“How is it that I hired the absolute best on the planet only to have them start work and within a few months, the team is struggling and our productivity is down?!”
If this sounds familiar, it’s because of the almost 50% of hires who are considered ‘bad hires’ after 18 months, only about 11% of those are due to technical knowledge and skills. The rest, nearly 90%, fail because of fit/culture issues.
When building a successful team, many of us will focus entirely on finding the “best” candidate – the one with the most impressive resume, the highest academic credentials, or the longest list of achievements. However, a growing body of research and real-world experience (see above!) suggests that hiring the “right” person is far more valuable than hiring the “best” person. It’s crucial to look beyond the qualifications and prioritise qualities that align with your company’s values and culture. Embrace a holistic approach to hiring and you can foster long-term success and maintain a harmonious, productive, and motivated workforce.
Of course, skills and qualifications are essential, but we should also assess a candidate’s cultural fit within the organisation. A candidate may have a brilliant resume but struggle to adapt to the company’s work environment or embrace its core values. Hiring someone who aligns with the company culture can lead to increased employee engagement, better collaboration, and higher job satisfaction. When employees feel a sense of belonging and purpose, they are more likely to be motivated and loyal to the company.
Soft skills (such a fluffy term for something so important…), such as communication, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and teamwork, often play a significant role in determining an employee’s success. A candidate with strong soft skills can positively impact team dynamics, foster effective communication, and handle challenges with ease. These qualities are especially vital in today’s collaborative and fast-paced work environments, where teamwork and adaptability are crucial for success.
Hiring the right person means looking for their long-term potential and growth within the organisation. While a candidate may have a remarkable skill set today, it’s essential to assess their willingness to learn, grow, and adapt to changing circumstances. Additionally, investing in training and development for employees who possess the right attitude and potential can yield substantial returns. Employees who are continuously learning and improving their skills contribute to a culture of growth and innovation within the organisation.
You’ve heard us talk about this before: a diverse and inclusive workforce brings unique perspectives, creativity, and problem-solving abilities to the table. When hiring, make a conscious effort to promote diversity by considering candidates from different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. Organisations who embrace diversity can build stronger teams and increase company productivity.
So – hiring the right person is not about settling for mediocrity; it’s about recognising that skills and qualifications are just one piece of the puzzle. The “best” candidate on paper might not always be the best fit for your organisation. Proioritising culture fit, soft skills, long-term potential, passion, diversity, and potential for growth = a more engaged, collaborative, and high-performing team. By adopting a hollistic approach to hiring, you can help lay the foundation for sustained success, ensuring that you have the right people to propel your business forward into the future.
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