One day, Fred the Fish was swimming to work. He passed his neighbor who called out “How’s the water today, Fred?” Fred replied, “What the heck is ‘water?’”
Company culture is the water we swim in, and savvy managers will not only be able to identify it, but will recognize its importance in the hiring process.
When interviewing candidates to fill positions in your company, it’s easy to neglect culture. But if they’re not the right cultural fit, you’ll face unending friction. The best time to gauge culture-fit is during the interview process. Here are five ways to find out if a candidate will integrate into your team with minimal friction:
1. Ask how they handle conflict.
Every company, from the owner down to the team leads, has its own way of handling conflict. Some work smoothly with an email to HR, preferring the accountability and formality that qualified conflict-resolvers bring to the table. Others prefer employees to face the conflict directly. Give your candidate a scenario: would they be more direct, or prefer to go through the system? Are they delicate and kind, or do they lean toward bluntness?
Finding out how they have handled conflict in the past can be a great indicator if they are going to fit well into your current team. There’s nothing like differing conflict-resolution styles to cause discord in a company!
2. Have them define “teamwork.”
There are teams, and then there are teams. Some teams are groups of experts in silos, whose efficiency is reliant on each member being masters in their fields. Other teams are cohesive project-based squads, designed for collaboration and innovation. Does your candidate hold that “iron sharpens iron,” or do they prefer autonomy and room to excel in their area while others focus on theirs?
If you hire a factory worker into your squad, you may be in for a rough ride. Asking how their previous employers structured their teams, and whether they enjoyed working in that environment or not, can shed a lot of light on how seamlessly the candidate would integrate into your team.
3. Ask if they want advancement or growth.
Some companies want employees who are looking to quickly climb the ladder, and others want employees to dig into their areas and become an unparalleled expert. Which do you want? Which do they want to be? If you’re looking to fast-track a candidate into management, make sure that’s the kind of job they’re looking for. Many organization are built almost completely on vertical growth, and others on expansion. Digging into your candidates job history can help you determine whether they would fit into your culture of growth or advancement.
4. Give them a scenario with more work than there is time.
A classic interview question asks: “you have more work than you can get done in a day, but it’s due by 5pm. What do you?” Some candidates will ask for help, some will prioritize and tackle the most important tasks, and others will come in early. There are even candidates who will simply say “what I can’t get done will have to wait until tomorrow.”
Your company has a culture that addresses this situation. Do you know how? Make sure you know what you’d prefer before you judge a candidate on this question. Will their approach to too much work fit into how your team operates, and, more importantly, how you want it to operate?
5. Ask yourself and your peers: are they likable?
Of course you can’t hire completely on likability, but it definitely goes a long way. If you don’t like them, and if your colleagues (and their potential future colleagues) don’t like them either, you’re probably going to have a problem. Teams need to like each other! Teams who don’t like each other are less productive, less creative, and less fun to manage. See how it’s easy to get peer-rankings on digital interviews with TruHire.
Guidelines, not rules
There are many other factors in hiring a new employee, but as you gauge competency don’t make the mistake of leaving culture behind! When you are intentional about creating a maintaining a company culture, your organization can increase employee retention and satisfaction, and grow your candidate pool as it becomes a more desirable place to work.
Spend less time on better candidates
With so many job-seekers on the market, it’s easy to spend an extraordinary amount of time on candidates who just aren’t the right fit. TruHire makes it easy to spend less time on better candidates with on-demand digital interviews. Work with our team to create a custom interview with a hybrid of essay, multiple choice, and video questions, then send your interview link to your candidates. Our digital interview process allows you and any evaluators you choose to quickly rank candidates and questions, narrowing down your pool to the best candidates to bring in for a face-to-face interview.
See for yourself how much time and money TruHire can save you with a FREE 30-day trial. There’s no catch—sign up for your free trial today.