Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what drives success in the workplace. This 1. I have a comp target that I’m absolutely determined to hit, and answering this question is (I think) the key to hitting said target.started as a question I sought to answer for personal reasons, 1 and later evolved into a query I wanted to solve because the answer makes up the essence of talent management (which is of course a bedrock of the HR profession).
I recently spoke with a senior executive in HR, and he gave me his take on the subject. He told me that he believes top talents are successful largely because of the teams that support them. Or put another way… a talented person can only maximize his or her gifts if surrounded by colleagues that accentuate those gifts while minimizing weaknesses.
This sounds intuitively true, and is a realization that I imagine most HR professionals come to (in some form) eventually in their careers.
But let’s talk practical application – how does an HR pro use this knowledge to identify people who are not only talented but can also mesh effectively with the company culture? After all, an individual that thrives collaborating with large teams can’t maximize his/her skills working for a company that values working independently above all else. Or, using another example, a free spirit is unlikely to thrive in an environment in which conformity is a prerequisite for 2. Personal anecdote: I am not a details person. Building the model? Fine. Doing the data entry and maintenance for the model? Not so fine. There *are* actually some things that I like to get deep, deep into the weeds on, but for the most part once what I’m working on has moved past strategy and the first several levels of implementation I’ve mentally moved on. I have very little patience for administrative/transactional work. I will never refuse to do it (sometimes it simply needs to get done), but I won’t be engaged and there is a good chance there will be mistakes. I’m too bored by it to be any good at it. So if I’m being called on to be the details guy on the team everyone is probably in trouble.success. 2
With that said, screening for cultural fit in an interview is difficult if for no other reason than because a good candidate is putting his/her best foot forward throughout the process. As such, he/she will make him/herself out to be a cultural fit once he/she is aware of what the culture is. Most people don’t grasp the importance of company culture well enough to realize faking fit during an interview is a bad idea, and even when/if they do, they often lack the self awareness to realize the fit isn’t there in instances where they aren’t a match.
Lately I’ve been leaving readers with more questions than answers, but I’m still working through the process of screening for fit myself.
If you succeed in doing this tell me how.
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
If you have questions about something you’ve read here (or simply want to connect) you can reach me at any of the following addresses:
SomethingDifferentHR@gmail.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org