Though it might seem counterintuitive, your first goal when hiring doesn’t have to be solely based on skill. While skill is obviously very important, what is most important, especially when having a small team, is hiring for company culture fit first. Let us explain…
If a potential hire doesn’t fit with the culture of the team they’re being hired for, then the team will become disconnected, and won’t put forth their best work. Tension can build and management will spend more time mitigating small issues than supporting their teams on getting great work done, especially, when you’re under 100 employees. You can train for skill development, you can’t train someone into a good company culture fit.
BGBO Co. Co-founder, Micah Johnson, recalls a time from his first company when this rang true.
When my previous company was starting to grow, I needed an entry-level developer and hired someone that I knew wasn’t super strong skill-wise, but knew he would fit in well with the team culture. One day, while we were on a Zoom call with him, he forgot to minimize his Skype chat where he was talking with his sister about working through some of the code he was writing for us. Needless to say, it was a bit of a surprise, and that story makes me laugh, but we didn’t let him go nor did we didn’t embarrass him about it. If you think about it, the guy was pretty resourceful! Our team loved him and he was still able to get his tasks done. Instead of letting him go, we pulled together resources so he could start teaching himself the skills he needed. He rose to the occasion, got better and better, and didn’t need to Skype with his sister for answers anymore. About 6 months later, he asked for a raise (and we gave it to him!).
The lesson learned
No matter how good your hiring process is, you are going to have some things that are able to slip through the cracks but a good company culture fit can overcome any shortcomings. It is what you do next that is important. It is much easier to train an existing employee than to fire them and have to go through the re-hire and new employee training process.
Before taking that drastic of a step, do this first.
- Assess whether they are a good fit with your company culture and if they are…
- Put together the needed skill-based training they need to do the job successfully.
Once your company grows, you can always move them to other teams or positions where their skills are a better fit. So, remember, when hiring, hire for company culture first, skill second. With the skills you’re hiring for, make sure you have the appropriate hiring tests ready to go. You’ll be amazed at the team members you’ll be able to hire with this process!
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