Cultural Fit and On Boarding

The cost of hiring the wrong executive is tremendously expensive and avoidable. Getting it right matters for everyone. The emotional, physical and financial cost of not doing so has ripple effects for organizations, candidates, team members and families. Yet it still happens.

In my experience it is not a result of having hired a candidate that lacked the skill sets or background needed, nor is it a result of a candidate taking the “wrong” job. What it boils down to is that the person “just didn’t fit in”, “didn’t get along with the team/boss”, didn’t like the organization” or “didn’t understand how we do things around here”. In other words, it was due to a lack of cultural fit or understanding of how the culture worked and what it would take to adapt successfully.

Organizational culture is a result of the values and behaviours that shape an organization. The way people behave towards one another, rules of engagement, how groups interact with each other, with clients, and with external and internal stakeholders.

History has demonstrated that organizations will invest heavily in the hiring or search process for finding the “best”, the “right” people for the job, with the right skill set and experience. And as critical an investment as that is, it doesn’t end there. There needs to be a next step. That next step is to look for cultural fit and how to support the transition from one organization to another. What makes an executive successful in one culture is not necessarily what will make them successful in the next. A high energy, extraverted and persuasive change agent in one organization may have been exactly what the organization needed and therefor seen as a huge success. However, in their new position is quickly seen as brash, pushy and overly aggressive. The person is failing in a matter of months. Questions start being asked: “What happened?” “Their references were so strong”, “The interview went so well,” “They had all the experience we were looking for”.

What happened is the examination of the fit and the bridge that would need to be navigated from one position/organization/culture to another was not given the attention or support it deserved.

I initiate assessments to highlight these considerations. I offer a process that allows insight into what that complement might be and to highlight any risks that you might want to consider or mitigate moving forward. It is about getting a good fit and equally about supporting the transition into the new organization.

I work closely with you to:

·       Gain an understanding of your organizational priorities and the values and behaviours that shape your culture. Every organization is unique and evolving. Where are you today and where are you going?

·       Explore the leadership styles and personal preferences of your candidate(s) Candidates will be interviewed and complete customized questionnaires carefully chosen to raise awareness around their preferred leadership styles, personal and interpersonal preferences. The ultimate objective is to find the best possible fit for the organization and the candidate of choice.

·       Making informed decisions moving forward. Through discussions with you and any other stakeholders you feel would bring value, informed decisions will be made as to the risks and benefits of potential profiles. The information will also be used to identify areas of support or development that might be required to ease the transition of the candidate in to the organization. It is recommended that this information be provided before the completion of the hiring process so that the information can be used to guide reference checks.

·       On-Boarding Coaching. In order to ease the transition of the successful candidate into their new role, bi-monthly coaching is recommended for the first 8-12 months. The coaching will be aimed at supporting the candidate as they adjust their style and approach to a new environment by highlighting the strengths that will allow them to succeed and adapting any approaches that while successful in other cultures may not be so in the new environment.

Are you interested in knowing more? Let’s chat.

Jennifer MacLeod M.ED.,  mobile: 613 552 6657

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” – Martin Luther King Jr.