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Hiring in Step with Your Company's Culture

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You have an arsenal at your disposal for making hiring decisions -- skills tests, behavioral assessments, and reference checks. On paper, a candidate's abilities match the position and he or she seems personable and eager to learn. But before you make the final decision, there's another consideration. Once they are on board, how will they fit in to your company's culture? Whether you are a small or large business, your organization has a character and defining traits. Here are tips for those making hiring decisions to ensure that your selection melds in well with your company's culture.

Know Your Culture

Supervisors and hiring managers must be aware of the visible and the invisible currents flowing through their workplace. The visible aspects include how employees dress and what they talk about. Do water cooler conversations revolve around their families, sports, politics, or arts and culture? Some companies are more laid back and some are more intense and competitive. What speed is your workplace idling at? Take time to notice the pictures people put up in their workspaces. They can be of pets, significant others, children, favorite vacation spots. These are signs that speak volumes about their beliefs and personal styles.

Consider the unseen and unspoken currents that flow through your workplace. Are employees able to question or even disagree with superiors or are there a lot of "yes men" around? Are employees self-important or is there a genuine team effort without a "superstar" culture. Sometimes things can be fractious with cliques forming and people excluding others. There can be informal "gauntlets' that new employees must walk to initiate them and test their mettle. Recognize where a potential hire will fit in and how they are likely to be perceived.

Put the Team First

Although a candidate's individual skill set may appear ideal for a position, their long-term success in your company depends largely on how they will interact with others. In other words, hire for the organization, not just the job. In today's workplace, the requirements of positions are constantly in flux. One thing that remains relatively constant is your organization's culture. When you hire someone who you believe will be a good fit, they are more likely to be a valuable resource even if their original position is eliminated or outsourced. There are often scenarios where valuable employees can adapt and move on to other positions in companies.

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