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Team Showcase: Jim Strachan

Each week, we’re highlighting thoughts, insights and observations from Colony Group team members on what inspires them at work and in their personal lives. In this instalment, Senior Creative Jim Strachan shares his thoughts on how Colony Group is building a strong team dynamic and office culture:

Building an engine

Finding talent with the right skillsets is only half the battle – team dynamics and personality fit are crucial.

We’ve been lucky enough through the COVID pandemic to be one of the few companies in our industry to be hiring. As such, we get a wide variety of CVs and cover letters that range from going directly into the “Yeah, probably not” file to the “That’s a bit of a no brainer” collection. That part is generally pretty easy. But from that latter group of rock star prospects, how do you differentiate the team players from the prima donnas? And how do you determine if personalities will mix to create a positive office atmosphere and team-first environment? It’s a crucial step, as how a candidate’s personality fits into the existing team dynamic is more important than whether he/she has won two Gold AWARD gongs for a pro bono dog charity in 2014.

In the year that I’ve been at Colony Group, I’ve seen the team nearly double to more than 30 people. With each new hire, it’s consistently been all about personality fit. The company has grown enough and developed enough of a reputation around Brisbane and Cairns that there’s been an abundance of qualified candidates when we look to add to the team. A great problem to have. It shouldn’t be news to anyone that the cover letter that accompanies a CV is the first vetting point. One recent cover letter featured this, “(I) take care to treat my co-workers as the client, giving them respect and my best in every interaction. I am guided by a team-first, transparent approach that helps build good communication and team dynamic.” Uh, yeah. When can you start? Well, actually, let’s meet in person first…

When a candidate comes in for an interview at Colony Group, the conversation tends to centre as much around the cultural fit as it does around a person’s suitability for the job. It’s that important – not because we’re a small team who needs to be all rowing in the same direction for our clients, but because each of us needs to feel respected, valued and trusted in the workplace. It’s infinitely more rewarding and much more fun that way.

As Colony Group has added staff over the last several months, we’ve been able to bring in team players who are able to kick goals in their jobs, but also help create an atmosphere of respect, teamwork and cooperation. It’s a major part of why the Colony Group engine keeps humming along nicely and we’re able to consistently deliver for our business partners.

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