Measuring for Culture Fit When Interviewing Candidates

By Rachel Makoski, Director of Food & Beverage Processing and Foodservice E&S

Finding a great culture fit for the organization has become a critical factor in the hiring process. Studies have shown employees who fit the company culture increase employee engagement and add value as individual contributors as well as team players. As we all know, engaged employees also are more likely to stay at the company. Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report stated that highly engaged business units achieve 59% less turnover.

Many companies, including some in the food and beverage industries, look for culture fits over someone with skills for the job, because skills can be taught, and culture fit cannot.

Organizations have gotten creative over the years to measure culture fit. While standard methods used still apply including performance-based interviews, fit testing, and social media networks, there are unconventional methods to assess a job candidate’s cultural suitability that should be considered.

Some companies have tried an interesting technique; after initial phone interviews, candidates are invited to spend about a half of a day working alongside the team. This experience can show both the hiring manager and the candidate how he or she will fit into the culture. While this may not be possible for every company to attempt, it is important to make the process human and collaborative, introducing the candidate to his or her potential team or taking candidates to coffee or lunch. According to the Wall Street Journal, some employers are even asking potential employees to take jogs or lift weights with them during job interviews.

Zappos, an online shoe and clothing shop based in Las Vegas has been known to use unconventional interview techniques to measure for culture fit. For example, they do what they call ‘social testing,’ which is the process of candidates meeting with multiple Zappos employees, typically at a department or company event. In addition, Zappos hiring managers make it a point to ask the candidate’s shuttle driver from the airport, receptionist, or personal assistant how he or she was treated to determine whether or not he or she should be hired. Lastly, Zappos is known to offer $3,000 to new employees to leave the company. Why? Because candidates who are willing to take that offer are quickly identified as a bad hire for Zappos anyway.

Another common method is to ask interview questions that are out of the ‘norm.’ For example, “If you were an animal, what kind would you be, and why?” or a brain teaser, such as ‘What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?” and “If I walk by your desk at 5:30 PM, what will I see?” These questions are meant to test candidates’ ability to think on their feet and take a glimpse into whether a candidate will fit into the organization or not.

What these companies are showing us is how important hiring for culture fit really is. While skills to get the job done are important, finding candidates who are a culture fit for your organization is vital. Companies who focus on building a team that is strongly engaged will positively affect the organization and success will follow.

Rachel Makoski
Director of Food and Beverage Processing and Foodservice E&S
440-996-0871
rmakoski@directrecruiters.com

Hiring the Right Leaders with Direct Retention Search

June 21, 2017

It’s no secret that leaders can make or break companies’ and organizations’ success. Hiring the right leaders is proving to be a challenge for a majority of companies in the United States. A Harvard Business Review article, “When Leaders are Hired for Talent but Fired for not Fitting in” said, “Based on a recent McKinsey report, fewer than 30% of organization can find the right C-suite leaders, and that newly appointed executives take too long to adapt.” Although there is a vast array of reasons why a new leadership hire may not work out, Harvard Business Review shared three errors organizations should fix to upgrade their selection of leaders:

  • Organizations need to understand the leader’s motives and values
  • Organizations need to understand their own culture
  • Organizations need to be realistic about the new leader’s ability to drive change within the company culture

At Direct Recruiters, Inc. and Direct Consulting Associates (DCA), we also noticed the growing problem of leadership retention, and companies’ ability to hire the right fit. Our solution for this is Direct Retention, which enables small to midsize companies to hire the best executive talent and leadership with confidence and reduced financial risk. Fully vetting candidates with our independent consultants gives us the ability to monetarily guarantee your key professionals will be retained for 1 to 2 years. Below are the following challenges organizations face and the solutions Direct Retention offers.

The Challenge: Finding Top Talent

  • Companies need talented individuals to fill key roles, but this talent is hard to find.

The Solution

  • DRI and DCA will source and recruit high-impact talent to fill your key positions. To do this, DRI and DCA will provide a consultative team approach through 5 phases including profiling client company to clearly understand business culture and the position, reviewing the ideal candidate profile, finding and providing clients with candidates to interview, assisting with the hiring process of chosen candidate, and finally following up after the hire.

The Challenge: Culture Fit

  • Companies know which skills and traits are needed to be successful in their organization. Finding professionals that match those skills may not be entirely clear through an interview process.

The Solution

  • DRI and DCA’s independent consultant, Pradco will conduct skills and cultural assessments backed by science and analytics to evaluate the candidates’ culture fit to the company, making it more clear who the best fit for the company will be.

The Challenge: Compensation

  • Salary and compensation is a large part of a candidates’ decision to accept a new job offer. If companies aren’t offering the right package, it could result in the loss of a great candidate.

The Solution

  • Organizational Consulting Group specializes in compensation studies to ensure offers and benefits packages or competitive and that the client is offering the candidate a reasonable compensation for the position.

The Challenge: Legal Restrictions

  • In the recruiting process, it is common for candidates to have contracts or legal restrictions that could prevent them from changing jobs.

The Solution

  • DRI and DCA’s independent Direct Retention Consultant, Dinn, Hochman & Potter LLC provides legal support to establish legitimacy and enforceability of any contractual, statutory, or common law restrictions from previous employers.

The Challenge: Relocation

  • Top candidates oftentimes need to be relocated to their new position. Clients need to offer the candidates a way for them to make a smooth transition for themselves and their families.

The Solution

HR & Relo Advisors provides relocation assistance and planning to companies to ensure smooth onboarding and transition of the new candidates.