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What is the benefit of hiring for culture before hiring for skills?

January 31, 2011 - 0 Comments

“Every organization needs employees who mesh with its core values — the principles that define who you are as an organization and that shape day-to-day business decisions. Employees who do not adhere to a shared corporate culture dilute it, detracting from the essence that gives your company its identity and helps it achieve aggressive goals.” – Harvard Business Review (HBR)This statement, of course, does not rule out the need to hire employees who have the right skills and experience for the role; it is simply highlighting the necessity for culture to come into play. Alan Lewis, owner and chairman of Grand Circle Corporation,  asserts that to effectively recruit a candidate that will fit into the company culture there are three elements that need to be considered:

  • Ask the candidate to show you how they espouse the company values, rather than them simply telling you that they do.
  • Be clear about the company’s views, values and culture.
  • Keep skills interviews and cultural interviews separate.

Lewis concludes the article by stating that the main benefit of recruiting for culture is retention of top employees. We would love to hear whether you agree with this statement. Do you feel that there is not enough focus on hiring people to fit the culture? Or do you feel that by focusing too much on culture it is likely that some of the diversity of an organisation will be lost?

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