Finding a new employee shouldn’t be too difficult. But in the midst of one of the most competitive and diverse job markets in human history, how can you figure out if the person you interview is going to be someone who becomes an integral part of your company’s culture for years to come, or if they’re just there until “something better” comes along? An immaculate resume and sterling references are all well and good, but what about “the X factor?”
We sat down with Printing Solutions President Matt Blanton to learn what three major things to look for when hiring a new employee.
1. Are they a good fit for the position?
Resumes are often the first step in identifying good candidates, but skills and experience aren’t the be all, end all in finding a good person to hire.
“The most important thing is identify the type of personality most successful in the role,” Matt says. “Oftentimes I see employees of other companies who do not have the right personality fit for their existing role. This leads to poor communication and high turnover.”
Unless this is the first time you’ve hired somebody, you’ll likely have a gut feeling during the interview process whether or not the person you’re interviewing is the one. If the feeling is bad, trust your gut and don’t pursue the candidate further. If you’ve got a good feeling about them, we recommend double-checking just to be sure.
There are several tools designed to help with this. At Printing Solutions, we ask promising candidates to take a personality assessment at a certain point during the interview process.
“Having a measurable benchmark based on factual results — their personality profiles — rather than solely on emotional gut reactions lends to better quality hires,” Matt says.
Personality assessments can provide you with a fairly concrete idea of how the candidate will fare in the role, as well as how they will fit in with your current employees. Candidates who are very analytical often perform better in positions that involve lots of numbers and data, while someone who is more likely to act on impulse is probably better suited to a more creative role.
If based on the personality assessment the candidate isn’t ideal for the position you’re filling, then they shouldn’t be considered further.
But just because they don’t fit that position doesn’t mean they don’t belong at your company. A candidate may also be a good fit for a position that’s completely different from the one they applied to, and a personality assessment can help you realize this.
For instance, if they’ve applied for a customer service position but don’t have the most patient disposition according to the assessment, they may not be the person you want handling the people who give you money. However, they may be well suited to an available inward-facing position that involves less interaction with disgruntled or confused customers.
“If the person is the right personality, however doesn’t have the skill set, within reason, they can always be trained and will excel at the role based on personality fit,” Matt says.
And if they don’t have the right personality for any of the positions you’re looking to fill, you’ve just saved yourself several hours of training and headache by identifying a poor fit early in the process.
2. Are they a good fit with the team?
If the candidate were going to work independently of the rest of the company, we could stop once we decided they’ve got the right personality for the position. But at Printing Solutions, our employees form a tight-knit team that prides itself on great communication and interaction.
Is this something your candidates can excel at? Especially on smaller teams, they’ll need to work very closely with their coworkers every day. Personality clashes between team members can create unnecessary obstacles that throw off deadlines and derail projects. So before jumping headfirst into onboarding paperwork, consider whether the person you’re hiring will mesh well with the team you already have in place.
This careful selection creates a team that sticks with a company for years — take us for an example! Senior Project Manager Matthew McConkey has been with the company for almost five years, while graphic designer Chris Danner has been with us for more than two years and creative director Justin Ketchum just celebrated his first year with us.
“I feel very fortunate to have the team we do and the culture we’ve created,” Matt says. “I sleep much better at night knowing these are the people who are interacting with our clients. This only enhances our emphasis on relationship and longevity with our clients.”
3. Are they a good fit with the company’s culture?
Just because your candidate gels with the team doesn’t mean they’re a good fit. How they fit with the company’s culture is a huge factor in our hiring decision.
“I always look for key alignment to our core values,” Matt says. “Through proper questioning, I look to identify how they would fit our culture and team, which drives all decision making.”
Those core values serve as a standard against which all of our job candidates are measured. We’ve identified what each of these values looks like in day-to-day behavior, and we base our hiring decisions on how the candidate fits. Here’s how we do it:
- We refuse to settle — Does the interviewee look for ways to improve not only their own performance, but also the company’s future, or do are they content to hang back and simply follow the rest of their team’s lead?
- We invite fun and adventure — Do they have a willing, can-do attitude, or are they more resistant to change and in need of convincing before moving forward with a new process?
- We invest in honest relationships — Are they upfront about potential issues and conflicts, or do you get the feeling they’re not being completely open with you?
Our ideal candidate falls solidly in the first half of each of those questions, and if they don’t align with these values, they won’t fit well with our company’s culture.
Before you interview another candidate, take a look at your own company’s values and mission statement and craft a few questions based on those criteria. This alone will help narrow your candidate pool down to those who are most likely to be a good fit for the job.
For more hiring tips or to learn more about the Printing Solutions team, give us a call at 480-596-6300.