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Screening for Company Culture

  Paul Clement

Company culture is something that is hard to put your finger on. You want your employees to be happy coming to work, to be motivated, to trust your decisions and their fellow employees in day to day functions. You want to hire the best people but as we all know when we are interviewing, someone who may seem like the best fit may not be who they appear in reality. An interviewee may be nervous in an interview but actually has strong leadership skills once comfortable or they may be overly confident in the interview but are quite reserved once hired.

Your employee mix is what makes up your company culture and whether or not your work environment is functional, enjoyable or toxic. When hiring new employees you would like to think that you can trust your gut on the type of employees you are hiring. You want them to be able to best benefit your company but is that the only criteria you are using when hiring?

The training and onboarding of new employees often is a costly venture and nobody wants to look like a fool if an employee ends up being an odd fit or even toxic to your work environment and culture. Therefore the inevitable questions arise, “Is there any way to determine a person’s true personality and work habits? Can I mitigate the risk involved with bringing a new employee into my company?” There are the traditional methods, which many of us will be familiar with, such as checking an applicant’s references but those can often be provided by biased parties. There are also recruiting firms that provide information on an applicant, but can you trust it? They often provide a good synopsis on the experience and overall accomplishments of an applicant but again you are taking the word of someone else as gospel.

ISB Canada is currently working with a new partner to bring a work style and performance profile product to the market. This easy to implement test will, through a series of questions, provide a scorecard that will help you measure an applicant’s tendencies as an employee and will accurately reflect whether someone is non-competitive or dominant, reactive or calm, reserved or outgoing, direct or empathetic, spontaneous or regimented, conventional or open-minded. Armed with this knowledge, it also provides you with the next steps for the applicant and even interview questions that are best asked to a specific personality.

If used regularly with positions being clearly defined, an organization can carefully screen for employees they know will fit with their current employee pool and will be a contributor rather than a detractor from your company’s culture. We admit that it is not a cure-all by any means but studies have shown that it can drastically reduce turnover and improve production. Coupled with an employer who truly cares for the company’s culture, this simple test may be the key to acquiring the perfect employee for whatever position needs to be filled.

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