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? Sure, there are plenty of examples where success is achieved despite a hostile or challenging environment, but this is rarely the recipe we use to build winning teams.
It seems pretty obvious that the importance of hiring people that enjoy working together and supporting each other is up there. 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 its not “what” to look for that interests me, its “how” we look for it that is most intriguing.
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, underperform 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" that 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...
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. The key is to create a series of interactions that share the goals and interests of both the team needing to hire with a person that has similar interests - mostly workers from other companies that do the same type of work. 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 are "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 its time to begin hiring, you can invite several of the ones you “like” best to Group Engagement Events where team members and stakeholders can see if the relationship is acceptable and cement the interest of the external propects that are. All of these events can be based online and take up little time away from work or outside interests (even less if you use a hiring partner to tee them up for you), but the benefit of crafting a working relationship before asking someone to interview is huge.
The ones who like you best will have no issue taking a functional skill test and when you invite the best in to interview, 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 your self or use a Hiring Partner to help you, the benefit to enhanced Cadidate Experience, Employment Branding, Assessment and Qualty of Hire make Engagement Hiring definitely worth exploring...
So who is interested, who thinks its crazy and who has a better idea?