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job candidate shaking hand of interviewerCandidates are cautioned to carefully probe into a company’s culture to ensure that both they and the organization are a fit. There are many horror stories told by candidates who by-passed signals that they culture was not a fit for them and that led to either leaving the job within months or getting fired because they didn’t fit in.

It’s a hot job market

It’s a hot job market so it’s tempting as a hiring manager to rush the let the important details slip. One of those details is the deep dive into making sure that the candidate and the organization are compatible. Be cautious. There’s a cost of going too fast – you’ve heard the saying, “Go slow to go fast”. It certainly applies here.

The workplace culture is made up of the values, beliefs and behaviors that influence everyday interactions. According to Peter Crist, Chairman of the executive recruitment firm, Crist – Kolder Associates, “About 30% of executives taking new jobs fail to figure out the company’s culture correctly and end up leaving relatively soon”. This means that 3 out of 10 hires leave the company within months of being hired. A negative impact on the business for sure. And this turnover contributes to a loss of productivity for the organization.

Job seekers say that culture is as, if not more, important than salary.  Hiring managers need to be prepared to speak to the culture of the organization and paint a realistic picture of the values and beliefs that drive the business. Help the candidate to make an informed decision is a responsibility not to be taken lightly.

Know what contributes to the success of team members

Be ready to answer the question about why others have left the organization or why the current job is open. How would you answer the question about the vision of the leaders?

Conducting useful and strong interviews includes giving a realistic picture of what it is like to work for your organization. Both you and the candidate have a responsibility to learn as much as possible about the “way things are done” so good hiring decisions are made.

Even if a candidate doesn’t ask the following specific questions, be prepared to answer them. It will help you to give a picture of the work environment.

  • How long have you been with the company?
  • What do you like most about working here?
  • How does the person in this job contribute to the organization’s mission?
  • How is the impact of work measured?
  • Does the company promote from within?
  • How do team members give feedback to one another?
  • How does the company give back to the community?

Know that you are being interviewed by the candidates that you are interviewing. Are you listening to them when they answer your questions? Or are you distracted and not paying attention? That communicates something about your company’s culture that you might not intend.

Fitting in is as important for the job seeker as it is for the manager who is bringing on a new team member. No one wants to deal with a culture misfit.

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