May 5, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Picture two people sitting at a table across from one another, asking questions, learning about each other. One is handsome, tall and driven. He is kind – a true gentleman, but is quiet, timid and prefers the homebody lifestyle. The other, a young, cheery woman, who just returned from a company outing zip lining through the mountains. The man takes a sip of his water, as the woman asks, “So, what are your long term goals?”

Are you picturing a date or a job interview? The purpose for both is generally similar. For each situation, you are trying to find compatibility and how the other fits with your personality and values, or those of your company.

Just like bad dates, bad hires occur; it’s difficult to know how a person is going to operate in your organization after just a couple of hours speaking with them. However, it’s important to try to prevent bad hires to save your company extra costs of time, salaries, and training, as well as, maintain your company’s credibility.

One approach to this is by clearly defining and communicating set corporate core values, which tie in company goals and culture. As we discussed last week, DKI fully established these and has clearly communicated them throughout corporate, as well as to our Franchise Members. By doing so, there isn’t any confusion amongst our organization as to where DKI is headed and what we believe.

When a new member is hired to our team, they are presented a list of our core values as a reminder for what we are trying to accomplish. We have also decided to build our employee annual reviews around our core values to ensure everyone is still living up to the purpose of DKI. Some organizations, such as Zappos, even go a step further as to enforce a second interview in the hiring process, dedicated solely to testing for cultural fit. The candidate may have an impressive resume and complete the initial interview process with flying colors, but if they do not pass the cultural fit interview, they will not be hired. Period.

Look back at the example of the man and woman speaking. If you were the adventurous woman, interviewing the seemingly timid homebody, you would probably want to probe further at his interests, or at least, elaborate on your recent and past ongoing company outings. While on paper, this man might be the perfect fit for her company, he may not fit in with the seemingly dynamic corporate environment. He may, at first, exceed her expectations and fulfill each of his duties, but after some time, become anxious, tired and unmotivated.

According to a study by Kristof-Brown, those who fit well with an organization and the corporate environment reported to have been more satisfied with their job and were more likely to remain with the company, were more committed, felt more competent, and exhibited superior job performance.

Companies that express their culture through a set of core values are able to share their goals with employees and potential candidates. If all parties are aware of what they’re involved with or getting into, they can decide if it’s right for them. Those who believe in the purpose, vision, and values of an organization will naturally be more motivated to meet its goals, and work to their full potential.

Consider incorporating these corporate values into your questions when interviewing potential candidates. If you don’t have the time to set aside an entire interview on these topics, like Zappos, create three to four questions that integrate these values and help give an idea of the type of individual you’re interviewing. After all, a bad hire is like a bad date – You’ll lose time and money in the process.