Has the Pandemic Taught Employers That Cultural “Fit” is a Thing of The Past – 16/09/2021

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An interesting and thought-provoking question - is it time to move away from our way of thinking looking for a cultural “fit” and adapt a cultural “contribution” as a different approach for future recruitment and promotion within our organisations?
Has the Pandemic Taught Employers That Cultural “Fit” is a Thing of The Past Black Mountain HR

An interesting and thought-provoking question – is it time to move away from our way of thinking looking for a cultural “fit” and adapt a cultural “contribution” as a different approach for future recruitment and promotion within our organisations?

In the media this week it has been published that in the last quarter of this year, the national employment outlook is at an all-time high of 32 percent, source: Manpower, a 39-point increase from the end of last year. 

What does this mean and what should business leaders being doing to embrace this changing environment.

Has our businesses changed during the pandemic and how has it been impacted and requires reviewing for the longer term?

As business leaders we should make the time to review what has happened to our businesses over the past 18 months, not only from a critical business planning perspective, but as an overall review of what was successful and what needs to change. Are there any areas of the business that has struggled or changed significantly?  

As well reported in the media there has been an increase in resignations across all business sectors, with people using the time during the pandemic to reassess what their priorities are in both their personal and working lives and this should also apply to our business models.

Has the pandemic helped us as employers recognise that employees in the business now or in the future that contribute to the business culture may be the caveat of a business overall success?


Recruitment and Retention

We have all been used to our normal way of interviewing candidates for cultural “fit”,(and sometimes unconsciously bias in our decision making as we have by default looked for similar traits to ourselves). But with the current job market and the “great resignation” that is upon us, do we want to recruit candidates who contribute to our culture and therefore complement our teams rather than recruit the same types that we already have?

Even before we start adapting this in our future recruitment, let’s consider those already in our teams. Who stepped up during the pandemic on new ways of working, innovation, collaboration and showed resilience? These employees can be part of our ongoing business success, so is it time to provide them new opportunities? Who turned up and did their job to the same level despite being in a very different environment and at times an isolated environment to support the business?

As business leaders we should expand our horizons on who we take on i.e., have our perceptions changed since the pandemic on what and who the business needs in terms of skills? Who do we have in the business that have clearly shown different new skills that they had not previously had the opportunity to show? 

More internal focus on looking at who is in place already that can be developed and then ensure that the business is clear on what skills gaps there are and recruit to them thus ensuring that internal promotion is exhausted first.  

Cultural fit is usually a gauge for the businesses core values; so, are the employees aware of the core values and ultimately are business leaders clear on what their core values are, and have they changed or developed due to the pandemic?  

Sometimes businesses are very loose in terms of recruiting people that fit to our core values and maybe the recruitment approach needs to be more securely tied to values or reviewed to ensure that it is fit for purpose. 

The cultural fit approach is very vague and difficult to measure i.e., some business leaders look at it as being whether they would want to have a drink with the individual, are local and have similar backgrounds rather than the questions we should be asking, such as does this person offer a dimension that our culture might be missing? In what ways might this person challenge our thinking and processes? Will this person bring a viewpoint or context we may be missing? And these questions would fit more with cultural contribution rather than cultural fit.

When interviewing either internal or external candidates– ask what has the pandemic taught them about themselves, that they may not have uncovered beforehand? Do those new skills/knowledge/experience add to our business strategy?

What techniques and methods are we all using within our recruitment processes and do we have a clear recruitment strategy?

As we adapt globally to the impact that the pandemic has had upon businesses, we need to be smarter in our recruitment and retention. Let’s not get left behind as business owners/leaders in adapting a new approach to the skills that we need to continue and grow successfully. The recruitment arena is a competitive one and now more than ever so time taken to review practices and what the business needs are is essential.

Our Black Mountain staff are here to discuss any of the above in more detail, we can be a sounding board as well as offer support when looking at change within your businesses to maintain your place within your markets and ensure that you have the right people in the right positions.

Black Mountain Group

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