by Lindsey Seigel

One common theme between non-profit, for-profit and faith based organizations; they almost always eventually have to hire new employees. For many, it’s not the most favored thing on the to-do list. Some will tell you that the major element they look at is a prospects skills or experience, while others will say they will look at a candidate’s personality and how they will fit into the organizations existing culture, with their skills/experience coming second.

personalityI recently read an article by Richard Branson, where Mr. Branson discusses his reasoning for picking a candidate based on their personality and then their skills. Looking for a personality that fits your company culture is key to hiring new employees he says. If you’re satisfied with their personality, then look at the candidate’s experience and expertise; he explains that you can learn most jobs extremely quickly once thrown into the deep end.

Ken Gadd, founder of Gadd Business Consultants, was just sharing with me this morning that he was recently having dinner with a long time friend and client, Bart Meadows, Founder and Sr. Veterinarian at the Animal Hospital of Lakeport, and they were discussing just this issue. There is often the tendency to hire someone based on years of experience and technical skill, and then adequately consider personality and culture fit. Unfortunately, this can often cause your company’s performance to decrease.  They each shared a few stories of how a team that “fits” supports one another and adds exponentially to the performance. Team members that don’t “play well together” can create a very challenging and destructive work place.

Although they both agreed that the technical skills and drive of the candidate need to be there, the ability to be a supportive part of the team and fit into the culture is critical to the long term cohesion and success of the organization.

The process of hiring is a combination of skillful assessment as well as trusting your instincts. It’s the balance that we face, but often it is wise to go with your gut feeling or an opinion from an outside source that will have an open objective regarding your decision.

At Gadd Business Consultants we develop and implement plans and control systems that will effectively accomplish our clients’ organizational development objectives. One of our clients has recently asked for GBC to help in the interviewing and hiring process for a sales position that is open within their company. We used a process similar to the thoughts and ideas of Mr. Branson; reviewing the candidate’s resumes; looking at their experiences and how they relate to the open position.