Cinderella is a well-known story, with one of the most popular versions told by the Brothers Grimm in the folk tale collection, Grimms’ Fairy Tales. In the story, Cinderella loses her shoe at a ball when she runs away from the Prince. The next day, the Prince searches the kingdom to find the maiden who fits the shoe.
That’s a great way to recruit and hire employees. The kingdom is your candidate pool, and you are the prince who must search through it to find the candidate who fits your job perfectly, just like the Prince searched for the maiden.
In the folk tale, Cinderella’s stepsisters take drastic steps like cutting off a toe or part of their heel to make the shoe fit.
In real life recruiting, how often do you make adjustments to make the candidate fit, rather than continuing to search until you find someone that fits perfectly?
I see this happen too often, and it’s heartbreaking to watch smart, talented people fail in jobs that just don’t fit their attitudes, mindset, or skills. I see businesses struggle when they fail neglect the importance of recruiting the right people who fit their culture and align with their mission, vision, and values, and possess the training and technical skills they need.
Here are a few recommendations to spark your thinking about how you can incorporate the right fit into your recruiting and hiring process.
- Define Your Purpose
The Prince’s purpose was to find the maiden who fit the shoe because she would bring him love and happiness. Your purpose in recruiting is to find the people who fit your business, bring you the freedom to grow your business, and meet your goals. If you want team members who are committed to your business, you have to show how the work they do fits into the big picture. Give your employees a clear line of sight from their daily work to the end result. This might be your product, service, or even something like making a difference in the lives of people in your community. Give them visuals: charts, graphs, infographics, video, feedback from clients as well as the community, and your competitors.
- Get Clear About Your Needs
A common mistake I see is rushing to hire the first available person in hopes of lightening the load, rather than taking the time to understand your needs and waiting to hire the best available candidate. Often, this approach costs you more time and money than carving out the time to think strategically and waiting to hire the right person. Resist getting caught up in choosing the “best” from the first available. Be patient like the Prince. Keep looking until you find the right fit. It’s better to be understaffed than to have a bad employee who will affect the performance and morale of the rest of your team.
- Include Your Culture
I often see small business owners ignoring their culture in their recruiting process. When you don’t take the time to identify your core values and beliefs, you end up on a hiring roller coaster. You are excited to hire that amazingly talented person and then feel let down when he or she causes problems. You need more than great technical skills. You have to hire for attitude in addition to skill.
Like people, your business has a unique personality or culture. Your business has core values, beliefs, and a unique mission. Your business is different from your competitors’, and when you understand your unique value proposition, you can then use that in your recruiting process to attract people who share your values, beliefs, and mission.
- Be Honest.
Share who you are with your candidates. Give them a realistic picture of what the job entails and what it’s like working at your company. Resist the temptation to omit or gloss over the less attractive parts of the job. Be honest and straightforward. Don’t keep them in the dark. Share results, both successes and failures. Honestly communicate with them so they know how the work they do contributes to the success of your company.
The perfect fit is important to your business’ success, and taking it lightly can be a mistake. I have seen over and over how the wrong fit can have numerous negative impacts on a business. Some of the worst hiring mistakes I’ve seen are when you ignore what is right in front of you. When you know the fit is wrong and you think that you can make it work, the result is horrible for both sides.
Instead, recruit like Prince Charming and avoid problems with productivity, turnover, training costs, and retention of good performers. Do yourself a favor and keep searching until you find the right fit. As we go into the final stages of 2016, resolve to pay more attention to fit.
What would you add to this list? Please share in the comments. In our insightful community, sharing is caring and your insights may be just what someone needs to move forward in their business. If you would like some help, click here for a free consultation with an expert who can guide you through the process of recruiting candidates that fit.