With today’s large pool job of job seekers, being able to spot a gem for your company is a practical way to save time and money.
You may have noticed that employers like yourself are finding their open positions flooded with an overwhelming number of applicants. Many of these applicants have the qualifications and experience necessary for the positions, but how do you know if they’ll be the right fit for your company? To find the perfect fit, you’ll first you need to understand your company culture.
- Is your company team-oriented or does it place more emphasis on individual contributions?
- Does your company believe in holding information close, or do you value openness and keeping employees well-informed?
- Is decision-making limited to upper management or do you encourage employees to be part of the decision making process?
- Does the company promote from within or do you always hire outside candidates?
Answering these questions honestly is an important step in helping identify the best candidates for your company.
Take a Look Back
Consider the employees who have flourished with your company, as well as those who have struggled. Did the successful employees have different attributes and backgrounds than those who did not succeed?
You’re not trying to build an organization of clones, but knowing which employee attributes fit best in your company is very important and will allow you to screen for these when reviewing applications and during the interview process.
Applications and Resumes
Look for clues about cultural fit when reviewing applications and resumes. A small entrepreneurial company where everyone wears a lot of hats and is given more responsibility may find that a person who has worked in large organizations with a great deal of resources and structure for most of their career is not the right fit.
A company that prides itself on loyalty and growth from within will probably not want to hire a candidate who’s had several jobs in the last 5 years. Likewise, a metrics-driven organization should look for candidates who quantify the results they’ve achieved in their jobs.
During the interview, evaluate what candidates are looking for in a culture by asking targeted, open-ended questions. While some applicants are very clear and detailed about what they want, others may need to be prodded with questions about the best and worst companies they’ve worked for. Their answers will give you an idea of the type of environment they enjoyed the most and the least.
So, a candidate who states that they enjoyed being part of a small team with a lot of freedom to make decisions may get frustrated in your company’s work environment if you have a very structured, hierarchical organization. If they are asked to discuss a situation when they had to set up a procedure from scratch and they talk about how stressful the process was, he or she is not the right candidate for a company that expects employees to handle a lot of responsibility.
Taking the time to understand your company culture will improve your chances of finding a candidate who is the right fit and will thrive with your company.