Finding the right candidate is a bit like trying on a new sweater. Not only does it have to perform the functions that you expect out of clothing (like keeping you warm and covered), but it also has to feel right. It needs to fit your style and leave you with a positive feeling before you invest in it.
Believe it or not, that feeling that something is going to be a good fit for you (or your company) is vitally important. Studies have shown that culture fit is the most important indicator of a candidate's future success in your company—even more than their skills and abilities.
A whopping Forty-six percent of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months. Of those that fail, only 11% lack the necessary technical skills. The remaining 89% have other difficulties integrating into the workplace, mainly dealing personality fit.
So how do you avoid this immense rate of hiring failure? How can you help prevent the many losses your company faces from frequent turnover?
The answer is being able to clearly identify company-worker fit in your hiring process. In this blog, we’re going to walk you through what company-worker fit is and how to find it— even if it means challenging the status-quo on regular hiring practices.
Company-worker fit is a concept that can be hard to define. However, it’s often easy to spot. Usually, good Company-Worker Fit happens when an employee's beliefs, values, attitude and behaviors are in alignment with their employer's core values and company culture.
For example, if one of your company values is work-life balance and you hire a manager who encourages their team to work 12-hour days— that’s going to be a bad culture fit. Or, if your company is very keen on kindness, hiring someone with a harsh disposition won’t serve you well.
The reason that an employee’s beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors are arguably more important than their technical skills is that these things are innate. On-the-job skills can be taught, but a person’s internal compass is not easily altered.
While it might seem overwhelming, finding company-worker fit can really be broken down into four simple parts or principles. Let’s take a closer look at each below.
It’s true that every person in the world has different abilities, skills and talents. These skills and talents are sometimes natural, but most of the time they’re gained through things like past experience or education.
What can make hiring so difficult is the fact that many of these skills and talents are not things that can be easily captured on a resume. Soft skills — such as leadership skills, the ability to perform under pressure, the ability to go with the flow— are normally not tested until an employee is put into their actual working environment.
Every company needs employees who have a certain set of skills and talents that match the job they need to perform. For example, you wouldn’t hire a librarian to build you a skyscraper.
So, skill match is a vitally important part of the company-worker fit process. However, as we mentioned above, it’s not the only factor hiring managers should be focused on.
Just like everyone has unique skills and abilities, they also have a unique personality. Human personalities are shaped from the day we’re born. Normally, when we get to adulthood (and into the workforce), our personalities are pretty well-defined.
Companies also have their own unique personalities — often referred to as the company culture. Some are laid back; some are more serious. Some have an open-door policy while others require a more structured process of communication.
There is no right or wrong skills for a person to have. The goal of hiring for Company-Worker Fit shouldn’t be to try and fit one into the other. It should be to match the skills and personality of a new employee to their new position’s required skills and company's personality.
Yet, statistics show that more often than not, hiring managers only really pay attention to a candidate's skills and abilities, and not the equally (or arguably more) important factor— Company-Worker Fit.
But why? Because Traditional Hiring Is Broken.
When you think about the fact that so many new hires fail due to poor personality fit, it’s clear to see that the traditional hiring process is broken.
Resumes only really tell you where someone was between two dates, cover letters give you a glimpse of what they want you to see and interviews are great for some and not so for others. They do very little to tell us anything real about that candidate — what is their temperament, what is their management style, what are their values?
The only way to truly find out if someone has Company-Worker Fit is to get them to work. Because the only way to find out if you work well together is to work together.
This does not mean hiring someone and trying them out for a few months, only to have to fire them or quitting a few months down the road. This leads to a huge waste of both yours and the candidates time and a big hit to company morale.
The remedy is Trial-Hiring - Next up: What's a Trial-Hire?