Job fit, company culture, and hiring for success with Sonia Clark
October 17, 2019
Bringing in a new leader to accomplish something that hasn’t been possible internally can lead to a major culture clash. In episode 23 of the Talent Champions podcast, Diana talks with Sonia Clark about how both sides can go into the hiring process with eyes wide open, ensuring the best possible fit and setting the new leader up for success. Sonia’s advice is equally valuable whether you’re interviewing for a new role or recruiting for a high-profile position.
Resources mentioned in the episode
Activity Vector Analysis, a tool for creating behavior profiles that Sonia recommends using with both the candidate and the hiring manager to help assess mutual fit
Kempner Trigo criteria, a structured methodology for making decisions than can be helpful when deciding between job opportunities
“Finding my voice as an Asian American leader meant reconciling two different models of leadership” by Facebook VP of Marketplace Deb Lou in Quartz at Work
Key takeaways from episode 23
Sonia identified three components for assessing job fit: one, does the individual have the skills required to perform the job? Two, how does the person get along with his or her colleagues? And three, does the individual fit into or clash with the organizational culture? All three of those components have to work in order to have a good job fit.
A behavioral profile tool can be used in the interviewing process to identify how the candidate and the manager will work together. Sonia uses one called Activity Vector Analysis. Both the candidate and the manager complete the assessment so that both sides can understand how they’ll work together and need to adapt to each other.
Group interviews are another great tool to help assess job fit when used toward the end of the recruiting process. Ask the candidate to present on a topic related to the role, and have the interviewers prepare questions for the presentation. Not only will you see how the candidate performs, but the candidate gets the opportunity to see how his or her prospective team works together.
When you’re seeking a new role and interviewing with several companies, the Kepner-Tregoe criteria can help you to step back from the emotion of the process and create a numerical comparison of the opportunities in front of you.
When you hear the term change agent, proceed with caution. While a change agent can be a marvelous thing, it also tends to be a red flag that the company has tried, and failed, to accomplish something internally and thinks bringing in an outsider will help overcome the cultural resistance to the change. Sometimes this can work, and other times the new leader is set up for failure.
Personal culture also plays an important role in fit. As you heard on our last episode with Paula Caliguiri, being culturally agile means having the ability to work with people from other cultures.
Sonia pointed out that cultural agility has to go both ways—you need to understand the ways that your culture may be impeding your progress, and the company also needs to understand how your personal culture may run counter to the company culture.