One of the most overlooked and important aspects of creating a work culture that people like is the impact that new hires have on the workplace. Selecting the right employee who will be a good fit for the office is crucial to maintaining a healthy workplace culture. Unfortunately, too often speed and low costs are seen as an indicator of a good hiring process. However, to maintain and even improve workplace culture, the focus of any hiring process should be on quality and fit – regardless of the time and costs involved.
Anytime we begin the process of hiring a new employee for a position within our organization, we sense that our existing employees become a little anxious about who will be hired. Their primary concern about bringing in a new employee is whether this new person will fit our culture.
They naturally worry that a new person may negatively disrupt the culture of our organization – that our workplace might become less enjoyable for them to be a part of if the wrong person is hired. It’s not so much that they assume this will happen, but they have learned, through other work experiences, that one person can dramatically change the feel of an organization.
Over the years, we have become very successful at interviewing for cultural fit, and even though our employees are still anxious, they have learned to trust the process. While we do consider a candidate’s skills and experience when hiring, how a person fits with our organization’s culture is by far the more important consideration. We believe that with the right aptitude, skills can be learned and experience gained, but it is very rare to be able to teach someone to fit a culture.
A key element to our hiring process is to be intentional about having front-line and even junior employees be a part of our interviewing team. We believe that involving those who are going to be most impacted by a new hire is crucial to ensuring the new employee is a good fit. The employees who help with the interview process have an invested interest in safeguarding our organization’s fun and enjoyable culture.
While it isn’t necessary for leadership to lead every hiring process, I believe leaders should initially be involved with setting the process and expectations of how hiring gets done. For a reference on hiring for cultural fit, I encourage you to read my book, The Ordinary Leader, where I have written a full chapter on the importance of talent and team selection. Hiring has momentous consequences, and as a leader it is your responsibility to ensure that hiring is done well.
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