Evaluating a Potential Employee's Fit in Your Company

Hiring new employees can be one of the biggest decisions a good leader makes. You need someone who can take your organization to the next level. A smart manager doesn’t make hiring decisions based solely on a resume and a good work ethic, though. To build the best company with the best team, the best leader will remember to put shared values as the foundation.

When you hire people to become a part of your organization, you want to be sure that their values are your values. Make sure you are personally clear about those values and ask any possible employee what theirs are. Let them know “the way things are done around here” — things like how you expect them to behave, what they are allowed to do, and what behaviors are inappropriate when dealing with others. (A values statement is a great tool for this.)

Perhaps before you spill the beans about your values, you may want to ask a few questions about their values. You might begin with some questions like these:

  • If you could work for any leader in the world, alive or dead, who would you pick?

  • What about that particular leader led you to choose him?

  • What guiding principles did this leader follow?

  • In what way are those guiding principles the same principles that you value?

  • In what type of culture or environment do you like to work?

The more personal clarity you get from job candidates, the more they may be worth considering. The brain that knows itself and is committed to its own values is much more valuable than a brain that doesn’t know what its guiding principles are. Truly knowing yourself and what you value requires good communication between the executive areas of the brain and the emotional areas. Without knowledge of her own values, even someone who can recite your values statements to the letter may have little dedication to your values.

You don’t usually buy a new car without taking at least one test drive. Give the employee a trial period if you can. A new employee is similar to a student on the first few days of school, she’s on good behavior. When she stops trying so hard to impress, the true behavior comes out. Let the candidate spend some real time on the job working with her possible team members. Doing so benefits both of you. If she hates the work after the trial, off she goes. If she doesn’t fit in with others, you have the option of saying goodbye or trying her out in another capacity.

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