Three Steps To Help You Hire Someone Who's In Line With Your Organizational Culture
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Excellent time management, outstanding communication skills in multiple languages, several years of experience in project management, and a proven track record of increasing sales. That all sounds great, doesn’t it? But what companies look for in an employee nowadays can actually extend beyond a list of skills, degrees, or past experiences.
As an up-and-coming business, you should have already developed a talent acquisition strategy to secure a steady pipeline of potential employees and build a great startup team. Whether you have opted for the classic and very effective job postings tool, a powerful CV search technology, or even a customized talent sourcing service, such as Source2Hire, you should already have many tools at your discretion to get the CVs flowing to your inbox. Along with these talent acquisition tools, you should have your talent screening approach mapped out and you should be ready to interview, shortlist, and make your offers.
But hold on a second. Before jumping right in, have you thought about what else can make a job candidate ideal for your company dynamics and environment? What other items do you need to consider when hiring? After all, a candidate who looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily translate to someone who fits well within your team, understands your business values and ethics, and adapts to your unique culture easily. Just as humans have personalities that differentiate them from one another, companies have personalities as well. These “personalities” are commonly referred to as the company culture. And when it comes to hiring, it is the responsibility of the hiring manager to make sure that the candidate they plan on giving a job offer to be a good fit of that culture.
Culture fit means that a job candidate will be able to conform, adapt, or at least cope with the core values, norms, and collective behaviors that make up a business or an organization. Employers can no longer take a chance on someone who won’t mesh well with the existing team, doesn’t share common goals with their colleagues, or is not well-aligned with the mission of the company.
But keep in mind that hiring a culture fit doesn’t mean disregarding your initiatives for increasing diversity and always hiring an exact replica of your existing employees, even if they are top performers. Finding a culture fit simply means finding those candidates who share your goals and values and those who are able to assimilate to your work environment in a productive and healthy manner. Especially in a startup environment, you need people who are truly aligned with you culture, who believe in your vision, and who are passionate enough to want to help transform this vision into a reality.
So, how do you ensure that your next hire fits your organizational culture? Here are three steps from Bayt.com that will help you to do so:
1. Define your company culture
It goes without saying that you can’t look for something you haven’t defined. Therefore, the first step in hiring a culture fit is determining what your company culture is all about. What values, norms, and practices define your business? These could include, but are not limited to, things such as respect, fairness, trust, integrity, teamwork and communication. They could also include practices and policies such as dress code, timing and flexibility, interpersonal dynamics, and such elements that shape your environment and daily dynamics.
You’ll need to fully understand what makes your company unique as well as what makes someone a fit or a misfit for your culture. If you aren’t able to tackle this on your own, it is also a common practice to survey your employees and ask them how they perceive the organization’s culture. This could help you discover the posivtive aspects of your organization that you may not have seen before, or you could end up discovering some negative aspects that require your immediate attention and remedy. But either way, you will come up with a basis to help you define you culture, and screen for culture fit accordingly.
2. Make your culture visible
Once you have determined what matters to your company the most, it is time to talk about it. Start with your company website, where you can include a brief on your organizational culture. This is not only beneficial in the case of potential applicants stumbling upon your website, it will also benefit you in promoting your culture to any website visitors. Some companies go as far as creating a unique employer brand for themselves using a premium company profile, where they highlight how their organizational culture differentiates them from their competitors.
By explaining your company culture to potential applicants, it is more likely that you’ll receive candidates who truly share your core values and principles and those who are able to smoothly assimilate to your company.
Just like making your culture visible to potential candidates through your website is important for attracting relevant talent, outlining your culture in job postings and all application material is just as critical. Aside from the basic job requirements like years of experience, education and technical skills, you’ll need to include other requirements such as innovation, creativity, team mindset, leadership, or any other elements that relate to your values and culture. Add a blurb about who you are and what distinguishes your company in your job description, or talk about it during the interview. This will provide job seeker with some form of an introduction as to what your company expects from its employees.
To increase the relevancy of candidates applying for your vacancy, and to decrease the time it takes to hire, job sites such as Bayt.com provide employers with a huge platform to post their jobs and offer precise filtration tools and questionnaires so that the candidates they receive match the required qualifications and culture fit down to the smallest details.
Remember, the more open you are about your culture and its unique elements, the easier it will become to connect and communicate with like-minded individuals who can smoothly join your team and truly help your company grow.
3. Use the interview to test for culture fit
This is where you go beyond the papers. The interview is your best shot at identifying a culture fit.
Depending on your hiring practices, several of your employees may be involved in the interviewing process. Therefore, it is important that they all have a firm grasp of your company culture in order to be capable of assessing whether the candidate is a good fit or not.
Having said that, there are certain questions that can be asked by the hiring manager during an interview that will also help determine the culture fit of the candidate. These include asking the candidate what they know about your organization’s values, their familiarity with the mission and vision that your organization upholds, and their knowledge about the pillars that your organization was established upon.
An additional method that you can use during the interview is to ask the candidate what they would do in certain situations or moral dilemmas and see how these answers align with your expectations. Since it might be challenging to contrast and compare different candidates based on “culture fit,” it is recommended that you:
a. involve your team or your interview panel and hear their impression of the candidate,
b. vary your questions to test for many angles relating to your values and most important cultural elements, and
c. keep a detailed list of what about the candidate you think “fits” and what doesn’t, so you can do some contrasting after the interviews are done.
Another approach to discover whether or not a candidate is a good culture fit is to give them a small tour of your company and introduce them to a few key members, then follow up by asking the candidate what form of culture they observed from their small tour. Later on, you can also ask your employees what they thought of the candidate. Depending on these answers, you’ll know if the candidate is perceived as a good culture fit.
Today, hiring someone who fits within your organizational culture helps to ensure that they remain productive, honest, and active. It also guarantees that they do not disturb the productive rhythm and healthy dynamics you may have already secured for your business. So, keep the concept of culture fit in mind to stay on top of your hiring game and look beyond the long list of skills and qualifications when picking the “right” one.