Define success in your organization

December 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm 1 comment

Before you think about the job you must fill, it’s important to take a step back and consider the type of person who will fit into your organization. Asking yourself the following questions will help you to understand the type of person who can excel in your current organizational culture:

  • Do we rely on teamwork and collaboration or independent work to meet our objectives? If your organization requires collaboration and teamwork, hiring a person who can’t stand to work in groups is a big mistake. On the other hand, a person who thrives in a team setting will likely suffer if he or she is forced to always work independently.
  • What is our primary communication style? Keep in mind the formats you expect people to use (email, text messaging, video chatting, teleconferencing). If spoken communication and presentation skills are required, ensure that you hire people who are comfortable in public speaking situations.
  • How do we make decisions? Do you vote? Or are decisions handed down from management? Some people want to be told exactly what to do; they don’t want to make judgment calls. Others want to have a say in how decisions are made. Don’t force either type into the opposite situation or they’ll be miserable.
  • Are we a formal, serious organization? Or do we take a more casual, loose approach? An employee who is extremely serious in nature will not appreciate a culture where joking, fun and socializing are allowed—or even encouraged. A fun-loving, lighthearted spirit will be miserable in a strict, formal environment. Match the personality to your organization.
  • How do we reward people? Do you offer monetary bonuses or merit-based raises? Or does your organization offer elaborate perks, such as vacations or company cars? Perhaps, the most your budget will allow is a genuine “Thank you.” You may need to ask new hires how they expect to be rewarded. Someone looking for extravagant rewards for their hard work will be sorely disappointed if all you can offer is a plaque or other inexpensive means of showing your appreciation.
  • How many hours do we expect employees to work per week? More and more, people are wanting to balance work and life. If yours is a culture where people consistently exceed the 40-hour mark, it’s important that job candidates know and accept that.
  • Do we offer flexible hours or telecommuting? Or do we prefer set hours? Flexible scheduling and work-from-home options are popular with today’s organizations. If you are open to that kind of work arrangement, you broaden your options and expand your talent pool.
  • How accessible do we expect employees to be? Should we be able to reach them outside of work hours? Some people aren’t going to be open to that, so it’s critical that you make that expectation clear during the hiring process.
  • What is the dress code? Formal, business casual or casual? Upon first glance, you’ll be able to determine if a candidate can fit the formality level of your organization. For example, someone who shows up to the interview wearing a T-shirt and flip flops may not take your dress code seriously once hired. If the candidate is perfect in every other way, you can decide whether coaching the person to dress more professionally is worth it.
  • What are our workspaces like? Open format? Separate offices with the doors often closed? An office that promotes frequent interaction, for example, where workspaces aren’t separated by cubicle walls or office doors, is ideal for social employees who love to collaborate. More private, independent employees will be miserable in those types of open-concept workspaces.
  • Do we create opportunities for fun and employee interaction? Socializing is a huge factor for many employees, especially young employees and recent graduates. They want opportunities to make friends and build relationships during work.

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