Success in the business world is dependent on multiple factors, but one of the most important is what happens within the workplace. Every day, your organization is being shaped by each employee whom was entrusted to use their abilities to benefit the business and its customers or clients. As employees leave for other opportunities, it is necessary to find candidates that can fill the roles left vacant while meshing well with the existing team and company culture.
Unfortunately, not every person that walks through your door during the hiring process is going to be a good fit. Knowing how to identify who those people are can be easier said than done. If we look at different points throughout the hiring process, we can best learn how to be discerning and increase the likelihood of better employee retention and a well-run workplace.
Hiring Starts with Culture
The hiring process starts before any interview, before reviewing any applications and even before an opening is posted externally. Hiring starts with an analysis of company culture. There must be an understanding of what is happening internally before seeking candidates.
My agency’s blog has written about how your business’ culture influences its success, and this extends to hiring. Culture is the personality and defining trait of every business. Knowing your culture allows decision making to be based upon these values and gives employees a clear understanding of what mindset directs the company.
Puma, the German sporting goods giant, understands the importance of culture. The company boils their culture down to two simple yet deep concepts: Speed & Spirit. It is instantly understood what expectations are for teams already working internally. For hiring managers, it is easy to explain to candidates.
At my agency, we break it down even further, and focus in on Speed. To us, it is not just a word, but a necessity and the only way to operate. The culture of speed is embraced by every member of our team. Being able to work fast under the pressure that accompanies speed is a daily expectation and understood around the office and passed along to new hires.
Can your business describe its culture in such simple terms? If not, it will continue to be difficult to hire individuals that can suit a culture that is undefined. Work to figure out what that specific trait that defines your company is and diffuse it to every team member and collaborator in the workplace.
Review the Interview Process
With an understanding of your company’s culture in mind, you are now ready to interview. But what should we be looking for at this stage? Obviously, someone that can complete the daily tasks required by the job exceptionally well is a given. It cannot be forgotten that the right fit must be able to handle job responsibilities. However, if you are sure that candidates are capable, making sure you have the right culture fit can be done in the interview.
Are your business’ interview questions capable of getting to know the personality of a candidate? This might be a good time to review and improve the questions that are currently being asked. A lot of the commonly asked questions are weak, ineffective and do not offer good enough insights about the person seated across from your hiring manager.
We all know there are illegal questions to ask a candidate during an interview, but those are not the only ones to avoid. Questions such as “what is your biggest weakness?” or “tell me about yourself” may be common, but they should be dropped from your scripts and replaced with more pertinent ones.
Remember the goal of an interview. Professional competency yes, but as has been drilled here, testing for a cultural fit. A question like “tell me about yourself” may seem directed at the latter, but it is so open-ended that the information gained may not always be useful. Try a question like “tell me why your experience and background make you the perfect candidate for this position”.
Don’t forget about culture either. Your business’ culture and values should be made known to interviewees (who may already know them based on research done before the interview)Ask how those values relate to themselves. You are hiring people, so strive to understand the human and how they would fit into the organization.
Proper Onboarding is Essential – And Under-Utilized
Once all the interviews are conducted and a candidate is selected, keep in mind that the hiring process is far from over. The most crucial post-interview process is onboarding. If employee retention is a priority (which it should be), your company’s onboarding process needs to be comprehensive and well balanced.
The numbers pack up the efficacy of the process. In fact, 69 percent of employees are more likely to stick with a company for three years if they perceive the onboarding they received was good. What does onboarding look like at your company? If it isn’t proactive, it needs to be changed.
Before we dive into what proactive onboarding is, it is important to review the concept known as the 4 C’s. The 4 C’s are connection, culture, clarification and compliance, and Tayla N. Bauer says in her onboarding guide for the SHRM Foundation that these bases must be covered when bringing on a new hire.
Let’s circle back to proactive onboarding. Within the aforementioned guide, Bauer shares that these pillars are covered during onboarding to varying degrees and can be split into three levels: passive, high potential and proactive. Most organizations find themselves at the second level, high potential onboarding, which is fine. It goes further than just imparting rules and policy and touches on culture. But to have a truly comprehensive onboarding process, all 4 C’s must be covered well. At the end of this process, new hires should walk away feeling comfortable with their knowledge of the company, its values, coworkers and their role within the organization.
Great onboarding has financial benefits for your company as well. Employee turnover is costly. If an employee earning $8 per hour leaves the company, a study from the Sasha Corporation found that the cost to replace said employee would be $9,444.47. It is likely that your employees earn more, which would mean this financial cost is even higher.
Looking beyond the financial cost, culture suffers as well. A constant rotation of employees affects morale within the workplace. Effective proactive onboarding helps avoid these issues from cropping up and ensures that your new hire truly is a great fit for your business.
As you already know, hiring is a highly involved process with many moving parts. There is a lot at stake every time someone needs to be brought in to fill a role within the company. Understand that there is a lot to consider throughout the entire process. Getting the hiring process right can be tricky, but it is also possible through keeping these points in mind.
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