Ever hire that remarkably experienced, impressively skilled employee who just doesn’t fit in with your company culture? You assumed the new hire shared your values and would adjust well to your workplace, but for one reason or another it simply isn’t working out. It happens. But there are ways you can prevent it from happening again.
What can you do to reduce the chances of a bad hire? In simple terms: Hire for your culture. Look for the candidates with the most applicable skills and most relevant experience, yes, but, more importantly, look for the candidates whose knowledge and talents align with your mission.
"Skills and experience matter most if the person who has them contributes to the excellence of your organization."
Here are three helpful strategies you can use to hire for your culture:
1. Explain your company values and expectations
The interview process isn’t just about the applicants; it’s also about you and your organization. When discussing the requirements of the job, make sure you tell applicants about your organization – where it has been and where it is going. Be up front and concrete about what your company values are, how your company follows them, and how your employees exemplify those values. Mention the behaviors and habits you want to see in an employee. Ask applicants why they might want to work in your specific culture, and don’t be afraid to ask them for specifics.
2. Include employees from various departments in the interview sessions
Your organization is comprised of people – people with various backgrounds, expertise, and perspectives. Your employees have their own ways of participating in and contributing to the company culture. Take advantage of these differences by inviting employees from various departments to participate in the interviews. The more diverse your interviewers, the more likely you’ll be to spot any red flags before extending a job offer.
3. Ask about specific behaviors
When talking with candidates and their references, ask about their preferred way of doing things – not just what they do, but also how they do it. Have applicants name the values and behaviors that matter most to them and what they did in their previous jobs to embody them. Ask about large long-term projects and small day-to-day operations. You can often tell a lot about an applicant’s character by their attitude toward the menial but necessary tasks of an organization.
Making assumptions about an applicant’s fit with your culture can be as risky as doing so about their skills, expertise, and experience. You expect evidence of an applicant’s qualities and accomplishments; so be rigorous on their cultural fit as well. It will help ensure you hire not only the most qualified candidates, but also those best equipped to hit the ground running with their new teammates.