It’s a widely known fact that cultural fit and skillsets don’t always go hand in hand. For employers, it’s a very delicate balance that is often overlooked, or at least that’s how recruitment has been approached for a long time.
But candidates can be trained during the onboarding phase, as well as throughout their placement to ensure a healthy balance of company culture, and professional skill. Evidently, company culture isn’t an aspect that is taught in the same way as role-specific capabilities, it’s either there, or it isn’t.
Professional Skills, on the other hand, can be developed over time. Sure, there’s a measure of familiarity and inherent capability that the candidate needs to have before they could qualify for the role. Generally speaking, experience and time within the organization are an important catalyst to get a fresh candidate up to speed on their role and responsibilities.
Recruitment shouldn’t be solely focused on finding all the right skills in one candidate. The focus should instead be on maintaining the balance by onboarding talented and creative people who tick all (or the most critical of) the position’s boxes. These individuals would be highly motivated to learn, prove themselves, and always end up enriching the workplace.
The focus should be on effective onboarding training, as well as transitioning to upskill post-placement training over time.
1- Clear training goals:
This goes without saying, but in order to expect excellence, we need to first teach it. Any candidate that takes his job seriously will pay close attention to what they’re told, shown, and asked to do in the early stages of their placement.
Define exactly what it is you expect them to learn from the training phase, and you can rest assured that they’ll strive to apply it every single time. A very effective way of doing this would be to design a training program for each role you’re recruiting for. Surround the candidate with your management team, allow them to directly orient the training phase for seamless integration into the company.
Most importantly, the core skills that you feel are most relevant to the position should be at the center of your training goals. Onboarding training needs to address the core skills, capabilities and knowledge required to effectively fill a role. Training post-placement should be focused on refining these capabilities and building on them. The goal here is to push the candidate to the top of their sphere, taking a capable employee and making them even better at what they do.
2- The state of the company :
If we want candidates to be the catalysts for actual positive change, they need to be fully aware of the state and direction of the company. A lot of employers choose to keep these cards closely guarded. But in the spirit of creating a ‘team’ rather than a ‘factory’, candidates need to be aware of the current state of the company and its direction in terms of goals, milestones, and so on. This is especially important for collaborative roles to have sight of the bigger picture in their day-to-day activities.
3- The specific roles:
Make sure fresh recruits know exactly who is who. Having a clear idea of what your teammates do, which of them manage which department, and so on, can be an asset for your candidate. Urge your HR department to regularly update and share the company directory. It might not seem very important at first glance, but this is necessary in the case of crisis management and innovative initiatives.
4- Regularly review and improve your training program:
It’s vital to keep track of what’s working and what’s not. Training employees differs from one candidate to another. And coming up with a universal program that fits everyone can be challenging. But this is what trial and error are for, as you learn over time how to design a universal training program that caters to all candidates and still remain company-specific. You can start by asking existing employees where they think they need additional training, which aspects of their roles they felt weren’t as significant during the onboarding phase, and so on.
5- Track & follow up on the candidate’s post-placement performance:
This goes for internal placement and recruitment agencies alike. Interviewing and dropping employees into a position (even with a solid training program) is not enough to consider hiring them a success. HR professionals and recruiters should track new hires for a few months, to ensure that they were both a good cultural fit, and are able to pick up the skills they need to perform well.
To that end, we’ve designed just the tool to suit that purpose. Manatal’s candidate tracking and onboarding feature allows users to keep track of new hires and placements throughout their new experience by adding starting dates, probation periods and end of employment details to their candidate profiles. Our ATS allows you to customize the onboarding milestones to reflect your own process, assessment metrics and follow-up on these placements anywhere, at any time.
Balancing culture and training
Though we all want to find that candidate who’s the perfect balance of cultural fit and available skillsets, the very idea of it is too far fetched. However, we can implement training strategies and candidate onboarding techniques to ensure that company culture and skill training maintain the required balance.