Camaraderie: a relationship between people or organizations that is characterized by mutual assistance, approval, and support.
Isn’t one of the most important aspects of highly functioning companies and work teams the level of harmony, solidarity, and camaraderie that exists among employees? Surely, this is something that a company should highlight on their career page.
It seems pretty obvious that the importance of hiring people who enjoy working together and supporting each other is up there. The method of employees sharing what a company is really like can significantly help in attracting people who will support and fit in with the culture. This can be achieved with the content that is delivered on the career page. Text can describe the type of person that fits best and clearly spell out those that won’t, and it can be supported with images and video of actual employees doing their work or engaging in after work activity.
Once you get a group of candidates to apply who are more aligned with the persona you seek, you need to take a closer look. Certainly a person needs skill to do the work, but we can measure that much easier than “inner chemistry.” There have been millions of words written by psychologists and assessment experts who are infinitely more qualified than me on what determines fit, but it's not “what” to look for that interests me, it's “how” we look for it that is most intriguing.
The problem with interviews
For the most part, the interview has been what companies have relied on to determine if a person would fit in. Yet most I/O Psychologists say that interviews are poor predictors of fit and performance. Is this why teams have traditionally had people that don’t get along, under-perform, or worse, cause others to do the same? I don’t have an answer, but my guess is that if we found a better way to uncover "fit," our teams would perform better.
Is there something we're missing? There are clues if you look at how any successful relationship is made. Usually, it begins with something people have in common. After a bit of interaction, the bothersome quirks and positive traits are discovered. When the positives outweigh the negatives, the relationship is usually taken for a test drive in a social or group setting. If the match is socially acceptable to the people whose opinions mean the most, the relationship will usually blossom and grow from there.
Hmm . . . seems like we may be forgetting a few of these steps when we go through the hiring dance! You have to wonder how the method we DO use came to be; I mean, aren't we after the same result when we hire someone? In exploring a working relationship, it seems the only thing we're adding to the equation is skill competency - the rest seems to apply. The interview, regardless of type, is a snapshot in time and not a relationship building process in any way. I bet we could do better . . .
Activate "engagement hiring" today
The exciting thing is that with new social collaboration tools, and society’s acceptance of using them, “engagement hiring” can be put to use today. These tools can be integrated into your attraction process and made a part of your career pages. The key is to create a series of interactions that share the goals and interests of the team needing to hire with a person that has similar interests - mostly workers from other companies that do the same type of work. In a digital event, these other workers share what's most important to them, and if there is any alignment of interests, you'll be building a pool of strongly cultivated prospects that no resume or interview can achieve. So far so good.
There are numerous online networking events and digital conversations that can be used to engage the people you're cultivating, and since they’re "event based activity," they take up less time and provide great results. The key for these interactions is not to mirror an interview, but to focus on activity that makes participants think, like a group challenge or brainstorming session where collectively you can see who collaborates, communicates, thinks the best and “personally” fits in: pretty cool, isn’t it?
When it’s time to begin hiring, you can invite several of the ones you “like” best to on-site group engagement events where team members and stakeholders can see if the relationship is acceptable and cement the interest of the external prospects who meet that standard. All of these events can benefit crafting a working relationship before asking someone to interview. This is huge.
The ones who like you best will have no issue accepting your invitation to interview, and the discussion will be more about offers and compensation than whether they can do the work or fit in. Interestingly, the ones you can’t hire right away can continue to be easily cultivated until the next opening occurs.
All of the above is available for implementation today. Whether you tackle it yourself or use a hiring partner to help you, the benefits to enhanced candidate experience, employment branding, assessment and quality of hire make engagement hiring definitely worth exploring.
So, who is interested, who thinks it’s crazy and who has a better idea?