“I’ve heard people say that hiring is like online dating. Really? If your hiring success rate is anywhere near as low as online dating’s then you probably aren’t responsible for hiring (any more).”
Hi. I’m Mark; manager of people, maker of mistakes, and CTO of TalentRocket: the culture-fit recruitment platform. I’m going to tell you how our unique ThriveMap™ feature helps hiring in the real world. Oh, and as CTO I’m going to hide behind the stereotype of techies and be socially awkward and borderline rude. Don’t take it personally.
First, some context. It’s hard to talk to anyone about hiring these days without hearing “organisational culture” and “core values”. For me, it’s something close to being slapped around the chops with a fresh Halibut while I wait for them to get to the point. Too harsh? Maybe, but I like to know (1) what you’re telling me I should do, (2) how I should do it, and (3) what effect it will have. It’s tough to do that if the thing you’re talking about—culture—is undefined. Here at TalentRocket we keep it clear and simple:
- We talk about culture-fit not culture
- Culture-fit is an environment in which a person thrives
- Thriving is where someone gives the best of themselves because they want to
Let’s recap that because it’s really important:
If you successfully hire for culture-fit, then your team are going to arrive at work and give the best of themselves (best efforts, best skills, best ideas), because they are working in a way that brings the best out in them.
In case it isn’t obvious and hey, it should be, this is after you’ve made sure you’re hiring someone who has the capability and skills to do the job. I’m assuming you have a consistent, objective way of doing that at interview. You do right?
OK, so I’ve set the scene. I’m going to talk about culture-fit and how ThriveMap™ will help you hire for better culture-fit. I’ve already said I like things nice and clear. So here’s what I’m going to tell you:
- How do companies currently hire for culture-fit?
- Why is ThriveMap™ different?
- How does ThriveMap™ work?
- An analogy to take home and tell your kids (optional)
How do companies currently hire for culture-fit?
When we set out with the aim of helping companies achieve hiring for culture-fit, the first thing we did was look at what was already being done. So, let’s run through the top three options.
Number 1: The good ol’ gut. Yep, this is tried and tested across the hiring world, and probably the cause of more than a few grey hairs for HR. Research shows that managers make up their mind in the first 6 minutes of the interview. No prizes for guessing the problems with this approach: It leads to bias (hire people I like and are like me) , discrimination and inconsistency. It’s obvious this can’t be effective in any consistent way across hirers. There is a place for subjective skills and judgement, but we’ll come to that later.
Number 2: Myers [flaming] Briggs. Well it had to be there. If enough people believe that rubbing a bronze statue‘s butt cheeks will bring them luck, then everyone will rub the butt. Welcome to the Myers Briggs personality test; the king of bronze butt cheeks. If we put aside for one moment whether personality is something that even can be defined by four letters, and put aside the inconsistency found when repeating the test even over a short period of time, then let’s just consider what we’re saying here—Your personality will tell you whether you fit into a team. “Fit into” then means “conform”, to some pre-defined target personality. Now think about good teams you’ve worked in. Did everyone conform to a similar personality? Were you working in a future filled with clones? No. No they didn’t and no you weren’t (I hope). Oh, and while I’m on a roll, you know they found personality measurement wasn’t a good indicator of performance right?
Number 3: The magic button. They won’t tell you how this works: It’s secret and you’re too stupid. They will tell you it involves complicated algorithms. If you’re lucky it’ll have some big data thrown in and hey, while we’re at it, why not hint at machine learning. Any one of these or a mix of all of them gives you THE MAGIC BUTTON OF HIRING. Yep, press that button and whir, whiz, whir some more, and poof! You should hire John. Oh and while you’re at it, fire your HR manager—you don’t need them any more. This is the ever expanding market of magic software to do stuff for you. Is it culture-fit? Doubtful. Is it a good idea to hire someone because a computer told you to? Very doubtful. Wait! I hear you say. But the website looks really cool and has animations and everything. Good grief. I’m getting a headache.
Now you may currently use one, two or even all three of these in your hiring. I want you to like me, so I’m going to say, fair play for trying everything you could. It is the most important task in any business, and it isn’t easy. Like me again? Good, I need more LinkedIn connections.
Of course, it’s easy to just criticise, so let me tell you how our technology is different and better.
Why is ThriveMap™ different?
Before I tell you about ThriveMap™, let’s get one thing clear. We don’t believe in organisational culture-fit. It’s in the team that culture-fit happens. No matter how hard a company tries to set rules from the top, each team will be different because of the the work being done, the type of manager, the people and the pressure they’re under. It might be subtle, it might be huge, but you show me a sales team that works in the same way as a development team and I’ll buy you a hat. Now that’s out the way, let’s talk about ThriveMap™.
ThriveMap™ is different because it focuses on one simple goal: Put people into teams that work in ways that will bring out the best in them.
To achieve this goal we need consistency and objectivity, but we also need expertise and experience. ThriveMap™ provides the first two, so you can focus on the rest. No personality testing, no trying to eliminate expertise, no magic button telling you who to hire. A simple, practical tool to give you structure to your culture-fit assessment.
ThriveMap™ provides consistency and objectivity to help decide whether a candidate will be placed in a team that works in a way that brings out the best in them.
That’s why it’s different.
How does ThriveMap™ work?
As always, we kept it really simple. We wanted to know what way of working brings out the best in someone, so we decided to just ask them. Imagine you’re not hearing a meerkat say “simples” in a cute but thoroughly patronising way.
The next step was deciding how to define “way of working”. This is how we did it:
- How things get done
- How decisions are made
- How people interact
- How performance is measured
- How you grow your career
We created 25 questions to get a sense of what the person preferred in each of these categories. It’s not absolutes and it’s not scores. It’s a sense of where this person has strong preferences, and how their preferences compare to everyone else.
The individual answers our set of questions, choosing one side or another, strongly or weakly. After they complete the questions, we give them their culture-fit profile. Of course it looks cool, but more importantly it tells them what they should be looking for in their team. It can also suggest questions to ask during an interview and what to look out for in the answers. Know many other recruitment tools that genuinely try to help candidates get more from their interview? Thought not.
Great for candidates, but I’m guessing you want to know what’s in it for you—the hirer. ThriveMap™ gets its name for a reason. We produce a map of all candidate responses so as a hirer you can see where most people have answered and can compare an individual with the whole. You also get each individual’s personal map, showing where they have stronger preferences.
What else? With ThriveMap™ you can test your teams and build your own team maps to compare with candidates, you can see whether current teams could change how they work to get more from each individual, and you’ll receive personalised interview advice per candidate to help you assess and measure culture-fit. I could go into more detail, but this isn’t an instruction manual. Just ask me what you want know. I accept bribes.
Hiring for culture-fit doesn’t need to be an uncontrolled, subjective minefield, and it shouldn’t be a robotic automation of nonsense. ThriveMap™ gives you structure and consistency so you’ll know what questions to ask, what risks you’re taking, and what changes to make to successfully hire for culture-fit.
An analogy to take home and tell your kids (optional)
I’ve heard people say that hiring is like online dating. Really? If your hiring success rate is anywhere near as low as online dating’s then you probably aren’t responsible for hiring (any more).
I love an analogy as much as feet love sand, but we have to ditch the dating analogy once and for all. Not wanting to leave you as metaphor free as a rental agreement, I’m going to give you a replacement to take home to your kids.
Hiring is like gardening. You choose your plants and put them in the soil. Water them and feed them because you want them to thrive. If they struggle, you don’t just dig them up straight away and plant more, you continue to nurture them using all your skills and experience. Sometimes, the plant you chose just can’t thrive in your soil—Too acidic, too wet, too much sun. Whatever the reason, no matter how hard you try that plant will fail to thrive and you’ll have wasted time and need a new plant. Hiring for culture-fit is understanding your soil and choosing plants that you know can thrive in that environment. It’s not a guarantee for success, but it’s what a good gardener would do.
If you want to check out ThriveMap, click here