Anyone who has ever opened a resume with a prospective hire in mind can tell you that hiring is an art and not a science. Corporations have been hiring and firing people for hundreds of years, but what have we learned? My personal belief on this topic is pretty simple — hiring good people is easy, it’s hiring the RIGHT people for YOUR organization that can be tricky.
The workforce community is littered with war stories of top-level employees at one company who quickly bomb after moving to another company. Why does this happen? All to often the individual superstar, no matter how good, just does not fit the culture of the new company. They don’t quite buy into the company vision, and it falls apart from there. I love to use the saying, “Get the right people on the bus and we’ll be fine.” In any given city there are hundreds of bus routes and thousands of bus riders connecting every single day. But it takes getting the right person on the right bus to be effective.
Our organization has built its business on five core principles: Commitment, Respect, Honesty, Trust and Communication. We discuss these principles with every potential employee we interview. For us, the principles are more than just a value system — they are the way we do business. All interviewees know that we expect our employees to take the necessary actions to fulfill these principles on a day-to-day basis while in the office and with clients.
To ensure that your company gets the right person on its bus, it is important to remember that during the interview process you are not only learning about potential candidates but they are also learning about you and your company. Many times organizations go into an interview and learn all there is to know about the interviewee without having a lot of discussion about the company, its culture, and its guiding principles. In our company our principles are the cornerstones of our business and they help to drive the interview process. There are a lot of “good” people looking for jobs, but just because they look good on paper or interview well doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be a good fit for the company or the clients they would be interacting with.
Having a well-thought-out vision, strategy, and road map for the company is critical, and providing this information to the interviewee will help them and you decide if they should join the team and be part of it. The interview process is always a two-way street, so clear and open communication is vital on the front end and throughout the process. Never try to present your company as being something that it’s not. If you wear t-shirts and flip flops 52 weeks a year, do not show up to interview someone in a three-piece suit.
It’s important for all candidates to understand where the company is going and how they can be a part of getting it there. No strategy plan is built around one single employee, so it’s imperative that each individual buy into the plan and commit to successfully doing their part. It is my belief that you can then identify the RIGHT person for YOUR company, and they will be a great, long-term contributor with a long term seat on the company bus! Happy travels.