Over the last 90 days, I have interviewed about 30 people. Interviewing is super fun to me. I am just generally curious about humans. I love to learn about others and dive into what makes each person unique, yet quirky at the same time. Over the past 15 years, we have worked to refine our interview process by changing the questions we prep ahead of time. We want to make sure to be as thorough as possible while also giving the candidate the REAL information about ourselves and our organization.
We have a specific 5-step process when we interview internal candidates. After a thorough search, we first set up a 15-minute phone interview. This process is very important in this day and age. So many candidates lack phone etiquette skills and this allows us to quickly rule out those who can’t carry on a conversation. Next, we have the candidate come into our office for an in person interview with both of our owners. We go through a series of questions to decipher the habits, regulation, self-awareness and competencies of the potential employee.
At the end of this in-person interview comes a very important piece of the process. We ask the candidate if they have any questions for us. Holding my breath, I am secretly pray that they do. “Please have looked at our website”, I say to myself. “Please ask a question about technology”, I hope. But, every single time in the last year the question is…….
“How is your culture here?”
This question isn’t just asked by Millennials, but a question that every candidate regardless of age, race, gender or social economic background is dying to know. Their questions are not about our benefit packages, not about pay, not about work hours, and not about our community involvement. The thought is always the same…..
Do your employees get along? Do you have a problem with gossip? Will I feel left out as a newcomer? Will you value me as a person?
Peter Drucker made popular the statement “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast” and I would add that it eats lunch and dinner too, so don’t leave it unattended. Most organizations are spending so much time on strategic plans and 3-year goal setting when their culture is just as, if not more important. Culture does not belong in the HR department and it can’t be improved by just having an occasional potluck lunch. It is more than just having a set of values and a vision statement.
Culture takes work. It takes investment. It takes leaders who are committed to creating a happy, healthy workforce.
If your culture is struggling, start today by fostering some intentional conversations. Conversations could help steer your culture to a new place. I would love to provide you with a free online booklet that might could help. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the PDF.