How do you hire peo­ple who fit your com­pany cul­ture?

Cap­i­tal Ideas mem­bers dish on find­ing the right em­ploy­ees

Edmonton Journal - - CAPITAL IDEAS -

“To fit my com­pany cul­ture, the best hire is one who shares my vi­sion and mis­sion, holds qual­i­ties I don’t pos­sess, and brings a lot more to the ta­ble. The most im­por­tant qual­ity I look for is not be­ing all about the pay cheque, but lov­ing the job and what you do.” — Mar­garet Adu, pres­i­dent and di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions at Aomega Lodges (aomega­

“We look for tal­ent that shares our val­ues and then find out how they can con­trib­ute to them. We be­lieve it’s also very im­por­tant to give can­di­dates a re­al­is­tic job pre­view of what it’s re­ally like to work with us by giv­ing them a tour of their po­ten­tial work space and hav­ing them meet and in­ter­act with some of the mem­bers of our team in our en­vi­ron­ment.” — Brandi Bartlett, di­rec­tor of hu­man re­sources at Quer­cus So­lu­tions (quer­cus­so­lu­

“As well as us­ing our gut in­stinct, we com­pare our com­pany val­ues with the po­ten­tial em­ployee dur­ing an in­ter­view to de­ter­mine whether this would be a good fit for us and for them.” — Eric Brouet, con­trol cen­tre man­ager at Savvia Inc. (

“Once a can­di­date is deemed a great fit tech­ni­cally and pro­fes­sion­ally, the fi­nal step of the DevFacto hir­ing process in­volves a group din­ing room in­ter­view to as­sess cul­tural fit… Since the ma­jor­ity of what we do is team­work, the feed­back from our em­ploy­ees on each can­di­date is heav­ily weighted in the fi­nal de­ci­sion to hire.” — Laura Brown­ing, mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist at DevFacto Tech­nolo­gies (

“It’s im­por­tant to first be clear on what my com­pany does, why it does it and how it does it. Next, cre­ate the pro­file of what char­ac­ter, com­pe­tency and chem­istry is needed in that per­son. De­ter­mine the best mes­sage to at­tract such a per­son and get it out there… Al­ways re­mem­ber, fit is key; there­fore, go for fit over func­tion ev­ery time. Hire slow, fire fast. Pro­tect your cul­ture.” — Colin Chris­tensen, prin­ci­pal at SiGNA Strat­egy and Con­sult­ing (col­inchris­

“It’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to un­der­stand your cul­ture and know if their val­ues are well suited to your or­ga­ni­za­tion. We clearly iden­tify with and live by our or­ga­ni­za­tion’s val­ues, which we find has helped us at­tract sim­i­lar clients and staff.” — Michelle Devlin, co-owner of Cre­at­ing Peo­ple Power (cre­at­ing­peo­ple­

“Find­ing a suit­able em­ployee is not sim­ply about ad­e­quate per­for­mance. It in­volves se­lect­ing a can­di­date who also up­holds the care­fully fos­tered or­ga­ni­za­tional cli­mate. An em­ployee that doesn’t quite gel can be detri­men­tal to th­ese ef­forts and can in some cases equate to dam­ag­ing tox­i­c­ity in the work­place. To avoid this, [we] use time-sav­ing and ob­jec­tive per­son­al­ity as­sess­ments that mea­sure a can­di­date’s or­ga­ni­za­tional val­ues early in the se­lec­tion process.” — Mark Fizsim­mons, pres­i­dent of Psy­cho­met­rics Canada (psy­cho­met­

“We con­duct a thor­ough in­ter­view to get to know the per­son first, then look at their ed­u­ca­tion and work ex­pe­ri­ence. They must… have the abil­ity to rep­re­sent our com­pany’s vi­sion and mis­sion state­ments in all as­pects.” — Daniela Grande-Koren, owner of Silky Skin Laser and Es­thet­ics Cen­tre (silkyskin­ “I am such a big be­liever in gut feel­ings. Usu­ally af­ter an in­ter­view you have a good idea as to if that in­di­vid­ual will be a fit in your cul­ture. I al­ways say hire for at­ti­tude and train for abil­ity.” — Alyson Hod­son, part­ner and di­rec­tor of client ser­vices at Zag Cre­ative Group (za­gcre­ative­

“You have to know what your cul­ture is be­fore you can hire peo­ple that fit it. Take time to put your val­ues on pa­per be­fore you hire. You may feel the pain of not hav­ing some­one do­ing the work, but the pain of the wrong per­son on your team is worse than work­ing 12 hour days.” — Don­loree Hoff­man, founder of Don­loree Hoff­man Con­sult­ing (don­

“I ask the can­di­date how they would re­spond in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions. I also spend time fig­ur­ing out what that per­son’s drive is for be­ing em­ployed with me.” — Kevin MacDon­ald, sound­ing board at PU Tech­nolo­gies Inc. (putech­nolo­

“Post your core val­ues state­ment in your ad and give them the op­tion to take one of the core val­ues and share a story about how that core value has im­pacted their life. If they don’t an­swer the ques­tion, you don’t in­ter­view them, and the ones that do, you read it over care­fully and see if the way they an­swered fits within your cul­ture.” — Lau­rie McNaughton, coach at Ac­tionCOACH Busi­ness Coach­ing (ac­­riem­c­naughton)

“We en­sure mul­ti­ple, non-tra­di­tional in­ter­views with dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tional lev­els and roles, set­ting a tone to al­low for the real per­son to ex­press them­selves, div­ing deep into back­ground checks that in­clude cul­tural com­po­nents, and us­ing be­hav­ioral in­ter­view­ing where pos­si­ble. Cul­ture is the hard­est to pre­dict but the eas­i­est to as­sess once the em­ployee is in the or­ga­ni­za­tion. When a sig­nif­i­cant lack of fit is dis­cov­ered, the next best ad­vice is to make the exit as swift as pos­si­ble.” — Dar­ryl Moore, vice-pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing at Ex­ecu­trade (ex­ecu­

“In the de­sign busi­ness, my in­terns are a God­send. Aside from the key at­tributes of mo­ti­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity, I’m look­ing for some­one who al­ready thinks they are a team player. You quickly dis­cern those who will for­ever be in­de­pen­dent within your frame­work and those who view your busi­ness as a part of their lives. Since cre­ativ­ity and pro­duc­tion are in­te­grated at Todoruk De­signs, mesh­ing quickly within our model is para­mount with the stu­dio sched­ule. I’m priv­i­leged to gain ac­cess to fresh tal­ent and ob­serve their in­ter­ac­tion with clients and their abil­ity to nav­i­gate their skills out­side of the class­room.” — Kath­leen Todoruk, owner of Todoruk De­signs (

“I have my team in­ter­view the can­di­date as a fi­nal step in the in­ter­view­ing process. This is usu­ally done at a pub in a so­cial set­ting.” — Cather­ine Vu, chief up­time of­fi­cer at Proac­tive IT (proac­

“You bench­mark the job by clar­i­fy­ing key ac­count­abil­i­ties, be­hav­iours, mo­ti­va­tors, acu­men and com­pe­ten­cies that will be re­quired. Then you match the tal­ent us­ing as­sess­ment tools that will help you find the right per­son who fits your cul­ture. This takes away bias on hir­ing and gives you writ­ten clar­ity as to who will best fit your cul­ture.” — Con­nie Warner, pres­i­dent of Na­tional Qual­ity Train­ing Group Inc. (launch­in­glead­


Shelly Bar­less of Dust Queen Maid Ser­vice (dustqueen. com) says it’s all about shar­ing core val­ues with prospec­tive em­ploy­ees. “This, along with the po­si­tion be­ing the right fit, will re­sult in em­ploy­ees be­ing en­gaged and com­mit­ted to the com­pany...

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