Hiring for culture and/or personality is often times even more important than hiring for hard skills.
This can be more challenging than hiring for hard skills as hard skills are often easier to test and screen for.
Culture and personality can be multifaceted and more difficult to screen individuals for.
But there are certain strategies and steps that can be taken to give you a competitive edge.
You want to hire the right types of people and personalities to blend in well with the culture of your company and employees.
It’s critical that you hire people correctly from a cultural perspective for many reasons such as employee longevity.
Employees will not stay long with a company that they don’t feel is a match for their personality.
They will regularly feel out of place or will be unhappy and you’ll soon notice a high level of turnover in your organization.
Happy employees are productive employees!
One of the ways to make sure both new and existing employees are happy is to make sure that you hire along certain cultural lines.
WHY DEFINE YOUR CULTURE?
If you’re interested in hiring for culture you must have a defined culture for your company.
The first big mistake that many companies make is not having their culture clear and defined.
They attempt to hire for culture without actually having a well defined culture!
This seems obvious, but it’s not.
If you try to hire for culture without a well-defined culture, good luck!
Without a well defined culture you will have no guiding principles to use in order to steer you in screening people.
You should have something concrete to show potential candidates to give them the insight to know if they’re a fit for the role.
If your company occurs like it doesn’t really have a culture, this can be just as detrimental as having a negative culture.
Typically, a negative culture is the fallout of not having a well-defined culture.
This in turn can end up with a mix of different personalities which tends to go in a default negative direction.
DEFINING YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
You can involve other key executives, and even your current employees, depending on the size of your company.
It will be important that you create not only the external brand for your company, but also an employer brand.
This should be outlined in a document and there should be structures in place to engender, grow, reward and nurture this culture.
It’s a good idea to have certain employees be brand ambassadors to engender and nurture the brand across the company.
You can create different contests and all kinds of interesting things to ensure you have a robust culture.
This is a topic that we will cover in future blogs in further detail.
But this is the first step – if you are interested in hiring for culture you’ve got to have a culture!
DOCUMENTING YOUR CULTURE
Again, it’s important that this be written down somewhere and explicated in a very clear and concise manner.
You will want to use this document as part of your hiring process.
Prospective employees should be able to read and see the document which outlines the expectations around culture.
Prospective employees should be clear about what your company culture is, what it stands for, and what the expectations are.
They should be able to meet with as many team members as possible to get an in person feel for the culture.
It is critical for prospective employees to be able to do their own due diligence.
You want them to be able to determine if your company and the position are going to be a good fit for them.
Many times prospective employees won’t do enough due diligence in determining if a company is a good fit for them.
This is something that often leads to making a bad hire.
It’s not the employer’s fault if the employee has not done enough research to see if the company is a good fit.
You want to hedge this for yourself and expose a potential employee to your company culture as much as possible.
Then there will be no surprises for them when they show up on day one.
TOOLS FOR ENSURING CULTURAL FIT
This is something you want to check on multiple times throughout your interview process.
This will truly ensure that you have a good match both for yourself and for the candidate.
Another major tool that employers use are personality assessment tests.
Things like the disk assessment test and many other companies who offer similar products and services.
Some personality tests are extremely in-depth, some are just surface level and there is everything in between.
Personality tests can be a good tool to get a general gage if someone will fit into your company culture.
Ultimately you have to take these tests with a grain of salt as they aren’t perfect and can be more or less accurate depending on many factors.
We’ve had some clients in the past that rely heavily on these tests and use the results extremely heavily.
It’s important not to go overboard with using these tests as a determining factor for hiring somebody or not.
At the end of the day it will be important to see how these tests fit in with your company culture as a whole.
Another important factor in hiring for culture is not getting pigeonholed into hiring only the same kinds of personalities.
You want to have dissenting voices and people who are going to interrupt the status quo.
To continue to stay relevant in a fast growing, fast moving industry, you want to be diverse with your hires.
When everybody’s always on the same page and agrees with each other all the time, things can become stale.
Without new ideas you’ll fall to the wayside with some of the more fast thinking companies out in the market.
We recommend that part of a company’s culture be about open communication, new ideas and transparency.
As long as that is part of your culture then you can always hire and look for those types of traits.
In conclusion hiring for culture is extremely important!
Bad culture and personality hires are one of the number one contributors to high turnover rates.
It’s worth it to do the work to define your company culture and then use it as a guideline to hire the right people.
You will give yourself a major advantage to retaining solid employees and producing great services and products in the marketplace.
Here are some great ways to get started in building your company culture: https://bit.ly/2slTkkZ