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Culture Wars: Hiring the Right Fit for Your Team

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by Mark Smith

about 3 years ago

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How often have you heard it? 'They just don’t fit in.' 'They are a bit weird.' 'They are just not our culture.' There is an old saying in the recruitment and HR sectors that people ‘hire on skills and fire on personality’. It’s the employee's personality that is at odds with the team or culture. So, how can you avoid this situation? The answer is to examine your team now. Note the traits that are common amongst your team. 

Of course everyone is not the same, but the behaviours that your team displays will be. It may be that your work culture is one where punctuality is important. It could be that your company supports those who are competitive rather than collaborative, or it may be as simple as your workplace is on the quiet side. Once you have a list of the behaviours that form your ‘work culture’, you can then compile your competencies based on those that best illustrate your unique culture and environment. 

Culture wars: hiring the best fit for your company

Once you have established these competencies, you can recruit specifically for them. The best way to do this is to include in your interview process some behaviourial-based or competency questions. 

This sounds like a complicated skill – it's not! It's simply a matter of having your prospective employee detail some specific examples of where these competencies have been demonstrated. If you are looking for a team player, ask them to share an example of a time they demonstrated this quality. You will be surprised at the variety of answers that you can get and even more surprised when suddenly the candidate that seems to have the best skills is actually someone that is not going to fit into your team. 

So, it's time for some naval-gazing. Take some time to build a list of the behaviours and competencies that work best for your team, and when you combine these with the skills that are required, you have given yourself the best opportunity to make a great hire. Oh, and by the way, any recruiter who does not ask you about culture and competencies when taking a job brief from you is probably not the best recruiter, and you should go elsewhere. I happen to know a good recruitment firm called people2people, but, then again, I am a tad biased!

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