Every company that hires people utilizes what it views as a system to determine the need for new employees and to interview prospective candidates to meet those needs. Large companies have an HR department that normally manages the process. Smaller companies either utilize an administrative person to fill the HR role as part of his/her responsibilities or appoint an individual to interview and recommend prospects for hiring. This individual is often the owner/CEO.
Hiring decisions are critical to the success and sustainability of an organization, so they need to be taken seriously. They need to be well thought out and they need to be viewed in multiple dimensions. 720thinking emphasizes the importance of utilizing multiple lenses and looking at decisions in multiple dimensions and this applies to interviewing and hiring.
Consider the technical company that hires a subject matter expert whose skills “fill the bill” without considering his values, habits and impact on the organizational culture. Or the VP of Sales who hires the killer salesperson who goes by the nickname “The Lone Ranger.” Or the warehouse manager who hires an overqualified worker because he can get him cheap.
There needs to be a fit between an employee and the organization and the employee and her job duties. To determine whether there is a fit, interviewers and interviewees have to ask the right questions of each other. The fit has to go both ways. Both have to use multiple lenses.
Through the Telescope
The big picture must be in focus. What is the vision of the company? What is the strategy to get there? Does the prospect align with both? What is the company’s brand and culture? What is the glue that holds things together? What are the values that the employees support? What are the behaviors that support those values? Can the prospect comfortable support the culture or will there be dissonance from the start?
The details count too. Too many have been hired or have accepted jobs for superficial reasons or from a one page job description. The chances of it not working out are very high. The employer should walk the prospect through what the job actually entails, how her time needs to be spent, with whom she needs to interact, communicate and collaborate. The tools available to be used by the employee need to be explained and the prospect needs to be clear on which of her tools she will be asked to utilize. Measures of success need to be discussed, as do career opportunities. Expectations need to be made clear by both parties.
Through the Periscope
Both need to consider what messages the hiring would send to the marketplace- a strong move, a desperate move, a brilliant move, etc. They should also think about how it might change the competitive landscape. Would the company now be in a position to make a move? And the prospect needs to consider what the job would do for her reputation. The periscope is an important tool to use. It takes one out of the organization and looks all around. It gives a different perspective that is key to understanding the whole picture.
The Kaleidoscope may be the most difficult view to utilize in assessing an opportunity. Is the hiring a game changer? Will it signal a shift toward disruptive innovation? Will it be a draw to bring a whole new level of talent to the company? Will it excite existing employees and motivate them to a new level of performance? Will it cause fringe players to leave?
Through Decision Making
720thinking also looks very hard through the lens of decision making. What type of decision making does the organization value and expect? Do employees get to make the decisions that befit their level of experience and expertise? Is there a level of trust in the organization that allows for delegation and empowerment? Does the culture support employees taking risk and making mistakes? Who wants to go to a company where you get fired for your first bad decision?
Through Communication and Flow
Communication and feedback are critical to success. That means that each employee needs to be able to communicate and be communicated with (pardon that sentence structure). It means each has to be comfortable with how information flows through the organization and what communication tools are used. What if all communication is via e-mail rather than face to face?
Through Role Fit
People have to be suited for the role that they take on. And that means more than just intellectually suited. Dr. Janice Presser, CEO of The Gabriel Institute has developed Teamability, a technology that measures role suitability and looks at how teams made up of a group of individuals will work based on how everyone is suited for the role they have on the team. This is another lens through which individuals need to look at positions and be looked at for them.
So, there are a lot of ways that a prospect may not be a fit for an organization or a particular position. But the good news is that if opportunities are viewed by both parties through a variety of lenses, the chance of a good fit increases dramatically. Good fits should lead to good outcomes, engaged employees, loyal customers, a strong culture and higher profitability. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?