Most companies have a phrase to capture cultural fit, such as “no jerks policy”, “no egos”, “no a**hole policy” etc. and as crude as they sound they are very subjective and typically administered on gut feel. For such a subjective judgment call that’s critical to every hire, how do organisations apply this consistently? Here are three key principles to selecting talent for cultural fit;
1. Understand the Authenticity of Culture
Culture is the collective behaviours in the organisation, influenced by beliefs and practices. It’s the heartbeat and pulse of the organisation which ebbs and flows as the personality and character of people change. It is organic and blossoms from the people in the organisation.
It can’t be forced – it needs to be authentic as Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh recently discovered when he introduced a new way of working to his organisation. The e-tailer bought by Amazon for $1.2bn in 2002 has long been admired for its unique culture, so much so that Hsieh penned a book on it called “Delivering Happiness” which has established him as an international guru on the topic. On March 24, 1,500 or so Zappos employees got a memo from Tony concerning their transition to a new way of working called “Holacracy” (a manager-free operating structure that is composed, in theory, of equally privileged employees working in task-specific circles, often overlapping).
Hsieh began experimenting with Holacracy in 2013 as a way of maintaining Zappos’ lauded employee-centric environment as it continued to grow. On April 30th 2015, he offered an ultimatum: embrace self-management or we’ll give you a three-month severance package to leave. By May, 210 Zappos employees, or 14% of the company, had taken the offer. Although the jury is out on Holocracy, it was a costly lesson to learn (even for a guru) that culture can’t be forced – it needs to be authentic. The clearer it is defined, the easier it is to select for.
2. Values Have Value if they are Truly Valued and…Indicated
If culture is the result of behaviours, what guides behaviours? Values alone won’t guide behaviours. Integrity, Communication, Respect, Excellence hung in the boardroom of Enron before its infamous collapse! Clearly defining indicators of values is what guides behaviour. Take Hubspot for example, who used one key guiding value, to scale from an MIT spin out to a $billion valuation in 2015, which was “use good judgment”. Understanding that peoples judgment varies, they gave a clear indicators of what they mean to act as a beacon around behaviours asking employees to remember the following hierarchy when making a decision: How does your decision positively impact (1) the customer (2) the company (3) your team and (4) you. Clear indicators align behaviour! Identify indicators of values and assess against the indicators.
3. Purpose Beyond Task
Dan Pink emphasized the importance of purpose when he wrote about what motivates people to do their best work through his “Motivation Trifecta”: Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose! Author of the “Little Prince”, Antoine De Saint Exipery once wrote: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
Culture is sometimes a blend of what you are and what you aspire to be as an organisation. If you clearly understand what you aspire to be, there is a point where your value indicators and purpose meet and this is where authentic values meet purpose! Probe candidates impact on values that align with purpose beyond task. Look for points in their career where they influenced the dynamic of a team through reflecting values with a true sense of purpose.
Call it what you like, apply consistently and never compromise on cultural fit.
Posted by Julia Purcell, Marketing & Communications Manager on 7 December 2017
What’s The Cost Of A Bad Hire?
What’s The Cost Of A Bad Hire?
€13,100. Yes, seriously. A 2018 survey by Adare Human Resource Management estimates this to be the average price tag on a botched recruitment process in Ireland – and it’s only set to increase. With Irish business’s annual turnover exceeding the European average of 7.4% with a whopping 11%, and unemployment levels dropping to the lowest in a decade at 5.4%, it’s a jobseeker’s market and the pressure is on for companies to secure the best applicants in the shortest amount of time. It’s therefore impossible to overstate the financial benefits of using a recruiter to streamline the hiring process. Time is of the essence The longer a job vacancy remains open, the costlier it will be. The company is losing revenue every day that position remains unfilled. It is possible to work out roughly how much an open role costs a business using formula such as these. Recruiters work fast. They understand the interest in filling the vacancy as quickly as possible and act with a brisk efficiency enabled by years of practice in this specific field. Using a recruiter reduces the time it takes to find the candidate right for a position. Find the hidden gems It is getting increasingly competitive to secure strong applicants who are fielding rival offers from multiple companies, due to the aforementioned high turnover and low unemployment rates. However, using a recruiter taps into a category of contenders invisible to the untrained eye – passive candidates. Skilled workers who are not actively searching for a new job could be ideal applicants for a posting. According to a 2015 LinkedIn report, 70% of workers are not currently seeking a new job. Recruiters know how to seek these people out, widening the talent pool into a talent ocean! Save on Training A 2017 survey revealed that, on average, American businesses spend $1,886 training each new employee. Recruiters advise companies to hire candidates with the most experience and prior training available, reducing the amount businesses then have to spend on training them. Avoid a Bad Hire When you’re losing out on revenue each day from an empty position, it can be tempting to fill it as soon as possible with a candidate who may or may not be suitable for the role. However, that €13,100 figure is a strong argument for utilising all resources available to you to ensure that you select the right candidate – such as using a recruiter to streamline and advise your search.
How to Look After Your Mental Health in the Workplace
How to Look After Your Mental Health in the Workplace
“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increase the burden: It is easier to say "My tooth is aching" than to say "My heart is broken".” – C.S. Lewis The month of May marks Mental Health Awareness Month around the world – a time for highlighting the key battles we have yet to fight in the war against the stigmatisation of mental health issues. A recent study by VHI revealed that almost 70% of Irish corporate employees admit to needing to look after their mental wellness more effectively, and 1 in 5 have missed work due to anxiety, depression or stress in the past year. It is always advisable to seek the advice of a professional if you have concerns about your mental health. However, there are small, yet effective, measures you can take to improve your wellbeing in the workplace that can spread into your personal life in a positive, affirming way. Work/Life Balance Sir Ken Robinson noted in his keynote speech at Sigmar’s Talent Summit 2018 that, although the invention of emails was promised to save us time, we have since found that, if anything, we are less and less able to leave work behind in the workplace. It is now part of most people’s routines to check their phones first thing in the morning and reply to work-related emails before leaving home, always thinking about what needs to be done that day. It’s important that you ‘work smart, not long.’ This means actively leaving work behind in the office, working efficiently during the day so you don’t feel compelled to continue with it after hours. If the quantity of work you are being expected to complete within working hours is too much to do so successfully, be sure to speak up and discuss the manageability of your workload with your supervisor. Communication is key – they’re going to keep piling on the work as long you stay quiet about how overwhelmed you are, so make sure you speak up and be heard before it becomes too much to handle. Employers won’t know where the pressure lies unless you tell them. If you’re unsure of how much your work life spills over into your personal life, why don’t you try keeping a log for a month? Jot down in a diary how many hours you work every day – not just when you’re sitting at your desk, but when you’re thinking about work at home, composing emails and returning calls out of hours. It may build a more objectively troubling picture than you can see currently from the inside. Make The Most Of Your Breaks Don’t be afraid to make the most of the breaks you are allotted at work. Once you’re on a roll, it’s tempting to power through lunchtime and eat at your desk, one eye always on your computer screen. Try and avoid doing this when you can. Take a walk, practise mindfulness or meditation, experience new places to eat, socialise with co-workers or friends who work nearby. “But I don’t have time to meditate!” I hear you exclaim. Yes, you do! ‘Meditation’ is not always synonymous with pulling on yoga pants, lighting up a stick of incense and adopting the lotus position. You can meditate absolutely anywhere – in a local park, at a café…even sitting at your desk! If you’re not confident leading your own meditation, you can find five-minute guided sessions free online, like this one here. There are also some great customisable apps you can get on your phone, such as Timer and Headspace. It is impossible to overvalue the importance of taking time to relax, clear your head and focus on your own wellbeing. You’ll find this re-energises you for the day ahead, as well as provide an invaluable opportunity to assess your current state of mind and mentally address any emotional concerns or anxieties. You may also be pleasantly surprised at how easily solutions pop into your head when you take just a few minutes to collect your thoughts. Communication This one works both ways for employers as well as employees. Communication is the key to destigmatising conversations about mental health. In his TEDx talk on workplace mental health, Tom Oxley says ‘you don’t make people unwell by talking about mental health – you give them the opportunity to speak out sooner’. There’s a flawed unspoken terror that speaking out about mental illness will somehow worsen the problem, as if it’s contagious or something you can conjure up into existence within your own mind. The reality is that many sufferers don’t feel able to speak up due to the prejudice surrounding their condition, and the fear that their workplace would not be supportive of them if they did so. The best way an employer can foster an atmosphere of positivity, health and wellbeing is to ensure that their workers know that they are free to talk openly about any feelings of stress, anxiety or depression and won’t face indirect penalisation for doing so. The first reaction of many employers is to offer a struggling staff member limited time off to recover, then expect them to return to work and continue as usual. While time off may be a solution for some employees, bosses should also consider the advantages of offering flexible working hours to affected workers. Tom Oxley strongly advocates for good communication practices between employers and employees to ensure that no one ever feels alienated from their place of work, and that anxieties don’t build up over time into uncontrollable crises. In turn, employees should communicate to their employers about their feelings on mental health in the workplace, as far as they feel comfortable to do so. Being transparent about how you’re feeling and what you need from your job to help you recover will give your boss the tools to help you in the way that’s most beneficial for you. If you are worried that taking time off would only serve to isolate you from the company, voice that concern. Your employer should want to get the very best out of you – they hired you for a reason. It’s in their interest to give you the support you need. Create a healthy routine Studies have consistently proven a strong link between mental health and physical health, and specialists are adamant that one of the best ways to maintain good mental wellbeing is to look after your physical welfare. Your job may be intellectually demanding, with long hours and difficult tasks you have to tackle each day, taking a toll on your mental health. This also likely means your job is sedentary. Indeed, scientists have connected the rise in global obesity to the increasing number of jobs that don’t require any form of physical activity. You may be hard pressed to find the time to exercise during a busy work week, but it’s important you look after your body – it will only beneficially impact your mental wellbeing. Take a stroll during your lunchbreak, do 30 mins of yoga before work, or even try training for a half marathon over the course of a few months. Be sure to stock up your desk drawer with nutritious snacks rather than sugary ones, such as nuts, fruit and protein bars. Snacknation has published an extensive list of delicious office snack ideas if you’re dry on inspiration. These are just a few ways you can work to ensure your mental wellbeing in the workplace, which will in turn hopefully boost your productivity, energy and, ultimately, happiness. While mental health is something we can’t always necessarily control, we can impact the way in which we talk about it, breaking down the harmful social barriers that currently thwart constructive discussions on preventative measures.
7 Leaderships Styles – What Game of Thrones Leader are you?
7 Leaderships Styles – What Game of Thrones Leader are you?
The fantasy medieval HBO series, Game of Thrones has become well known for its controversial themes. Kings, queens, knights and rebels all play a deadly game to gain control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and sit upon the Iron Throne. 8 years later and it's safe to say the series would be nothing without its leaders and just like the real world, these leaders come in all shapes and sizes. We have listed 7 different leadership styles portrayed in Game of Thrones. Are you any of these leaders? If not, maybe you’ve worked with one? Maybe you know a Cersei or a Jon Snow? Autocratic Leadership An autocratic leader is one who dictates all policies and procedures. Employees and team members have no say whatsoever in how things are done and are expected to follow the command and control of the leader. Cersei Lannister would be classed as this type of leader. She decides the rules and demands that everyone follow her ways. via GIPHY Democratic Leadership This type of leader is one that takes on board what other people have to say. A democratic leader allows and even encourages others to participate in decision making. Davos Seaworth is this kind of leader. He displays effective listening and sharing. He is also great at building teams which can be seen in his collaboration with Jon Snow (or Aegon Targaryen). via GIPHY Coaching Leadership This leadership style is about helping others to improve themselves and achieve their goals. They are there to provide guidance and counsel. This leadership style can only work if the follower is open to being advised. This style can be seen between Tyrion Lannister and his relationship with Daenerys Targaryen. He provides her with knowledge and guidance when she seeks it. He is well respected, and his advice is highly regarded. via GIPHY Charismatic Leadership A charismatic leader is one often adored by their followers. Their undoubtable charisma and personality may lead people to follow their every word. They can be sometimes viewed as manipulative because their intentions may be often self-focused. Jamie Lannister portrays this style of leadership. His family name automatically gave him status, however his charm, fighting ability and good looks made him a charismatic leader. via GIPHY Transformational Leadership Transformational leadership is where a leader works with teams to identify a change that is needed, creates a vision and then guides their followers by inspiring them. This can be no one other than Daenerys Targaryen. On her relentless mission to rule the seven kingdoms, she uprooted long standing and outdated traditions to achieve her vision of a just and fair world for all. She freed slaves in Astapor, Yunkai and Mareen, freeing all unsullied while gaining their allegiance. via GIPHY Laissez-Faire Leadership This leadership style gives employees complete free reign with little or no supervision. This is very like Sansa Stark’s leadership style in season 7 when she ruled the North in Jon Snow’s absence. Sansa was preoccupied with her reuniting her divided Stark family while keeping a close eye on the cunning Littlefinger. Sansa did very little of her own ruling, seeking refuge in John’s commands. via GIPHY Affiliative Leadership An affiliative leader promotes harmony among his or her followers and helps to resolve any conflict. This type of leader will also build teams and ensure their followers feel connected to one other. John Snow encapsulates this form of leadership. He created once unthinkable alliances putting himself in the firing line to ensure all conflict was resolved. John’s only concern is others and he does his best for everyone while ensuring everything is communicated correctly so everyone understands his rulings and makes sure they feel heard. via GIPHY Let us know what leaders you've come across in your working life.
Talent solutions really is an exciting place to be right now
Talent solutions really is an exciting place to be right now
Taken from Silicon Republic Leaders’ Insights, Sigmar’s Adrian McGennis discusses building a brand overseas and why a ‘land and expand’ model isn’t always the best option. Adrian McGennis is CEO and co-founder at Irish recruitment company Sigmar. Prior to Sigmar, McGennis was managing director with Marlborough and he has been involved in two successful IPOs. He holds a degree in engineering from University College Dublin and has garnered several postgraduate management awards. Founded in 2002, Sigmar has been named as a Best Managed Company by Deloitte for the past three years. Last August it opened a new European talent hub in Co Kerry as it announced plans to create 50 roles. Describe your role and what you do. As part of a team to grow a meaningful, profitable, worthy business and enjoy the experience – this involves developing people in a positive, learning, achieving culture. As well as building great relationships with clients and candidates, we are passionate about contributing to community. How do you prioritise and organise your working life? At all levels we have really great teams at Sigmar, so we get a strong buy-in to the company goals. This will be the basis of prioritisation. Maintaining the culture is the basis for values and growth, so spend a lot of time with colleagues and customers. Thankfully, our partnership with Groupe Adéquat has been very positive and they are like-minded in values, so prioritisation and organisation haven’t changed much. What are the biggest challenges facing your sector and how are you tackling them? Having enjoyed 10 years of strong growth, the potential for economic uncertainty could present a challenge. We are talking with clients more and have the scale and agility to provide flexible solutions for them. Thankfully, we have been innovative in using technology, but we need to be constantly aware of optimising our offering utilising better communication, AI, analytics etc. What are the key sector opportunities you’re capitalising on? We are very positive on the sector, but the rate of change is increasing. We see, therefore, new opportunities in managed services, new sectors, onsite staffing, statement of work etc. Our new model based in Tralee, servicing the IT market in Germany, is working and scaling really well and forms the basis of expanding into new European and US markets. Talent solutions really is an exciting place to be right now. What set you on the road to where you are now? When we completed our MBO in 2009, many of the team were involved. We had ambitions to develop a commercially strong business (which has been successful), but also to build a great Irish business which would be recognised internationally. Innovations like the Talent Summit, Ireland Gateway to Europe and National Employment Week have helped position ourselves to achieve both these goals. What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it? We did underestimate the importance of brand when expanding overseas in 2005/2006. Some of our overseas operations did create impact, but with limited resources it was a challenge to develop deep routes through a ‘land and expand’ model. Now, we are successfully servicing clients and developing relationships in overseas locations before opening a significant office. How do you get the best out of your team? The quality and commitment of the team is high so, really, allow them to do their job! We encourage risk and learn from any failures. We do have strong respect and equally celebrate success. From day one we all agreed to our culture/values, so anyone joining Sigmar is clear on where we are going and, hopefully, how to get there. What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it? We did underestimate the importance of brand when expanding overseas in 2005/2006. Some of our overseas operations did create impact, but with limited resources it was a challenge to develop deep routes through a ‘land and expand’ model. Now, we are successfully servicing clients and developing relationships in overseas locations before opening a significant office. How do you get the best out of your team? The quality and commitment of the team is high so, really, allow them to do their job! We encourage risk and learn from any failures. We do have strong respect and equally celebrate success. From day one we all agreed to our culture/values, so anyone joining Sigmar is clear on where we are going and, hopefully, how to get there. STEM sectors receive a lot of criticism for a lack of diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity and other demographics. Have you noticed a diversity problem in your sector? What are your thoughts on this and what’s needed to be more inclusive? When I did engineering (a long time ago!), in a class of 250 there were maybe 10 girls, so we’ve improved a bit since then. I do think ongoing positive discussions have helped and will continue to redress the gender balance. We have hosted a few events on diversity and specifically gender balance, and I believe an honest dialogue is required to actually make real change. I believe most people agree where we want to get to, but healthy, honest conversations and listening are required to get us there. As it goes, the recruitment sector has been very inclusive and probably really embraces diversity better than most, maybe because it is a relatively new sector or it’s a meritocracy. Who is your role model and why? If I had to choose a role model right now, it would honestly be Joe Schmidt. I’ve heard a few current and ex-players speaking recently and they are 100pc clear on the objectives and plans. He also seems to instil authenticity, and even humility, into high performance. The analytics, data recording/management, team building, results focus are all very impressive, but the simple imparting a message to ‘do your job’ really works and seemed to be enjoyed. What books have you read that you would recommend? I liked Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Didn’t necessarily agree with all his theories, but does make one think. I was recommended Legacy by James Kerr, and I have to say it does simply articulate the collective belief in high standards exhibited by the All Blacks. I am now recommending it to some of our teams to read/review/implement. What are the essential tools and resources that get you through the working week? Phones, a computer and coffee are all good – oh, and a pint on Friday evening. We do use various tools to gather regular data across the company which is important, but I feel equally important is to speak with people about what we need to do as a result of the data.y to Europe and National Employment Week have helped position ourselves to achieve both these goals.