officer at WithYouWithMe

Cia Kouparitsas
Cia Kouparitsas, Chief Customer Officer at WithYouWithMe

“A dream team is one made up of diverse talent, because diversity fuels creativity, innovation, and better decision-making. When hiring for diversity, organisations need to be willing to recognise and prioritise the ‘potential’ a candidate holds for performing a particular role, over their on-paper work experience as the latter can be a significant barrier to employment opportunities for underrepresented groups.

“Instead of using a recruitment model that looks for experience and qualifications, employers should focus on hiring individuals with the right aptitude for any given role. Using assessment tools such as psychometric and aptitude testing, employers can measure a candidate’s cognitive ability and problem-solving skills, as well as propensity to learn and apply new skills. Through the utilisation of skills testing, employers can remove barriers to employment and find and hire their diverse dream team.”

Rolf Howard, Managing Partner at Owen Hodge Lawyers

Rolf Howard, Managing Partner at Owen Hodge Lawyers

“Building your dream team hinges on attracting and retaining great talent. Creating a great team culture and positive work environment, offering attractive salaries and benefits, providing career development opportunities, getting clear on roles and responsibilities, embracing diversity and inclusion, rolling out rewards and recognition, and facilitating transparent communication and feedback will all support this goal.

“Formally documenting these processes or entitlements in policies, standard operating procedures, employee handbooks and employment contracts is essential to keep your business accountable to these commitments, and ensure there’s consistency in how entitlements or processes are applied. When it comes to employment contracts they should include as much detail as possible such as hours, pay, leave entitlements, termination procedures, and any other essential details or expectations.

“The other side of the coin when it comes to building a dream team is addressing poor performance or moving on employees who are performing below expectations or who aren’t a cultural fit. Ensure you have a fair, transparent and consistent performance management process. And if you do need to move someone on, get advice from an employment lawyer to ensure you’re compliant and minimising any potential risks.”

Mollie Eckersley, Head of Operations at BrightHR ANZ

Mollie Eckersley
Mollie Eckersley, Head of Operations at BrightHR ANZ

“Getting the right people on your team makes all the difference in any business. But finding those people, especially during the talent shortages we’re still seeing all over the world, is a huge challenge.

“If a business is looking to grow its team in this environment, it needs to tick all the candidate-facing boxes like an appealing benefits package, competitive wages, and growth opportunities. On top of those factors, a business needs effective hiring processes backing them.

“There are plenty of things that can hinder your recruitment. Inefficient management of your applications can lead to you losing your dream candidate in the pipeline and poorly written job descriptions can lead to you attracting the wrong applicants. Businesses also tend to lose talented candidates to long drawn-out hiring processes. Having the right tools in place can help you avoid these pitfalls.

“Using software wherever possible can help you streamline your hiring process and ultimately get your dream team onboard.”

Madhuri Nandi, Head of Security at Till Payments

Madhuri Nandi
Madhuri Nandi, Head of Security at Till Payments

“Assembling your dream team involves meticulous hiring, selecting candidates who align with your company’s values and culture to avoid a disjointed and ineffective team.

  • Strategic recruitment: Define the skills, traits, and values that you need to strengthen your existing team and attract individuals who resonate with your company’s vision and mission. For example, if your company values innovation and creativity, seek candidates who have demonstrated these qualities in their previous roles.
  • Cultural fit: Assess candidates’ alignment with your company’s culture and values to ensure they compliment the existing team dynamic and contribute positively to the organisation. This could include asking situational questions during interviews to gauge how candidates would react in various scenarios.
  • Skills assessment: Evaluate candidates’ technical skills alongside qualifications to gauge their effectiveness in performing required tasks. Consider conducting assessments or providing case studies relevant to the role.
  • Collaborative decision-making: Involve key stakeholders to promote collaboration and ensure well-rounded decisions, fostering buy-in and ownership. Encourage team members from different departments to participate in the interview process to gain diverse perspectives.

“Remember, dream teams aren’t simply acquired. They’re nurtured through respect and engagement, leading by example, career development, and team building.”

Anna Glynn, Sales Leadership Specialist, Author of STRONG

Anna Glynn
Anna Glynn, Sales Leadership Specialist, Author of STRONG

“As a sales leadership specialist, here are the qualities I look for when hiring teams that extend beyond experience and aptitude. Firstly, I prioritise building a diverse and well-rounded team, who play to their strengths and cover each other’s gaps, ensuring collective success. Optimism is key, as it fosters a positive outlook crucial for navigating challenges and inspiring confidence in self and others. Resilience is non-negotiable given the inevitable setbacks and rejections so the ability to grow from these is essential. Additionally, I seek out individuals who are unafraid of failure, viewing it as an opportunity to grow. Ultimately, relationships are paramount in sales so I value candidates that excel in building high-quality connections with their clients, team members and stakeholders, as these underpin sustained success in the field. These are the qualities that differentiate the dream teams that not only achieve better results but thrive in the process.”

Dr. Paul Rivera, Vice President and Co-Founder at Be Act Change

Paul Rivera
Dr. Paul Rivera, Vice President and Co-Founder at Be Act Change

“Skills can be taught, but emotional intelligence (EI)  is invaluable. Look for individuals who can navigate the complexities of human emotions to foster a supportive and collaborative environment. As much as you need people who can competently do the work, the strongest teams are made up of people who, aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, bring out the best in each other for the benefit of common objectives. In a supportive and nurturing environment, a high EI team can create a virtuous circle of inspiration, innovation, and connection where the team together is greater than the sum of its parts.

“Seek also diversity in thought across your team to ensure a continuing focus on innovative solutions to increasingly complex problems. Value the contributions of those with non-traditional educational paths and interdisciplinary perspectives, particularly for solutions that require system-level analytical lenses. This diversity of thought ensures that, when faced with challenges, your dream team is equipped with resilience and a rich tapestry of resources and problem-solving approaches that promote holistic and trailblazing solutions.

“In a forward-thinking organization, diverse and high EI teams advance together the common vision, seeking always innovative pathways to greater impact and results.”

Trena Blair, CEO of FD Global Connections

Trena Blair
Trena Blair, CEO of FD Global Connections

“In the dynamic business realm, assembling a dream team is paramount for success. Strategic thinking is critical to finding the right talent for businesses expanding to the USA.

“Begin by understanding your target clientele’s geographic spread. Assess where your clients are across the USA to strategically position your team members. Once you have pinpointed target locations, define role requirements tailored to each State’s/region’s unique needs.

“Leverage technology and online platforms to cast a wide net for potential candidates. Tap into local networks and industry associations, using networking events and meetups to connect with talent in specific regions. Virtual working arrangements are commonplace in the USA, giving opportunities to access talent nationwide. Prioritise cultural fit alongside skills and experience to ensure cohesive team dynamics.

“For your first experience recruiting in the USA, secure the services of an in-market specialist to navigate the complexity of hiring laws and payroll services. Offering health insurance is essential and a retirement plan is important to also attract staff in the USA.

“Ultimately, success lies in aligning your dream team with your clients’ locations and needs. By strategically sourcing talent across the USA, you position your business for growth and resilience in today’s competitive market.”

Dr. Esther Zeledon, Co-Founder of Be Act Change

Esther Zeledon
Dr. Esther Zeledon, Co-Founder of Be Act Change

“Building your dream team in business begins with a clear understanding of your mission, vision, and purpose. The vision sets a vivid picture of the desired outcomes, while the mission maps out the collective journey toward those outcomes. Aligning with these core elements achieves two key objectives: Firstly, it steers the hiring process, prompting you to pose the right questions and ensuring new hires resonate with the company’s mission and vision. This means that individuals are drawn not merely for a position or salary but because they identify with the organization’s values and objectives. Secondly, it magnetizes high-performing talents who seek more than just employment; they look for meaningful contributions. These individuals comprehend their role in fulfilling the organization’s mission, which becomes a powerful motivator, propelling them towards excellence.

“Clarity in your organizational direction multiplies impact by ensuring everyone understands their role, the reasons they are part of the team, and the unique value they contribute. This approach eradicates toxic workplace cultures and internal competition, paving the way for a collaborative environment where each member supports the growth of others.”

Peta Sigley, CEO and Co-Founder of Springfox

Peta Sigley
Peta Sigley, CEO and Co-Founder of Springfox

“Employees today are facing heightened levels of stress, anxiety, hypervigilance, and occupational burnout. Workplace mental health is a key concern for business leaders, as they attempt to navigate an increasingly complex and everchanging landscape while prioritising the wellbeing of their people.

“Finding your dream team, therefore, is about more than just hiring great talent—it’s about building a resilient, agile, and mentally healthy workforce that can bounce back from challenges and thrive in the face of adversity.

“When it comes to hiring for resilience, it’s crucial to go beyond traditional qualifications and instead focus on assessing a candidate’s ability to operate under pressure, maintain an optimistic outlook during periods of turbulence, navigate change with courage, think creatively, and move forward after setbacks.

“Asking targeted questions during interviews, using role-play scenarios, and incorporating personality and resilience testing can help identify candidates who possess the resilience needed to excel in the workplace. Ultimately, a resilient team will not only drive success but also contribute to a positive and mentally healthy work environment for all employees.”

Konstantin Klyagin, Founder and CEO of Redwerk

Konstantin Klyagin
Konstantin Klyagin, Founder and CEO of Redwerk

“Hiring can make or break your business. When it’s effective, you attract high performers that help you innovate and outrun competition. But a bad hire can sink you fast.

“That’s why experienced recruiters are essential. They weed out candidates who clash with your company culture. Imagine a flat organization like Redwerk – it thrives on self-starters, not clock-watchers. Professional recruiters sniff out those qualities early, saving you time and money.

“Another fundamental aspect is nurturing a merit-based and bias-free culture. For years, we have focused only on candidates’ skills and potential. This commitment has resulted in a strong and diverse team, with women now making up 50% of our teammates.

“So, how can you, as a smaller company, compete with the big guys? Offer what they don’t. When market leaders force employees back to the office, keep the perk of unlimited remote work. When everyone is laying off personnel, go against the grain. It’s your prime time to hire someone with invaluable skills. We did that during COVID and came out stronger.

“Effective hiring requires an ongoing investment, but the right hires can truly boost your bottom line and transform your business.”

Nadine O’Regan, General Manager, People Solutions & Organisational Excellence at TQSolutions

Nadine O’Regan
Nadine O’Regan, General Manager, People Solutions & Organisational Excellence at TQSolutions

“In today’s dynamic economic landscape, building a dream team requires strategic foresight and adaptability. The labour market is softening, but unemployment remains lower than pre-pandemic levels. And with 76% of Australian workers contemplating a job change in 2024 according to LinkedIn, leaders must respond by enhancing skills development and fostering a culture of lifelong learning within their organisations if they want to retain their dream team. This shift reflects the evolving nexus of skills, technology, and productivity, highlighting the importance of employers upskilling their workforce to remain competitive.

“In this highly competitive labour market, companies can differentiate themselves by focusing on three key strategies:

  • Firstly, they should build a strong employer brand that permeates every aspect of the organisation’s culture to attract and retain top talent.
  • Secondly, adopting a talent mindset, which prioritises strategic talent management over traditional talent acquisition methods, can lead to a highly engaged and adaptable workforce.
  • Finally, leveraging internal mobility by investing in existing employees’ development and facilitating seamless transitions within the organisation can close skills gaps.

“Building your dream team from within is far easier than building a whole new team. By embracing these approaches, companies can cultivate their dream team and thrive.”

Andrii Bezruchko, CEO and Founder at Newxel

Andrii Bezruchko
Andrii Bezruchko, CEO and Founder at Newxel

“As CEO of our company, I’ve always believed in the power of building a dream team. It’s not just about finding individuals who tick all the boxes on paper; it’s about finding those rare gems with expertise that leave me in awe.

“During interviews, I don’t just look for qualifications or experience—I search for that spark of brilliance that surpasses my understanding. It’s about finding someone who shares our vision and brings fresh ideas and a vision for growth to the table.

“But it’s not just about skills and knowledge; it’s about passion and drive. I trust my business intuition to guide me in finding those individuals who are interested in our idea and ready to invest their energy and knowledge into making it a reality.

“When you hire, you’re not just looking for employees; you’re looking for team players—individuals who are committed to achieving our ambitious goals. Together, we’re not just running a race but embarking on a marathon towards success. And with this team by my side, I know we’ll reach any ambitious goal we set our sights on.”

Anastasi Kotoros, Head of People, Culture & Client Experience at Smart Commercial Solar

Anastasi Kotoros
Anastasi Kotoros, Head of People, Culture & Client Experience at Smart Commercial Solar

“In our corner of the renewable energy industry, specifically commercial and industrial solar and storage, finding our ‘dream team’ has been quite a challenge. I’ve found two types of hires emerge: those fitting current projects and team dynamics, and those with specialised skills in uncharted territory.

“A niche talent pool, difficulty in assessing technical ability for emerging systems and high demand all drive costs and increase recruitment complexity. This is compounded by a time-sensitive, competitive hiring environment.

“To overcome these hurdles, leveraging technology like AbilityMap for objective evaluations is crucial. Combining intuition with technology is essential, and psychometric testing aids in identifying the right fit. The final puzzle pieces in assembling the dream team are prioritising cultural alignment alongside technical prowess, and streamlining the recruitment process as much as possible to keep it agile and fast.”

Charles Ferguson, General Manager, Asia Pacific at G-P

Charles Ferguson
Charles Ferguson, General Manager, Asia Pacific at G-P

“Australia’s job market continues to grapple with a significant skills and talent shortage, with numerous job vacancies remaining unfilled despite recent changes to immigration laws. In order to increase access to a diverse and highly skilled workforce, traditional recruitment methods need to evolve.

“Companies are now realising the immense potential of building dream teams globally, by prioritising competencies and cultural fit over geographical location. This global growth mindset enables organisations to access a vast talent pool, increasing the likelihood of finding individuals with the specific skill sets that meet their business’ needs. Moreover, the inclusion of diverse perspectives and experiences, particularly apt to sectors such as tech, can breed innovation. This is especially beneficial for industries facing persistent skill gaps, like information communication technology, where nearly 70% of jobs in this sector are in shortage around Australia.

“By tapping into an international pool of expertise, companies can effectively close these skill gaps and build teams with the capabilities necessary to thrive in a dynamic market. This is where HR tech solutions, such as Employer of Record companies, can play an important role, allowing businesses to cultivate dream teams that transcend local boundaries.”

Jeremy Hanger, General Manager at Megantic

Jeremy Hanger
Jeremy Hanger, General Manager at Megantic

“You’ve got to ensure any new hire is going to be aligned to your company’s vision and culture. You want to be exploring and evaluating their EQ, ability to work in a team environment in addition to their ability to learn. It’s easier to teach skills than learned behaviours. Don’t be afraid to ask “what does good culture look and feel like to you with an example”. Take the time to get to understand the person and their interests and motivators both personally and professionally and you’ll soon work out how they are going to connect and contribute as a valued team member.”

Bjorn Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Safeguard Global

Bjorn Reynolds
Bjorn Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Safeguard Global

“Sourcing talent beyond borders allows SMBs to access a diverse range of skills, perspectives, and experiences that can enrich their teams and drive innovation.

“Innovation comes from the best people, and if you don’t have the right team in place, you’ll  stagnate. By recruiting top talent from anywhere in the world, you can tap into a richly skilled candidate pool who will help you pioneer solutions to complex problems, bring fresh ideas and perspectives, redefine business models, and deliver cutting-edge products and services. This approach is particularly valuable for filling the skills gap, as it provides SMBs with access to talent who have the specialized skills that may be lacking in the local market. Moreover, sourcing talent beyond borders demonstrates a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, which can enhance its appeal among potential candidates.

“Recruiting diverse talent also unlocks a substantial financial advantage. Businesses with above-average diversity levels record 19 per cent higher innovation derived from revenues compared to their counterparts with below-average diversity. This financial boost can be critical in maximising return on investment (ROI) in line with business goals. Diversity is not just a matter of social responsibility but a strategic business imperative.”

Jas Singh, Founder & Managing Director at SKL Executive

Jas Singh
Jas Singh, Founder & Managing Director at SKL Executive

“The term ‘Dream Team’ is subjective but the definition may also evolve for your business over time, depending on what stage you are at, and what the organisation is trying to achieve.

“It is important to include humanistic criteria for the “dream team” – it should not all be profit related or sales related. There are key factors to look out for when hiring, across industries, including complementary skill set, complementary personality and neurodiversity, but basics such as attitude, good grounding, personal career vision and mission statement, are also critical.

“Alongside this, communicate your vision of the dream team, regularly and sincerely, to existing staff. Even if your current team is not the ideal fit to what you want (which is more practically going to be the case) you will get closer by making this a shared vision.

“Leaders should also practise what they’re preaching and provide an example for staff to follow. Don’t be too ambitious if your dream team isn’t 100% fulfilled, this is okay because there will be ebbs and flows with turnover in any organisation. Don’t be afraid to take action if the team has deviated from your dream team either – be prepared to make changes to get the ideal team for the business.

“It is like having the aim of being a better person or playing perfect golf or having the perfect body – you rarely get there but having that goal keeps us motivated and gives us a strong sense of purpose.”

Shreya Pandey, Senior Content Writer at Jobma

Shreya Pandey
Shreya Pandey, Senior Content Writer at Jobma

“Hiring is finding the perfect puzzle pieces to build a high-performing team for any business. It’s a tough nut to crack though. Consider an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that has reached its limit – recruiters are spending days looking through resumes to almost no avail. It's hard to find talented and culturally fit candidates leading to talent shortages in companies.

“The future of recruitment is getting brighter with Artificial Intelligence (AI). With AI, the hiring methodology is changing for the better. New tech has made recruitment faster and more efficient. AI-powered recruitment tools analyze resumes meticulously to find skilled candidates and help reduce bias in the process.

“Video interview platforms have seamlessly transformed walk-in interviews with a virtual algorithm – letting recruiters focus on what matters the most, i.e. hiring strategy and building wider talent pipelines. During the evaluation process, the software will provide evaluators with the necessary data to ensure a fairer interview with proctoring tech.

“ATS cum CRM integrations are supercharged when integrated with video interviewing software. Enterprises are adopting this solution to upscale their hiring efficiency by 4x and spending 70% less. Social media and networking sites have made significant efforts in the job market too.”

Simon Plant, Vice President of Technology at Paloma

Simon Plant
Simon Plant, Vice President of Technology at Paloma

“Building a successful venture has become even more challenging in recent times, with VC funding dwindling and senior technology talent increasingly hard to come by. For early-stage startups in particular, having the right blend of digital and domain experience with a problem-solving mindset to help build the product and support the growth of the business is crucial. Once you’ve got the right people in the right roles, it’s all about nurturing a high performing team. . Which is easier said than done.

“The rise of Venture Studios in Australia aims to address these challenges by providing non-technical founders and early stage startups an alternative solution to help build their startups a ensuring they have an experienced team to work with. At Paloma, we offer  dedicated team that works shoulder-to-shoulder with founders from day one. This essentially helps fulfill the role of your own internal product development team, until you establish product- market fit, gain substantial traction, and ultimately, branch out on your own with our ongoing advisory.

“Building a strong founding team is vital and having access to a highly experienced tech team from the beginning helps to provide clear direction, supercharged development and support while fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.”

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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