In Culture Hacker, we focus on elevating the employee experience and improving engagement. While everyone seems to focus on improving engagement, we believe in taking a broader perspective – one that takes into consideration that a part of the engagement problem is the inability to select or attract the right people. As thought leader Bob Kelleher says, “Many companies don’t have an engagement issue; they have a hiring issue.” When it comes to hiring, you have to focus more on the right body than just a warm body.
To ensure you get the person who is the best fit for your company, it’s important to start with job fit, but then move quickly to cultural fit. Most skills can be taught, but character cannot be learned! Once a candidate satisfies the basic skills required, you must consider if their personal values are a good fit for your company. An effective way to do this is to implement your company values into the hiring process, and ensure that their behavior will fit the expected behaviors for your culture.
One way to do so is to implement behavioral questions into the interview process. I believe that a person’s previous experiences are a good indicator of their future performance, so probe with questions that begin with, “Tell me about a time,” “What have you done when,” or “Can you give me an example of when you…?”
Another effective interview technique is to consider activity-based interviews, where a task is given to an individual or group to see if the way they approach it is aligned with your values. Considering how someone works collaboratively to solve challenging tasks is a great insight to gain from the interview process. This is also a great way to engage the potential hire and get them excited about what they could be doing. An interesting twist on this concept? Implement gamification into your hiring process for assessment of skills, and to boost your employer branding. In the world of social media sites like Glassdoor or Indeed, an engaging hiring experience could become great marketing for your employer brand – even from candidates that didn’t get the job.
At my consultancy, SGEi, we love to get the team involved in the interview and hiring process by having many members of our staff conduct short interviews with the candidates, focused around one or two questions. When you involve your team members in the hiring decision, they will be more invested in setting up that new hire for success. It also helps to see how potential candidates do after meeting a series of people who are asking them questions in rapid succession. If they are still smiling at the end of the day, this is a great indicator that they will do the same for your customers.
At the end of the day, it’s critical to ensure that the interview process is a great experience for all candidates. Be on time, organized, grateful, and don’t forget to follow up with every person that interview with you. Remember – they might not be your next employees, but they may become your future customers.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the recession is over, and unemployment rates are lower now than they have been in years. The talent that is out there has options, and to find the right person for the job is going to take more than simply posting a job on a website. Tim Sackett, HR expert and writer for Fistful of Talent, posited that traditional talent acquisition is dead, and talent attraction has instead taken root. What are you doing to make your own employer brand attractive to potential candidates? Don’t forget to consider your own employee value proposition – in the knowledge economy today, it can be just as critical as the value you present to your customers.
Listen, I get it. There’s a lot of pressure to get the job done, and to get someone into an open role. However, for all the things we seem to be doing quicker in business, this is one are that I suggest you slow down and take the time to attract, select, and hire the right person. The success of your team and culture depends on it!