Identifying Candidates Who Align with Your Organization’s Work Culture

Have you ever hired a candidate who had rock star skills, and things just seemed to have gone south after you hired them?  Did they not fit in with the team atmosphere or your work environment?  This happens often and is a significant cause for turnover, especially in the first 90 days of employment.  Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to assess this alignment (or lack of) during the hiring process.

Interviewers often focus primarily on experience and skills during the interview process.  When doing so, behavioral competency and motivational fit might be overlooked, resulting in an unhappy employee and organization.

There are a few key areas to focus on that might make a big impact:

  1. In addition to skills and experience, ask questions that assess a candidate by asking behavioral questions related to the competencies of the position.  For example, if you’re hiring for a data clerk that might be doing repetitive tasks day in and day out, you might ask, “Tell me about a time when you had little to no variety in your work.”  Ensure that you get a complete example (you may have to reiterate that you’re looking for a specific)
  2. Take it a step further.  After providing the example above, ask the candidate “how satisfied were you in that situation”.  You might be surprised by what you learn about a candidate’s motivations when asking this simple question.
  3. Assess overall motivational fit with specific questions around the job, organization, and location fit.  In addition to the above, we recommend having dedicated time to ask questions specifically in these areas.  If candidates align well with a job, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will align well with the organization (or location).  For example, if there is an organization that is going through significant change and focused on continuous improvement, it’s important to assess the candidate’s desire to work in that type of setting.  If a candidate talks about a prior job that he/she was not satisfied with because, “it felt like we could never get things done; as soon as we made progress, leadership changed directions again,” this might be a warning sign.

Interviews are important and there are many practices that can be implemented to allow interviewers the ability to thoroughly assess candidates during the process.  If you have a need to incorporate more robust interviewing techniques in your practice, reach out to us and we’d be happy to help.

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