By Lauren Isherwood
Relationships. They require a lot of work. Hiring and retaining good employees is like that. Finding and retaining talented people who are internally motivated to work at high level of quality output are very hard to find and even harder to keep! But when you find them, and when you challenge them and provide them with a great work environment, you will build an amazing talent pool that propels your business to dizzying heights.
While skills and experience are the bread and butter for any position, even the most skilled employee is unlikely to stick around if they’re not a good cultural fit. Cultural fit creates happy, productive, and contributing employees who commit for the long term, and this creates amazing organizational value through increased productivity and reduced turnover costs. To assess a candidate’s cultural fit, you first need to have a clear understanding of your own company culture and ensure that’s being communicated to candidates. The next stage is to include a cultural assessment in your interview process to ensure that the candidates are the right fit.
In order to determine whether a candidate is a good fit, you must have a clearly defined company culture. You need to consider how you get work done, what kind of people work for you, what hours they work, what the office is like, and how the company is structured. All of these factors contribute to the company culture and will determine whether or not a candidate is the right fit. You want to be transparent about your company culture in your recruitment materials and job advertising. Potential employees want to find a job that is a good fit for them as much as you want a candidate who’s the right fit for you. Being transparent about the company culture can help save you time during the selection process and also prevent a bad hire.
When interviewing potential candidates, you should have clearly defined interview questions and know what you’re expecting to learn from the answer to each. For example, what does a successful work environment look like to you? The answer to this question should tell you whether the candidate will fit in well to your workplace. If the candidate prefers quiet environments where they work mostly alone, then they may not be a fit for your busy office and high-touch management style. Another good question to ask is: what can a company provide that motivates you to go the extra mile and deliver beyond expectations? If the candidate indicates that money is the main motivator, then this may not be a fit with your workplace that motivates employees through team building and recognition.
Including a more informal or social activity into the interview process can also be a great way to evaluate candidates. Asking a colleague or a few team members to take the candidate out for lunch can be an easy way to include others in the assessment and also get an idea of how the candidate acts in a social setting. A formal interview is not necessarily a great reflection of the day-to-day workplace environment, so seeing the candidate in a more natural situation can provide a lot of clues as to how they’ll interact with potential colleagues.
The key to a more productive workforce and to improving your employee retention is hiring individuals who fit your company culture. To assess fit you need to look beyond the candidate’s resume. Someone could be the most qualified candidate in terms of skills and experience, however if the work environment and team dynamics do not suit their personality and working style, they are unlikely to stay with the organization for long.