Businessman assembling jigsaw puzzle human team employee

Recovery Playbook

your talent challenges have changed

2020 has forced every business to rethink Talent. Talencity’s Talent Recovery Playbook is a resource guide to you in pivoting, shifting or re-inventing your talent strategy.

Each week for 12-weeks, a new resource will be launched.

Interviewing for Alignment

With an effective interview structure, you can fill your company’s gaps and drive growth one hire at a time.

Canada and the United States are among the top five countries with the highest employee turnover rate behind only Australia, France, and the United Kingdom. [1] Hiring and training new employees is time consuming and costly for companies.

High turnover rate can be avoided by strategically conducting your interviews. Interviewing candidates with alignment in mind is the key to a successful relationship between a future employee and your company.

France – 21%
United Kingdom – 17.6%
Australia – 17.5%
Canada – 16%
United States – 13%

Understand the Candidate’s Goals

Do they align with your company goals?

Interviewing with alignment should be goal-oriented. It is valuable to interpret the candidate’s goals and future aspirations with the short and long-term goals of your company. The ideal candidate will have goals that align with those of your company.

Goals. Start by asking candidates about their career goals and their strategic plan to achieve them. Their strategic plan should highlight where they want to go and how they envision getting there. The ideal candidates should describe goals that relate to a career path at your company.

Skills and interests. Ask candidates what they excel at and are passionate about, and what they want to improve upon. Their answers to these questions will help you determine how their skills and interests align with your company’s current and future goals.

Understanding a candidate’s goals, skills, and interests means understanding what can they specifically bring to the position that could benefit your company. The candidate’s goals, skills, and interests should all align where your company is going.

Can the candidate provide value beyond what is on paper?

Did they show this during the interview?

It is important to understand that a successful candidate is not always the most experienced one, rather it can be the candidate with determination, persistence and curiosity. Keep in mind that the ideal candidate for your organization may not be very experienced on paper, but may end up being a strong contender in the interview process.

Look for soft skills instead of experience. It is possible for a candidate to have soft skills that align with your company core values which will set them apart from other candidates. Do not dismiss a candidate if they do not have the right experience (yet). Do they have potential to get there?

There are many instances where a less experienced candidate is the optimal hiring choice.

Soft skills are just as important as hard skills, however they are more difficult to teach. A resilient candidate with great communication skills can be taught hard skills. Always focus on important qualities which cannot be easily taught. Besides enthusiasm and passion, look for: ambition and drive, an aptitude for problem-solving, responsiveness, and a strong sense of teamwork2.

Also, if your company plans on moving in a new direction, a less experienced candidate with fresh and creative ideas is the stronger option. Remember, the strongest fit for the position doesn’t always match the full “job description requirements.”

Ask behavioural questions in an interview

Finding the right candidate is already difficult and to find a candidate that also fits into your company culture is even harder but the final outcome is well worth it. Companies not considering cultural fit may find their employees are quitting or being terminated within a few months. Rehiring and training is not only costly but also decreases employee morale. 3

If a qualified candidate does not fit in with your company culture, it will lead to disengagement. As departments/teams within a company need to “become collaborative and employees need to relate to one another, communicate and work well with each other” 3. A good cultural fit goes beyond working together, the goals of each individual on the team need to align.

The best way to decipher if a candidate will be a good cultural fit is to ask behavioural questions. When you ask open-ended questions, the answer a candidate gives is less important than how they handle the question4. Open-ended questions give you a real understanding of the candidate. Asking them to elaborate will give you a more holistic view. Their answers will reveal their passions, goals and how they overcome challenges, which will help you determine if they align with your company’s mission statement and core values.

Sample Questions to focus on alignment

Question to Ask to Find out the Alignment for
What do you excel at? Current skill set to the position
What are you passionate about? Potential Future Positions / Succession planning
What do you want to improve on? Future potential vs company goals

Final Thought

We have to embrace the notion that remote and/or hybrid teams will be part of the future of work. Many studies suggest that the desire to at least continue working remotely part of the week post-Covid exists. In fact, nearly half of the working adults are even willing to take pay cuts from their salary for more flexibility 5. The best estimate from the Global Workplace Analytics shows that 25-30% of the workforce will continue working at home on a multiple-day-a-week basis by the end of 2021 6.

Remote teams have many benefits – from corporate savings in real estate, to higher productivity, to talent attraction and retention. The key is to ensure that your team has the resources to make it successful while keeping up communication, trust level, and engagement. Adapt your performance management philosophy and leadership style to reap these benefits from remote teams fully!