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Hiring the right person is more than just important; it’s critical to the success of your entire team. Of course, it’s imperative to interview qualified candidates who tick the boxes of experience and skillsets required—you will need them to actually complete given tasks and duties. However, given the high cost of hiring and onboarding, there is a lot to consider during and after the interview and hiring process if you hope to make the right hire and create a healthy, lasting relationship.


An applicant’s experience counts for a lot. Have they worked in or studied the same or a similar industry? Do they understand and know how to perform the various functions of the role? A candidate might retain experience, skills or passions that could transfer well into a role or even enhance the role in new ways. However, as you select those for interview, just how insightful are those bulleted lists of experience on their resumés?

Surprisingly, a recent hiring study at Florida State University (FSU) found no significant correlation between an employee’s prior work experience and his or her performance in a new organization. So how is this possible? How can people with pertinent experience not outperform those without it? “…prehire experience isn’t a measure of behavior,” stated Chad H. Van Iddekinge, a professor at FSU. “The person might have failed or stagnated in previous jobs. So we should take experience into account but maybe do a better job of delving into prehire performance.”

Performance and Personality

When pouring over candidates’ resumes and choosing which ones could be the right hire, experience and skills undoubtedly lead in informing the process. But once applicants are face-to-face (in-person or on-screen), the dance of digging into behaviors and assessing personality traits can shed light on prior and future performance capabilities.

Asking situational and past-behavior questions can help you measure agreeableness or conscientiousness, according to a LinkedIn piece by Ji-A Min, Senior Organizational Development Consultant with Intact. Once a personality profile takes shape, the person to manage the role should take stock of how that candidate might mesh with their own leadership style. Do communication styles, expectations, values and character traits align cohesively? If the two personalities seem more like oil and water, consider how the manager might adjust their style to get the most from a promising candidate. If they are not willing to adjust, then reconsider the hire or seek different leadership for the role to ensure the right applicant can excel.

Additionally, integrating a career assessment tool, such as The Birkman Method, can help you and a potential right hire understand their communication style, response to incentives, relationship with authority, reaction to change and triggers for stress. Birkman results give the hiring team a greater understanding of an applicant’s work preferences and communication styles needed for them to be satisfied while performing at a high-level. It unpacks their strengths, measures the intensity of traits, interprets behaviors not personality, and highlights differentiators with practical and actionable insights.

It’s all about doing what you can through the hiring process to assess someone as thoroughly as possible. “It’s not destiny…What we’re trying to do in the hiring context is to make the best guess as to how someone will behave in that job. We’re improving the odds,” said Frederick Morgeson, an organizational psychology expert at Michigan State University.

The critical role of onboarding the right hire

Once the right fit is found and an offer is extended, it’s time to shift focus to the onboarding process. The candidate might be ideal, but without proper engagement upon starting they could easily fail to thrive. The first 90 days are critical to a new employee’s long-term success to ensure they mesh with coworkers, leaders and organizational cultural.

At Crosworks, we facilitate the introduction of new hires into existing team dynamics to enhance communications, reduce conflict and accelerate the learning curve. We focus not only on the hire, but also your leadership and teams, to help everyone understand themselves and each other to foster collaboration and leverage collective strengths. We first understand the hire’s history and new role, provide career assessment, and work with leadership and Human Resources to create a plan for onboarding and integration.

Both your hiring and engagement strategies should consider the skills, interests, needs and expectations of the individual and the dynamics of the team and culture. Through a thorough interview process that assesses personality, behaviors and potential performance, and a thoughtful onboarding approach, the right hire has great promise to remain the right match with your organization for years to come.

To learn more about our proven hiring and onboarding services to support your Human Resources function, please contact us today.

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