If culture fit is considered one of the most important aspects when hiring a new team member, why do managers still rely only on resumes to identify candidates in the initial shortlist? asks Rudy Crous, CEO and co-founder of Shortlyster, an intelligent hiring platform.
With the rise of smart technology combined with the power of the internet, it’s clear we’re in a period of rapid change within the HR world. Your only true competitive business advantage lies within your organisation’s culture and the human element that drives it.
According to research from Deloitte, 94 per cent of executives and 88 per cent of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important for business success.
To be clear, culture fit is not about hiring robots – people that are all the same in behaviour and working styles. Culture fit is about aligning company purpose and values to the needs of employees and what they look for in a workplace. Creating a team who collectively share the same purpose and goals but bring, diversity of thought, opinion and innovation.
Investing in your company’s culture is strategic because it is unique, and it’s the only thing that can’t be copied. If the business culture is positive it contributes to higher employee engagement, increased productivity and employee retention. When conducted effectively, organisational culture has a strong play in what makes a business or team successful in the long term.
As much as HR managers and business leaders see the benefits of great company culture, unfortunately, this consideration currently doesn’t extend to identifying a candidate’s cultural fit at the very beginning of the hiring process. The core reason is that the nature of Australia’s modern-day workplace means managers are often time-poor, taking an average of 40 days to fill a vacant role, at an average cost of $19,000; according to the latest figures from the AHRI HR Industry Benchmark Survey Report 2019. Combine this with the fact that historically we have only hired for skills and qualifications, this is a paradigm shift for many people.
It is without a doubt that one of the most time-consuming parts of recruitment is screening and shortlisting potential candidates – and just within the last twenty years, this problem spiked the significant innovation in recruitment technology that have candidate marketplaces and applicant pools.
Hiring managers learned to trust technological tools that filter candidates’ resumes via keywords, check-boxes and knock out questions; however, many of these solutions are very basic and not designed to be intelligent enough to optimise decisions.
The allure of these quick screening tools means hiring managers are stuck in the past, with automated shortlisting of candidates based on what is on their resumes. The problem with these documents is that they fall short, unable to communicate the candidate’s full potential, including their work behaviours and preferences, or their alignment to the company’s overall values and purpose.
One of the top onboarding challenges in recruitment (as stated in the 2019 AHRI HR Industry Benchmark Survey Report) is ‘integrating new starters into teams/cultures’. With culture fit a critical element to employee retention, and recruitment being such an expensive exercise, hiring candidates that are a great cultural fit for companies is more important now than ever before.
So, what can you change to improve your hiring model?
Define your culture
The first step in improving your hiring model is to identify and define your business’s culture. All hiring managers should be aligned on the business’s purpose values and the behavioural traits that will work with the team and job. Work out what your culture is and what it isn’t. Be honest with this alignment because setting false expectations with new hires is where ‘bad hires’ start. Defining and agreeing on the traits that fall within your company culture is a crucial foundation before recruiting. Defining your culture is not an emotional activity or a description of your company. It should be an objective matter of fact exercise with statements that focus on how it is designed, how it is structured, how formal or informal it is, how decisions are made, the maturity of systems etc.
Apply a holistic screening process
The essence of any good recruitment strategy lies in efficient, effective and holistic candidate screening right at the start. It is critical to look at everything a candidate brings to the table; personality traits, value alignment and work behaviours, in addition to their qualifications, experience and skills. Qualifications can be learned and skills are always transferable, but a person’s behaviour and values cannot be easily changed.
To identify a good culture fit, using psychometric assessments can be helpful. They are used to reveal behavioural traits and motivations at the screening stage before the talent is shortlisted, by asking culture-related questions (about behavioural traits, individual work preferences, etc.) to provide recruiters with insights into a candidate’s fit within the team and company.
Leverage technology to help you scale
Using psychometric assessments sounds like a lengthy and costly process, however, there are smart technology options these days that can be implemented to make it easier and faster for companies. Recruitment software is available nowadays that uses behavioural science principles combined with a company’s unique selection criteria to compare and contrast candidates on both technical and non-technical requirements.
A common misconception is that technology can be foregone and that those behavioural elements are best left for the interview stage. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible at scale – it’s impossible to conduct an interview for every applicant. As well as saving companies both time and money in their recruitment process, the technology eliminates human biases that unknowingly affect which candidates are shortlisted.
Hiring managers who apply the above three strategies will gain a talent strategy that will lead to improved employee engagement and higher performing business. Recruitment has many different facets to it, but hiring the right person starts with using the right parameters to begin with. Don’t leave the development of your culture to chance. Screen candidates against your business culture alongside the soft and hard skills the role requires. This means letting go of your reliance on the resume.
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Interested in company culture? Read how this business made culture a priority with great results