Managing employees

Importance of a cultural match in the hiring process

You will see them often the little adds, today with Facebook it seems to be easier than ever to let the world know you are hiring.  You publish something like the following add that I just notice a couple of days ago and you hope for the best candidates

‎[ Help Wanted ] General Labor / Maintenance person needed.

Valid Drivers license with vehicle
Mowing Lawns / General Lawn maintenance
Painting intirior / exterior
General Building clean up, Sweep hallways, pick up trash
and more!
Go to www.example.com and click on the Rental Application tab at the top. In that drop down menu you will see the Employment Application.

When reading those little job ads, I feel sorry for the person who is doing the recruiting. Serious! You can not blame the person who wrote this little add. Most job ads and recruiting efforts are focussed on the skills of the job, not on behaviors and fit with the organization.

Just think about it for a second, when you let go an employee, what was the first sign that things didn’t work out. Probably not that they didn’t do something, but it was more in the behavior that triggered you and then you started to focus on their skills. Many people who leave the job, just didn’t fit in the culture of the organization. When somebody has the same values as anybody else in the group, it is easy to learn this person new skills. It can even be rewarding. You see this person grow. It is extremely time-consuming and often time frustrating to learn somebody a new behavior and new values. Especially with the tight job market it is important to look for employees who fit the culture, your candidate will most likely not look for it. The candidates look for a job.

Looking at this job add, they could have add a little bit about how this company is working with their tenants, what is their vision and are their values. Like

We offer affordable housing to loving families in New England. We provide services that create a friendly and safe living environment. Are you this person who will go the extra mile to provide or tenants a warm and safe environment to live?

For this company a great employee would be somebody who is sweeping the hallways and notice that a tenant is putting the trash outside and helps this person to dump it in the dumpster. The tenant than receives a great experience (“Wow” they are even helping me) and the employee has the change to make sure that dumping the trash is done correctly and hears about the experience of the tenant.

You can learn an employee the skill how to sweep a hallway, you can not learn a person to interact with clients in a positive way.

So when hiring your new employee, keep in mind skills can be taught, behaviors can not be trained.