One question that many business owners have is, “How do I find employees that fit well with my company’s culture?” The answer to that question starts with the very beginning of the hiring process – the initial job description. However, before you can craft the job description, there are other steps you must take first.
First, define what traits fit your culture.
First, you must clearly define what you are looking for. When cultural fit is truly important, instead of focusing on the job skill requirements, I focus on those personality characteristics that define a good fit. For example, I have worked for and owned entrepreneurial companies that value people who need minimal oversight. Therefore, highly qualified people from large corporations or government entities that have clearly and narrowly defined roles rarely fit.
In the job descriptions I state, “Is entrepreneurial and thrives on minimal oversight and on the ability to provide input into related areas. Team oriented. Believes a well-functioning team can accomplish significantly more than the individual.”
Clearly communicate those cultural traits.
Whatever your culture, companies would have less trouble if they focused more on identifying the characteristics of the people that excel in their culture (i.e., what traits do those employees who do well have in common), and clearly communicated that at every stage and focused less on the pre-existence of every desired skill set. During the interview process, ask questions that get to the heart of the cultural fit. (i.e., What do you think makes a team work well together? How do you typically work?).
For example, if you think a sense of humor is a necessity, does the candidate smile and laugh? If you want someone who can engage with customers and diffuse tense situations, would you trust that a candidate who is tense and unsmiling in an interview will then relax and smile with an irate customer? I wouldn’t.