Category: Human Resources
Whether recognized or not, HR creates an impact on the company culture when making a hiring decision that is either active or passive. This hiring approach is a decision either to “fit” an organization or to“form”it. Company culture is often partially discovered by new hires once they have settled into their new role. However, new hires often have a more instant and impactful part on company culture than many realize.
The result is the same as if an acid or alkaline were added to soil, it would affect its pH balance— hiring has both a short and long-term affect on an organization.
Some hires are made to ensure that an employee fits the current culture of an organization. Good organizational fits are sometimes complex decisions, particularly when the environment is multifaceted. Consider the hiring responsibilities to find both someone who fits within the needs of the department, as well as, the needs of the company overall. Historically, the HR department stemmed from meeting the immediate needs to “find a good fit.” Even in good organizations, it can be dangerous to continue to expect this identical cultivation to be the right fit forever.
Ensuring that new hires are selected with an emphasis on forming the desired culture of an organization, requires the hiring manager to have a good relationship with their HR representative. This is not an instantaneous activity based around this hire, but rather a comprehensive understanding of departmental vision based on the hiring manager’s goals and strategies. It is easy to focus on current issues alone. Simply hiring to remove the immediate pain of today will often create an obstacle when it comes to the achievement of long-term goals for managers.
Aligning the new hire with the strategic cultural goals of an organization means HR plays a more vital role in the strategic planning process, than ever. Progressive organizations have a reputation that embodies a healthy image of HR, and often includes them in the planning stages of organizational strategic development. A clue to the company culture often lies in the employees’ perceptions of the role of the HR department. Is your organization’s HR image perceived as focused primarily on discipline or development? This answer directly correlates to the differences between cultivation of that which “fits” the culture or that which “forms” it.
If your organization has spent years hiring to “fit,” it is likely your existing middle management team may have less experience in recognizing the need to “form” a new culture. Working to infuse this into your management staff can be a challenge. It is important to recognize the value your managers achieve when embracing this type of change. Many times existing staff will detect a desire to form new culture, and as a result perceive new hires as a threat. Communicating the long-term goals of the organization, and how they are a part of this vision is key to their comfort with these new hires.
Recognize that an individual hired for to help form culture changes may not always be an immediate fit. Because a “form” is often a delayed “fit,” there is a necessary and needed discussion between HR and the Hiring Manager as to how this transition will occur. It should be anticipated by HR, Hiring Managers, and Senior Leadership as a worthwhile change in the corporate pH. It is also critically important to discuss this with the prospect before their hire to prevent turnover risk.
The challenge in hiring to form a long-term company style and stop hiring simply to “fit” is that it will require more dialogue that is less concrete in nature. This dialogue has been in the mindset of HR for years, but only lately being more concretely valued by the mouths of leadership everywhere. Often times, those who are naturally gifted with these types of soft skills do not recognize them as being valuable. Because these can be new types of dialogue, you should preserve the appropriate amount of time and not done while multi-tasking. Full engagement is essential to success in this process.
Particularly, if your organization has been through a great deal of transition, is very important that you accurately determine your current culture and the leadership desires for the future. Identify what aspects are missing, these are critical components in becoming focused on hiring effectively to both “fit” and “form” the culture of the organization. This way preserves both past successes and ensures more future success can be cultivated.
J. Michelle Sybesma has spent 12 years as a business consultant/trainer specializing in solving professional challenges and dually making business enjoyable & productive environments. For further information, contact Professional Skills Consulting, Inc. by visiting www.SkillsConsulting.com or call 317-596-9855, or email@example.com.
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