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5 Ways to Hire Someone Who’s a Cultural Fit

Here are five reasons why it is important to consider company culture when looking for a new employee.

Jeffrey Fermin

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The stack of paper is daunting. Your job posting only went live 24 hours ago and already your desk is covered with credentials and contact information.

On one hand, you are flattered. People want to work for you. On the other hand, with so many people with similar credentials, you might be wondering how you’re ever going to make a decision.

Obviously you need someone who will be effective and your initial run through might include pulling out the resumes that are truly not worth your time. Still, you will inevitably be left with a pool of what seem to be amazing potential employees.

Before you make a snap decision, it’s important to remember that there are many ways in which this particular person could affect your already established company culture. It is always a good idea to hire someone who will be a good company fit.

While there are many different organisational cultures that thrive, tapping into your unique water-cooler culture can help you hire someone who will be a team player that will influence and support your existing members in positive and encouraging ways.

Not convinced?

Related: 4 Hiring Techniques Needed to Build a Stellar Team

1.  Hire for innovation

Innovation is key if companies want to stay ahead in, what now is, a fast-paced and ever-changing business world.

New hires will naturally come to the company with a fresh set of ideas. A good company fit  has the potential to implement those ideas in a non-invasive and constructive way.

A resume may be full of excellent qualifications but if your company values certain types of growth- that person might not be your best fit.

2. Hire for good communication

Every company communicates differently. Second to that, every employee has different communication skills.

It is important to find an employee that will be able to click in to the types of communication that allows your company to run smoothly.

It can be something as simple as speaking the industry jargon with management, knowing the lingo of the company (e.g. ‘Googler’), or just being able to communicate with a diverse group of people within the office that’ll ease the new employee’s onboarding process.

Quite frankly, if your new hire cannot communicate effectively with your established team, it’ll be really difficult for them to do their job.

3. Hire for diversity

It can seem like “diversity” is truly a buzzword that is not worth all its hype however, nothing can be further from the truth.

The success of collaborative work depends, not only on the combined member’s skill set, but also on their different personalities and problem solving skills.

A diverse team will be able to create products, streamline processes, and solve problems in record time. A good culture fit that fills in a company’s ‘missing link’ can help solidify the team members that you already have in place.

4. Hire for smooth transitions

Whether you are filling in an old position or creating a new job opening, transitions can be rough. Current employees can definitely feel the stress of a new presence in the office.

A good cultural fit will make that transition effortless and smooth. The person will be a quick learner, ready to listen and easy to engage with on a day-to-day basis.

It is never a bad idea to ask your employees what sort of team member they need to work collaboratively. If it seems necessary, a second employee can be present at the interview or the new hire can casually be introduced to other members of your team.

5. Hire for training

Skills sets are important. You want someone who will be competent and effective. Many companies have adopted the belief that if they hire someone that is a good fit and who is a good learner, that they can train up the particular talents they need to be successful.

If you have the time and resources to train up an individual, it can definitely be to your advantage.

You will be able to tailor your recruit’s skills to your particular needs and have a member of the team that contributes to your organisational culture. With any luck, you will also be able to establish a good rapport with your new hire who will feel challenged and accepted.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Related: 10 Steps for Hiring Your Next Rock Star

Jeffrey Fermin is one of the founders of Officevibe, an employee engagement platform that helps offices have happier, healthier, and productive employees.

Hiring Employees

That ‘Bad’ Interviewee You Just Talked To May Be The Perfect Match For Your Job Opening

The ‘pattern matching’ that companies have long used to find the right candidate isn’t always the best strategy.

Alex Gold

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Think you’ve just conducted a bad interview? You may be mistaken.

Walking back to our office in San Francisco’s SOMA neighbourhood one recent sunny Friday afternoon, I was excited about the job interviews I had scheduled for the afternoon. While some entrepreneurs hate this task, I’ve always relished it. To me, finding like-minded individuals with the requisite skills and a passionate desire to change the world – or something “like” that – is thrilling. Right?

At least it is for me: That afternoon, I would be conducting phone interviews for our open head of sales position, a notoriously difficult role to fill, not for a lack of candidates, but rather for the challenge of weeding out the perfect candidate truly skilled at closing sales and helping to build our health-intelligence platform.

That afternoon, however, reality set in, in the form of close to ten disappointing phone calls.

Picking up my phone once more, I made my final call – to the most unlikely candidate of the bunch. And, within two minutes, I was floored: This guy was quizzing me on my knowledge of our business space. Not only that, but he was also asking about my personal relationships with competitors. Huh?

Calling around to other founders after the interview, I quickly uncovered a strong consensus based on those founders’ individual experiences: This candidate’s comments weren’t weird or unwelcome, they said. In fact, they considered the best salespeople to be the ones who quizzed them.

For me, this was the first of many unexpected interview lessons that I learned “on the fly” as a start-up founder. One of those lessons was that, in conducting job interviews and evaluating candidates, most hiring managers rely on “pattern matching” – the idea that you can identify patterns in candidates, in terms of their personal attributes and skills which align with your organisation’s mission and values.

In the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning, this practice has intensified, as pattern matching has gone high-tech. Recruiters and organisations are turning to algorithms to more accurately identify talent “matches.”

Related: How To Interview Prospective Customers

However, even with this new data analysis capability, the concept of pattern matching can break down. Here are some further lessons I’ve learned that demonstrate the fallibility of “pattern matching” and why it may be challenging to rely on it during job interviews.

1. A “bad” interviewee could be the right colleague

We often want to hire people we get along with. When a candidate can quickly and seamlessly integrate into the team, we can almost immediately leverage that collaboration for better business results. What’s more, the likelihood of conflict diminishes significantly, removing obstacles that often impede organisations when team members have contrasting values.

Finding that seamless integration can be quickly determined through an interview, where we evaluate someone for his or her skills and ability to gel with team members. Yet, even a bad interview doesn’t mean the candidate won’t be a good match.

“Sometimes, a challenging interview does not equate to a poor hire,” Simon MacGibbon, my colleague and CEO of the health-monitoring company, Myia, told me.

“You need to be able to look at the scope of the entirety of the candidate, including background interviews, reference checks and work product. Basing hiring on interviewing alone puts many companies at risk of passing over candidates with valuable skill sets and different, but complementary, personalities.”

2. Hire for attitude. Train for skills

Herb Kelleher, the legendary co-founder of Southwest Airlines, said it best in the book Nuts!: Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success: “Hire for attitude and train for skills.” This, of course, is how Southwest grew from relatively humble beginnings into one of the largest airlines in the world.

However, interviewers may be biased toward skills over attitude. Naturally, it is easier to opt for a quantifiable metric than to dig into a candidate’s personality and disposition.

Consider Michael Lewis and his book Moneyball, which recounts how professional baseball started using Sabermetrics to determine a player’s skill level and performance potential. Other industries have likewise leveraged specific metrics and assessment tools to identify the right candidates for open positions.

However, stringent metrics aren’t everything and may not always deliver the right candidates for a constantly evolving business environment. Some of the nation’s top entrepreneurs are now hiring candidates who are demonstrably adaptable and who can forge their own paths.

“When hiring, we focus on grit and fit over pedigree and expertise,” Daniel Fine, founder of Neu Brands, told me. “All are relevant and important, but when you’re building a rapidly scaling company, culture and team alignment have to be the top priority. This isn’t something I’ve always been successful with, but having learned the hard way, it’s now a focal point.”

Related: The Exit Interview

3. Interviewees who interview you know they can get a job anywhere

Going back to the example of our search for our head of sales candidate: The best candidates for a position will often interview the interviewer to learn whether they can be successful in the role. These days, they know they can go anywhere; record low unemployment works in their favour.  Yet, remarkably, a lot of entrepreneurs and managers do not respond positively to this shift in power which gives talent the upper hand. Many positions go unfilled, as a result.

A 2018 research report confirmed this. Titled Talent Intelligence and Management Report, from Eightfold.ai and Harris Interactive, it compiled findings from 1,200 interviews with CEOs and found that 28 percent of positions went unfilled.  Also in the study, 87 percent of CEOs and CHROs stated that they were facing at least one talent-related challenge. Employers are even giving up college-degree requirements in an attempt to widen their candidate pool.

So, the next time a candidate interviews you, in his or her job interview, you may want to think again. This person is probably more sought after than you think.

It’s time to win the right talent

It may not be a good feeling for a founder or executive to come to grips with this new reality. However, it’s also a valuable opportunity to change your interview approach and start evaluating candidates on more than experience and skills. By accepting this new shift in power, you can improve your position in the race to hire the best talent.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Hiring Employees

Looking For Talent? Here Are The Benefits Of Hiring A Graduate

Still not convinced? Below are just some of the benefits of hiring a graduate.

Amy Galbraith

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Finding the right talent for your company can be tricky. You have to meet and interview dozens of applicants, and in the end none of them are the right fit for your needs. But you can remedy this by hiring a graduate. Graduates might have little to no experience but they are able to bring value to the table.

In order to improve their skills, there are graduate training courses that can help them get up to speed with the corporate world, allowing them to learn about the latest trends in your industry. One of the major perks of hiring a graduate is that they will be in touch with the pulse of the generation. Still not convinced? Below are just some of the benefits of hiring a graduate.

They can offer a fresh perspective

Graduates have just recently been in touch with the younger generation and are part of the ever-evolving technological world. They also will have been raised in a world unlike yours and some of your older staff, and so will come with new and innovative ideas on how to solve business problems.

Another important fact to remember is that someone who is fresh out of university will come with a lot of “why do you do it like this” and “how does this work” questions. This will force your company to explain your inner workings to them but also to take a look at established practices with fresh eyes. This could cause you to bring about more efficient ways of working, which is beneficial to all of your employees and your bottom line.

Related: 21 SMEs Graduate From The Property Point Enterprise Development Programme

They are comfortable with new technology

If there is one thing that today’s generation is comfortable with, it is technology. And this is true of all graduates, which is a major benefit for your company. They will be able to navigate through new technology such as the innovations in computers and how these apply to your company.

Having employees who are able to operate and understand new software and technology is beneficial because they will be more comfortable with working online than some of your older employees. They can also teach other employees how to use this new technology successfully. Skills development training courses will equip graduates with the skills needed to function in the workplace but their own generational knowledge of computers and technology will enable them to learn quicker than others.

They are able to adapt

You will be giving a graduate their very first job, which means that they will be willing and able to adapt to your requirements. Not only this, but new graduates are more open-minded and can adapt to any situation easily and often are more willing to take on more work and opportunities.

This does not mean that you should be giving them 60 hour working weeks, simply that they will likely be more open to work extra hours and embrace opportunities to learn more in the company. Their adaptability is beneficial for industries such as technology and marketing, where everything is constantly in flux and businesses need to be able to change with the times. If they have been on any skills development training courses, adaptability will become second nature to any graduate.

They offer more potential

One of the benefits of hiring graduates is that they have more potential. This could be anything from a secondary skill that could benefit a department in your company to pure enthusiasm for their role which brings in new and creative thinking.

While experience is necessary for some sectors, a recent graduate offers potential in a unique way. They will be coming into your company without any preconceived notions about the industry and what their role should entail. And this means that they can learn and develop on the job while also bringing fresh and exciting ideas to the table. Their potential as your employee is only just beginning and you can help to shape their career trajectory and help them to reach their goals.

Related: The Pros And Cons Of Hiring Recent Graduates For Your Start-up

They already have soft skills

Because graduates spend so many years researching and writing, they will already have developed the soft skills that they need for the working world. These skills include effective communication, time-management, the ability to problem-solve and to analyse data.

This will save you both time and money because you will not have to train new employees. You could send them on courses so they become familiar with adapting to a business environment and to help them develop the skills they already have. Graduates are often highly organised and are used to taking direction, so you will be able to guide them to work in the right way to fit your company.

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Hiring Employees

The Pros And Cons Of Hiring Recent Graduates For Your Start-up

Here are the pros and cons of hiring graduates for your start-up.

Montash

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As a business owner, chances are you receive lots of applications from recent graduates, but you might be hesitant employing them due to a number of reasons: from lack of experience to their perceived unreliability and not having enough resources to train.

Start-ups need talented, enthusiastic individuals to help drive the business to the forefront of their market. Often passion projects and personal labours of love, start-ups most of all need someone who can buy into the vision.

As much as this could be a seasoned professional with dreams of shaking up the industry, this could also be a fresh face looking for a challenge.

Here are the pros and cons of hiring graduates for your start-up.

1. Cost

One of the key considerations for start-ups is keeping costs sleek and streamlined. So, from a pragmatic perspective, it’s much cheaper to hire fresh graduates than experienced staff with high expectations. So, if you need people with specific skill sets who can learn on the job, graduates are a great option..

…But, they expect more than you think.

Maybe not from salary alone, but graduates on the cusp of Gen Z have clear expectations of their workplace. This includes training, opportunities for growth, flexible working etc. All of these things come at a cost.

To graduates looking for work, a lack of workplace perks and opportunities can tip the scales against you. A recent study from the Bright Network revealed that a company’s people and culture was the most important factor when choosing a graduate role.

Cultivating a workplace that is attractive to graduates may end up costing you more than what you save in reduced salaries.

Related: When To Hire A Consultant

2. Knowledge

Graduates are free from the mental baggage of corporate life, working in silos and having to navigate office politics. As such, they are feel much more comfortable with voicing ideas, opinions and points of view.

This makes graduates potentially key resources of ideas that your company can tap into. Sure, not every idea is going to be solid gold, but you can certainty get some unique perspectives from the graduate point of view.

…However, with fresh faces comes a lack of experience.

Most fresh graduates typically don’t have experience in the working world. As such, it takes time to train them. Beyond the usual training of getting them used to the company culture and protocol, you need to teach them about working life and work habits generally. You’d be amazed at how many things you take for granted about work that some people just don’t know.

That having been said, not all graduates are so green. Some will have experience having worked summer jobs and internships, while others will be mature graduates will a career of work experience behind them.

3. Motivation

If your start-up is a graduate’s first job, they are going to want to make a splash! Unlike people further in their careers that just want to come to work and do the job, graduates are energetic, with the drive and capacity to do more. Free from the family commitments of dependents, they’ll be more committed to work instead. This is particularly important for many start-ups where the driving attitude is to work to the job and not the clock.

…You need to keep them keen though, because that drive will push them to job-hop.

Related: Hiring Your First Employee? 5 Things You Need To Know

More fresh graduates are choosing freelance or part-time work instead of working full-time and keeping their options open. In fact, one in four graduates leave their job within the first 12 months. So, if you can’t maintain the momentum, you can expect to find an empty desk where a graduate once was.

The idea of a job for life has fallen out of favour. Rather than a ten year career, the average career is considered to be 6 years, and sometimes less. So when you hire a fresh graduate, it’s safe to assume that they might be using your company as a stepping stone.

But, if you can cultivate an attractive environment for graduates and help them achieve their personal career goals, while getting them to buy into your start-up vision, they could easily make your company their company.

Ultimately, it all boils down to the individual. Not all fresh graduates change their jobs in a matter of months, and not all experienced hires are uncreative, jaded people. The important thing to do is to ask the right questions during the interview and make sure that you hire the right people for your business.

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