In the June 2013 issue of Inc. magazine, you don’t have to get to page 30 to have a clear understanding that the differentiating factor setting companies apart from their competitors is which individuals they select to hire. The culture fit of a hire is one of the greatest make or break qualities the person can possess.
Luis von Ahn, the co-founder of Captcha, is very forthcoming about what he’s doing differently at his new company, Duolingo, in an article titled “Hire People Who Play Nice. This is Really Important,” Von Ahn mentions team dynamics and cohesiveness. A few pages later in the magazine there is an article, “How Do You Keep a Company Together When the Employees Are Thousands of Miles Apart?”, where Niner Bikes CEO, Chris Sugai, also talks about company culture-related elements such as bonding and diversity.
Don’t Teach an Adult New Behavioral Tricks
You can’t teach your preferred behavioral traits to someone who is old enough to enter the workforce…which sets us up for the ultimate question, “How do I find the right people for my organization?” Simple – you take advantage of the hiring process. Von Ahn spends an hour talking to people who come to interview at his organization. Also, at ExactHire we know that employee assessments that assess both cognitive and behavioral traits can be complementary to the interviewing process in terms of unearthing an applicant’s potential for job fit.
In addition, ask the odd questions up-front. I’ll never forget the day I interviewed with Harlan, our Chief Visionary Officer – he asked me what extracurricular things I was involved in during high school and college. Then he asked, out of those, which was my favorite and what position I held (the answer was soccer and I was either a full back or a marker – defensive positions). For what type of person was Harlan looking? What did my answer tell him about me? I think Harlan was looking for someone who wasn’t going to give up easily and was in it for the long haul.
I have a friend who is a hiring manager for his company and conducts oodles of interviews. He needs someone who is good with numbers and very technical, but also able to think on his/her feet. He will give the applicant several hard numerical questions back to back, firing one off after another, and then ask an off the wall question like, “What animal would you be if you were an animal?” What the answer is doesn’t matter in this situation, it’s if the applicant can think on his/her feet and provide an answer.
Avoid Hidden Hiring Costs
If you are using Applicant Tracking Software (ATS), you can ask questions similar to Harlan’s extracurricular one on the employment application. If you need to see how quickly people adapt to change – because people with those abilities thrive in your organization’s culture – ask during the interview. If you don’t, and you hire the wrong person, consider all of the costs – hard and soft – that have been expended. The soon-to-be employee’s fit with your organization is critically important.
Looking for technology for hiring tools to improve the results of your hiring process? Contact ExactHire today.