Building a Great Team

Published on 12 September 2019

Simon Lever and Elize Hattin sitting on a couch in front of SmartHub banner

In every business, the most important asset isn’t the product or the location, it’s the people. A good strong team is pivotal to business success – as a business owner, you need to have people you can trust, who you can delegate to and who care about the success of your business. In a recent Hub Live, SmartHub Business Manager Elize Hattin sat down with Simon Lever from CROSS Recruit to learn about how he approaches teams in business.

Simon’s career in recruitment at CROSS Recruit has given him a wealth of experience in different roles, industries and with all kinds of clients all across the Pacific region. “You come to understand that there is not one fit,” He said, “It’s so different when you’re talking to entrepreneurs who are still in the garage at home, coming up with a great concept and making it happen.”

What is a Team?

Finding a set definition for a team is challenging, as teams can have so much variation. A team can be your supplier, your accountant, your mentors, your lawyer. Your team consists of people who add value to your business, regardless of if they’re directly employed by you, if you’ve hired them for a specific service or even if they’re the people around you who support your entrepreneurial adventure. “They’re stakeholders, helping you succeed on what you need to go for. You set your goal, and you use these people as part of the way to achieve that goal,” Simon said.

Building a team should start early on, and thanks to technology it’s easier than ever to find people to collaborate with. As well as resources like the SmartHub where you can find local businesspeople to work with, the internet broadens the scope of your search for team members. “The beauty of today’s technology is that you can have someone sitting in Singapore, someone in Belgium, and you can all be talking at the same time to build the same project, but it’s still a team. You’ve got to have the same values, set the same goals and you need to be the right fit for each other,” Simon said. “It’s so important to find likeminded people to work together when your business is still young.”

Being a leader

Having a team is one thing, but leading a team is something else. A team needs someone to set the goals and values of the business, which is usually a role filled by the owner or founder.  “There’s a difference between a leader and a boss,” Simon explained. “A boss is going to sit there and dictate to you and micromanage you, but a leader will work with their team, let them know the goal and get them to give input on the best way to get there. A leader supports their team, lets them know the values of the business and gets everyone to agree on them. Then when something goes askew, you can bring up the values, re-evaluate and see where the problem is. With a boss, they just want to belt you and chew you out. It’s totally different and dysfunctional and it’s rude. It makes people want to leave. You can’t sustain your business with a boss culture.”

Learning how to be a good leader can be a challenge. Many people believe it to be a natural trait some people have, but according to Simon it’s a learned skill. “The biggest asset a leader can have is the ability to listen and to not talk over people. They should be able to go up to someone and have a conversation, listen to them all the way through and then sit back and reflect. To be a proper leader, you need to listen to your staff. What can you do to retain them? What can we give as an incentive?” He said.

Finding your team

Simon’s role in the recruitment industry has given him a deep knowledge on the recruitment process, watching it evolve with technology. “Back in the old days you had to do these big CVs, send it in and sit in front of this big panel to be interviewed. It had to be that way; we had no other solution. These days we have technology where you can find an ad, then upload your CV or resume electronically. What happens then is that a machine reads your CV or resume, picks the keywords it’s looking for and then creates a short list just from that,” he said.

This new technology makes it vital for employers to write comprehensive, specific ads in order to find employees that fit well within the culture and values of the business. “You have to work out what you want. Do you want a graduate, or someone with 10 years’ experience? Look at the role, the duties, and add in keywords that are up to date with the latest jargon and technical language. Put in any qualifications you need. There’s quite an art in writing ads,” Simon said.

After writing the right ad and selecting potential candidates with the right qualifications, it’s time to find someone who fits in with the culture of your business – the job interview. There are two key questions an employer can ask during an interview to find the perfect person to fill the role, regardless of industry: What made you apply for this position, and what do you know about the company. “When you ask these questions, you can gauge very quickly if this person is just trying to get a job or if they have passion. When you’ve got entrepreneurs, you want passion and drive,” said Simon.

Team management

Once you’ve hired your perfect team, you’ll need to manage that team as its leader. Simon believes one of the most important parts of leading a team is being sure not to micromanage. “You need to set your goals up front, and make sure your team members fully understand their roles. This is where you get a position description, or PD,” he explained. “It’s just a short document telling your employee exactly what is expected of them and what they’re accountable for. Then you can use those positions, those people, to support your goals.”

Unfortunately, many small business owners struggle with being able to delegate properly to their team and end up micromanaging. “It’s like their baby, and then all of a sudden you’re hands off,” Simon said. “You need to be able to say, “Please look after this,” and step back, and a lot of people don’t. Then they start micromanaging, and the person they’ve delegated to becomes frustrated. To delegate properly, you need to give it to them in writing what they need to do, what they aren’t meant to do, and you need to communicate the fact the task has been delegated to the rest of your team to prevent confusion. If you’re going to delegate roles, you need to allow them to succeed and if they’re not able to succeed, you need to come in and support them. Your team is your biggest asset, and you need to listen to them and treat them with respect.”

Here to help

Finding the perfect team for your business can be challenging, but once you have it, your business will thrive. As a final word of advice, Simon recommended evaluating your own position to ensure you’re satisfied with your life. “You need to find the right sort of job that you want. Find out what it is, research it and find your way out. Your work life affects your home life, and if you’re having stress and anxiety at work it’ll affect your relationships. So, if it’s not right, you need to find something that lets you have that balance of work and family at the same time,” He said.

If you’re interested in learning more about Simon Lever, his business and what he does, head over to to learn more. CROSS Asia-Pacific provides two main services, with CROSS APAC focusing on workplace health and safety and environmental business structures, while CROSS Recruit looks after Human Resources and Recruitment. If these services could help your business, you can learn more at

For any further advice, assistance or support in finding your perfect team, please feel free to reach out to the Rockhampton SmartHub via Facebook, by emailing or by coming to the SmartHub at 208 Quay St, Rockhampton. Our phenomenal community of business experts and owners are here to help your business grow.

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