You’ve already heard the phrase, “Why reinvent the wheel”?
I have to admit that I’m risking complete redundancy with today’s blog by citing a recent Careerbuilder article – but its excellent advice for employers caught my eye. I actually AGREE with everything that their expert columnist, Mary Lorenz had to say.
Though, I’ve already admitted that I’m basically copying its core ideas in my blog, so maybe you can skip reading this one!
I think at this point we can all admit that cultural fit is a BIG DEAL when it comes to making hiring decisions. Perhaps some employers are more concerned with it than others, though the companies that make hiring a culture-fit candidate a top priority (over skill sets) tend to do better with overall retention and company growth.
I always say something like “Okay, GREAT – you’ve hired a Phd design engineer who has an EXACT skill match for your company. It’s too bad they don’t get along with the rest of your staff. It’s too bad he/she stole Marcy from HR’s lunch. It’s too bad he/she can’t take direction or confrontation”. The list can go on and on.
Long story short; you can teach someone to design in SolidWorks. You can’t teach good communication skills, values, work ethic, congeniality, drive, common sense, and integrity.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be looking for some key skill sets – but there comes a time when every company realizes that cultural fit reigns supreme.
Getting back to CB – they gave some EXCELLENT advice for employers on “recruiting for culture” – love love LOVE all 5 suggestions!
“Know what you stand for as an employer.” – So you have a mission statement – it’s either provided to you or one that you’ve painstakingly put together. Every business consultant says that a company cannot operate without a MISSION STATEMENT – what do you?! What do you provide? What kind of value do you impart? This is all VERY important – but no one asks you HOW you want to run your business, and that’s a shame. You can’t start hiring like-minded employees until you know what kind of values you want to set for business.
“Differentiate between the skills you need, and the ones you’re willing to train for.” This one is important because today’s employers are still trying to produce more with less and REALLY CAPITALIZE on their employee’s skill sets. In the same right, they put together a job description that is utterly impossible to hire for. At TxMQ we call it a quest to find the Purple Monkey – IE we’re searching for a skill set that doesn’t exist ON TOP OF trying to find a solid cultural fit. Start thinking about training programs, and even grant programs that financially support employee training. Don’t disregard a stellar candidate who lacks one or two functions – HIRE THEM and TRAIN THEM. Not only will they become a customized tool for your company, but you can also obligate them to stay with the company for a certain period of time.
“Enlist the help of your own employees.” Sometimes as a manager or top decision-maker you end up being a little in the dark when it comes to truly understanding your organizational culture. You know how others interact with you – you’re at the top of the food chain – but how does everyone else function? Many times it’s different than how you perceive it. Ask your trusted employees what they would say about your company culture. Ask them what kind of person would thrive in the trenches. GREAT SUGGESTION CB!!
“Enlist your own employees” Remember way back when? You know, when people stayed with the same company for 10+ years and were promoted through the ranks? Not sure paradigm has shifted over the last couple years but companies are promoting from within less and less. Who better knows your product/service/operation than an existing superstar employee? Send them through some training, bump their salary and make them feel good about getting a promotion! Not only is it a great hiring methodology, but it’s also a great way to increase employee retention.
“Always be recruiting” This is a lesson taken out of a recruiter’s manual. Always be on the lookout for superior talent. I can’t tell you how many times someone has come to me saying that they knew of someone 4 months ago who would be perfect for their newly opened position but now they can’t find them or the individual is no longer available. Some of the best companies hire fantastic candidates even if they don’t necessarily have a need that day. They will create a position until such time that their skill sets become a necessity. It’s called proactive hiring.
THANKS CB for some excellent advice! I love when major job board dotcom’s get it right with their advice for those of us in the trenches!