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To Hire Or Not To Hire?

Hiring the “right” employees is not a challenge specific to small companies. However, the influence of single employee on the small business workplace can be far more significant than in a medium or large organization.  Often, HR professionals talk about hiring employees with a focus on cultural fit. Meaning, they encourage employers to seek out individuals with goals, priorities and personalities that would mesh with the mission and vision of the company.

Hire for Cultural Fit

Recently, I was reading an article about the importance of hiring with an eye on culture.  This article supposes that, “If you assess cultural fit throughout your recruitment process, you will ensure you hire people who will become fantastic in their new roles, which will certainly help drive long-term growth and success for your organization. The fit within your existing team and understanding of your company values will ensure that they will save you time and money in having to replace them later.”  Makes sense.

Or Not…

On the other hand, a post in Harvard Business Review says hiring for cultural fit may be misguided because, “What most people really mean when they say someone is a good fit culturally is that he or she is someone they’d like to have a beer with.” If that’s the case, the author suggests that hiring for culture may, in fact, create an organization lacking in diversity. I truly believe diversity is what creates a stable foundation for any organization whether for-profit or not-for-profit, allowing the organization better equipped to take on the challenges it will, inevitably, encounter. When talking to a colleague recently about her industry, she told me, “The more points of view, strengths, characteristics that are sewn into the cloth of an industry the sturdier it becomes but also, and I think more importantly, the more attractive it becomes to those inside and outside the industry.” The same can be said for any company. Diverse contributors are essential pieces to business success.

So Now What?

More important than hiring for what may be considered cultural fit, small businesses should hire based on three important, company-specific concepts:

  • Hire someone who will help you achieve your short and long term company goals
  • Look for an employee whose professional values match that of your company/ ownership
  • Find an individual who brings a different point of view to the team

If you or your management team need help defining any of these three concepts or if you would like guidance on hiring quality employees, please contact me.

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