As an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I tell my audiences that hiring for fit is one of the most important elements in your employee retention strategies. Unfortunately, many organizations have never thought through what their value system is in the organization so they are only taking a stab in the dark when they try to come up with what they value in an employee. Ironically, it is not as hard as you might think to come up with your value system.
If you know what your value system is, you will know what core traits you are looking for in an employee. Because 50% of a person success on the job is fit, it is essential that you know your organizations values so that you can look for those values in the candidates you are considering. If you don’t know what you are looking for, how will you know it when it is sitting across the table from you. When I work as an employee retention consultant, I find this is the way most employers hire. For that reason, they often hire the people who have the skills to do the job but may be horrible fits with the culture and in the end clash. When those inevitable clashes take place, a person is often let go because of “fit.”
You will know fit if you do not know your value system or don’t have a value system if your primary emphasis on hiring is on skills. Skills are important but not nearly as important as fit if the person has any amount of talent to learn. You can teach skills. It is hard to teach values. The other important part about assessing if the person has the values you want is knowing how those values will be recognized. A person’s values show up in how they “behave” and in most organizations we have not articulated the behaviors expected from people but instead have this vague set of values that are impossible to determine. The way to get past that is to have a list of positive behaviors you expect from people.
Positive behaviors are more specific and action oriented vs. philosophical like most value systems. This way you are able to build a set of interview questions to target the behaviors you are looking for. Based on the answers you receive will be better able to determine if fit exists. With that fit, the likelihood a person will be retained increases substantially.