Growth Strategy: Getting the Right People Part #2

In the first post of this series, we answered the question what do you ask a prospective employee to determine if their technical expertise is a match for your organization? Go to our last blog to see the post on this question. 

This week, the experts are responding to the question:  What do you ask a prospective employee to determine if they will be a good fit into your organization’s culture? Since my expertise is in business development, increasing the value of a company and the corporate strategic planning side of a company’s growth strategy, I reached out to three experts to have them weigh in on the question. 

Our experts are: 

Kristie Svetics – Kristie L. Svetics, SPHR, Central Florida HR Manager, Regions Bank, personal banking solutions that simplify your life. 

Robert Newland – President & CEO, Newland Associates, an MBE Certified CPI Partner, providing Recruitment & Talent Management Solutions. 

Kathy Boyd – VP Sales and Marketing, EADs, global leader in defense and aerospace   

Kristie Svetics recommends interviewing on the department floor and/or in the actual environment where the candidate will be working. She says that this provides a realistic job preview for the candidate and gives the company an opportunity to observe how the candidate responds to the work environment, which can help in gauging interest and fit. 

According to Robert Newland, first you need to have a culture. What is a culture, really? He says that a culture is a combination of your mission/vision/values statements and how people “actually” conduct themselves in your organization. 

He also prefers to use a combination of assessment tools, such as the Hogan Suite, to determine personality profiles and potential derailleurs. Based on the results of those profiles, he carefully constructs a behavior-based interview questionnaire. Questions may be different for various candidates, given that he may probe different behaviors, based on the assessment results. 

Kathy Boyd likes to use the interview as an opportunity to dig deeper about the way the candidate does her/his work. She asks about both successful and unsuccessful projects and tries to discern if they are team oriented, how do they interact with management, do they take direction, will they take initiative, and how do they address issues of quality and accountability? 

She says that using the candidate’s past performance is a good indicator of their fit with a culture. Having them describe the best manager they have worked for or the ideal company environment will also provide insights to their fit. 

In Part #3, the experts will answer the question: When you are looking at a resume, what do you find most significant? and also the question When you have employees that have not evolved with the times in the organization, how do you determine whether to eliminate them or try to get them re-aligned?

Dr. Sarah Layton CMC, FIMC is CEO/Managing Partner of Corporate Strategy Institute, specializing in business development, increasing the value of a company and the corporate strategic planning side of the growth strategy equation 

For a free 30 minute consultation (not a sales pitch) with Dr. Sarah Layton on how best to grow your organization, email your request to  

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Posted by Dr. Sarah Layton in Growth, Organizational Strategy, Strategic Planning on July 18, 2013.

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