Cultural Fit and New Job Screening Techniques

Employers are actively utilizing technology to screen out job candidates. Many employers are using automated interviews without a live interviewer and personality tests to screen applicants out of consideration before they even get to a live interview. Employee attrition is expensive and many employers are trying to minimize turnover costs. Ensuring a good cultural fit is one essential way to mitigate attrition.

One Des Moines based company is putting their money where their mouth is: Businessolver requires all potential hires to do a web-based interview with pre-selected questions. The candidate records their answers to questions on their laptop or tablet. Human Resources and hiring managers utilize the digital responses to decide if they will move forward to an in-person interview. The intent is to get a good sense of their personality as it relates to company culture, prior to bringing them on site. Businessolver spends a tremendous amount of time screening candidates. They would rather spend time on the front end and have candidates go through several extra steps, than waste money and resources onboarding them and have them not work out.

Many job searchers struggle with the forced and static nature of automated interviews and timed personality exams. I recently read an article in the Des Moines Register about the uncomfortable nature of webcam interviews. In that article, Mike Gremmer a Regional Vice President at Robert Half, stated, “Now what we are seeing is an increase in actual video interviewing over Skype, specifically to narrow down the selection of candidates early in the process. It’s a time saver for both the applicant and the employer. It reduces travel costs for both…” In general, cultural alignment can outweigh intellectual acuity or productivity over the long haul. He went on to say that, “Technically speaking, even if a person can do a good job, it doesn’t mean the person will fit within the environment or the organization.”

I was once told by a colleague that “culture eats strategy for lunch.” I think this statement within the context of the job search is very salient. When it comes to searching for a job, be sure to research not only the company values and mission but also their interview and hiring process. This will save time, energy and heartaches over the long run.

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