Hiring Based on Company Core Values vs hiring Based on a Job Description


Recently, I have had a couple of clients looking for new employees and bemoaning the fact that, historically, their previous hires have not worked out as they hoped.

Even though the candidates interviewed well and fulfilled the job description, it became obvious after only a few weeks that they were not a “fit”.

Cultural Fit Is As Important As Skill

Traditionally, hiring managers have been tasked with finding resumes that match the job description. The human aspect of the hiring process always came last, and as long as someone was articulate in an interview, not much more was examined personality-wise. What companies have finally begun to realize is that a new hire who doesn’t fit with the company culture is just as much of a liability as one who does not have the skill set to do his or her job properly.

This is especially true thanks to the influx of Millennials into the workforce. They are now the largest working generation and have championed a move within the business world to improve and prioritize company culture. Again and again, business surveys continue to show that Millennials put company culture ahead of salary in terms of what factors they focus on when deciding how long to remain at a given company. So, how can companies work smarter in their hiring processes to find and hire candidates that better suit their company culture?

First of all, let’s take a closer look at why the “wrong” people are a liability. According to a recent CareerBuilder poll, 67% of people who were ultimately determined to be “bad hires” were not skilled enough at their job, while 60% were determined to be so because they did not fit with the company culture. That is a striking statistical similarity! In other words, it is nearly equally important to fit into a company’s culture as it is to be competent at your job.

Do you know how to hire on a WHIM?

We can see from these statistics that it is crucial to hire based on both ability and cultural fit… but how can hiring managers best determine the latter?

“Hire on a WHIM: The Four Qualities that Make for Great Employees“ is a great book by Garrett Miller who presents the keys to how to successfully hire for a new position based on character traits.
These four traits are essential and must be explored at each stage of the recruiting process.

Work ethic: A set of values based on the virtues of hard work and diligence.
How to find it: Ask about previous activities — jobs, assignments, internships, classes, extracurricular activities such as sports teams or clubs — that required intensity, motivation, a sense of purpose, and a strong, passionate desire for self-improvement.

Humility: The ability and willingness to be taught.
How to find it: When talking about their work style, ask them to describe a difficult situation when they asked for help. Look for highlighting of team and group working scenarios, to demonstrate that they can collaborate. Don’t be shy about asking about an embarrassing moment or an incorrect choice — and get them to emphasize what they learned from it.

Integrity: The innate ability to do what’s right, even when influenced to do otherwise.
How to find it: Ask the interviewee to share one of their biggest disappointments or failures, and talk about how they took the appropriate level of responsibility for it. Try to find an instance of moral ambiguity — and how they handled it. Do they own their successes AND their failures?

Maturity: The quality of seriousness, thoughtfulness, and consciousness in thought and actions.
How to find it: Ask the interviewee how they see themselves years from now, so you can gauge how realistic his or her dreams and goals are. Get them to talk about an experience in their life that was particularly important in shaping who they’ve become. Try and find out from their stories and demeanor how at ease with people they are and if they can navigate through touchy emotional situations.

With Millennials dominating the job force, it is every company’s responsibility to embrace company-culture-focused hiring in a new way—that is if they expect to retain or achieve the status of a relevant, desirable workplace! In the end, this new hiring perspective will help both companies and their employees to achieve more satisfying relationships, and a happier workforce will only help bottom-line productivity.

Please review our companion article for additional insight into Company Core Values.