Part 4: Chemistry
The process of finding the right candidate to fit an opening in your company is complex, arduous, and often stressful. However, after 18 years in the executive search business, I have identified five key components of the employer/employee relationship that, when given the proper consideration, can simplify the hiring process and increase your chances of securing a successful, long-term hire by up to 50%.
Using what I call “The Five C’s for a Successful Hire,” I coach both my clients and prospective candidates to focus on three base-level requirements (compensation, competency, and community), as well as two higher-level considerations (chemistry and curiosity).
In this installment, I’ll concentrate on the fourth C: chemistry.
Diversity is an Innovation Asset
One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is by hiring mostly people who have the same types of background, whether educational, professional, or geographical. The positive impacts of a diverse workforce cannot be overstated, and it’s important for companies to understand that diversity is more than an EEOC mandate - it’s a critical component of building an innovative company (just ask Google™ or Apple™).
The reality is that a homogenized workforce cannot bring as many unique perspectives to the table or approaches to problem solving as can a diverse group of people with varying backgrounds. Rather than interviewing only people who seem like they are similar to your current team members, aim to hire candidates who differ from and complement your existing team, therefore adding value to your organization.
Guide Your Team Through the Adjustment
If you’ve determined that a candidate has a complementary skill set and personality that will benefit your group overall, be prepared to integrate them appropriately. Make sure that potential new hires understand your team dynamics, and commit to regular “health checks” to ensure that everyone is adjusting to their new roles. Remember that groups have a powerful natural tendency to stick with the status quo, and organisms often reject change.
While you may recognize that someone from a different background will be good for your team’s growth potential, it’s not enough to assume that all of your teammates understand and know how to adapt accordingly. Be direct, and be patient; true growth and improvement rarely happen overnight. Commit to team building and go beyond surface-level onboarding efforts to make sure that your new hire can flow seamlessly into his or her new role on your team.
Chemistry alignment can be harder to measure than our fundamental concepts of compensation, competency, and community, but it is no less important if your end goal is a long-term, engaged employee. In combination with our fifth and final C, chemistry can mean the difference between a satisfactory employee and a perfect fit.
Stay Tuned for Part 5: Curiosity