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Rory Brown, Managing Partner of NB & Co., Talks Hiring in The New Year 

Professionals are often tasked with finding the right employees to fill key positions. This begs the question: should you hire for personality/fit, experience, or a particular talent? 

Valuing Employees Through Workplace Culture The purpose behind this shift is competition has increased. Businesses have discovered one of the biggest contributing factors is having a successful workplace environment. This successful work environment is not so much the result of hiring the strongest, most skilled, and most talented individuals, but by finding the potential employees that are a right fit for your workplace culture. Focus on culture because technological advancements can improve your employee’s skills faster than ever before. 

Understanding the 21st Century Employee Workforce The four 21st Century skills identified as key components for modern employees include: communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Nothing in there mentions skills, specifically. These four characteristics are powerful initiators for success, both on the lower and upper levels of industry. 

Communication and Collaboration: Can your employees work together? Let’s focus on Collaboration and Communication. It’s easy to understand why personality selection becomes so critical. A group of employees who get along, fit together well, and have compatible personality traits will have an easier and more enjoyable time finding ways to collaborate and will communicate with ease. The conversation will flow so that productivity will flow, and success will follow. It’s easier to train employees to use a program than it is to train them to collaborate with clashing personality types. Forced communication can even be counterproductive when those individuals don’t have the culture and dynamics that are needed for them to find success. When they work well together and can function effectively as a team, success comes more readily. 

Creativity and Critical Thinking: What does your employee bring to the table? The third 21st Century skill, Creativity, is also a trait that is inherent; although an individual’s creativity levels can grow and develop, it’s not necessarily a skill that can be taught. Creativity comes from their personality. You want employees that are resourceful, innovative, and inspired. When you hire creative individuals, who will bring forth unique ideas, it promotes confidence in them and their ideas and encourages them to find greater success for you in your business or industry. 

Critical Thinking, the last 21st Century skill, is also a trait that is more inherent than it is a trained talent. Employees who can problem‐solve and think on the fly are becoming more invaluable by the day. Having a strong group of individuals who are able to utilize these four skills, are a large part of what creates the culture at the workplace they are provided with. 

Embracing Workplace Culture You can train your employees to use various programs, encourage them to implement various technological advancements, and send them to seminars to teach them the skills they need to improve. However, you can’t train them to have a desired personality. When you hire people and establish a sought‐after environment that focuses on the team as a whole, you’re going to find the benefits have a significant impact in multiple areas. An added benefit is that It will eliminate the potential need for conflict resolution as the result of clashing personalities. 

All companies have a different culture. The goal is to develop the culture you want and then hire to fit that culture. It promotes confidence in employees, respect amongst peers, and generates a stronger sense of teamwork for the overall good of the company.