Assessing Cultural Fit When Building Your HCM Consulting Team This Year

In today’s diverse working environments, hiring HCM consultancy employees with the right skills and competencies for your open role is insufficient.

While the abilities and qualifications of your candidates are essential, it’s also crucial to ensure each team member “fits” perfectly with your evolving company culture. After all, hiring candidates with a strong cultural fit means they’re more likely to thrive in your workplace, demonstrate incredible productivity, and stay with your business longer.

Around 80% of recruiters believe culture is crucial to the selection process. However, many companies still struggle to assess candidates for cultural fit.

Here’s how you can infuse the search for cultural fit into your recruitment strategy.

Understanding Cultural Fit: Why is it So Important?

When making hiring decisions, business leaders often focus on potential candidates’ skills and experience. While these factors are important, it’s also crucial to ensure the candidates you hire can conform and adapt to the collective behaviours and core values of your organisation.

Hiring for cultural fit means assessing how well a potential employee is aligned with the culture of your HCM company. Strong cultural fit is essential to both candidates and employers.

Around 77% of respondents in one survey said they consider a company’s culture before applying for a role.

Additional research shows that people who “fit” well into their organisation show higher job satisfaction, engagement, and productivity levels.

Hiring for cultural fit can also improve your chances of retaining crucial talent for longer. Employees who feel comfortable within a company are likelier to remain loyal to that business, even when new roles and opportunities present themselves.

With today’s skill shortages, ensuring cultural fit is crucial to building and maintaining the ideal team.

The Role of Company Culture

Defining your company’s culture is the first step in hiring for cultural fit. The only way to know whether candidates align well with your business processes and values is to articulate the factors that make your business unique.

Your company culture is a collection of organisational factors. It often includes your business goals, mission statement, workplace environment, employee behaviours, and management styles.

An effective company culture outlines how your consultants operate, what they prioritise each day, and their driving values. For instance, leading online prescription glasses company Warby Parker prioritises customer care and empathy.

Zappos, the online footwear vendor champions exceptional service, punctuality, and personalisation. These companies leverage cultural fit assessments in their recruitment process to ensure employees share the same values as their existing team, leading to greater alignment and engagement in the business.

How to Assess Candidates for Cultural Fit

Though assessing candidates for cultural fit might seem simple, it’s often more complex than it appears. Business leaders and hiring managers need to find the right balance between assessing candidates for skills and competencies and examining their values and behaviours.

Here are some ways to ensure you’re hiring candidates with a strong cultural fit.

1.    Convey Company Culture in Hiring Materials

As mentioned above, defining your company culture is the first step in hiring for cultural fit. However, you must also ensure this culture is evident to your HCM candidates. When sourcing new employees, ensure potential applicants can identify your culture in your job descriptions, adverts, and social media posts.

For instance, instead of just listing the skills and credentials you need from an employee in your job descriptions, include insights into the personality traits you’re looking for, such as innovation or adaptability.

  1. Ask Cultural Fit Questions in Interviews

Adding elements to your interviews that help you determine a candidate’s cultural fit is another important step. Competency-based questions, such as “tell me how you handled a challenge in your previous role”, can draw attention to a person’s skills, as well as their thought processes, behaviours, and personality traits.

You can also ask questions that provide a direct insight into a person’s values, such as:

  • What do you like and dislike about working in a team?
  • What are your most significant accomplishments to date?
  • What motivates and engages you most in the workplace?

Use a scorecard to assess each candidate’s responses based on how they align with your business values and priorities.

3.    Allow Candidates to Self-Assess

Hiring for cultural fit isn’t just about finding candidates you believe will thrive in your organisational culture. Ensuring these new hires feel like they’ll fit into your business environment is important.

A good way to help them determine this is to allow them to assess their cultural fit. Give them a chance to observe your teams in action, ask current team members about their roles, and even take personality tests to see how aligned they are with your values.

4.    Train Hiring Staff

Sometimes, hiring managers need additional training to assess candidates for cultural fit to understand which characteristics they should be looking for. Providing extensive training on your company culture and values can help your team members.

Ensure professionals responsible for hiring decisions in your business know how to weigh the value of each characteristic or personality trait in a candidate. Help them to understand when a lack of specific training or credentials can be balanced by the right attitudes or behaviours.

5.    Create a Solid Induction Process

An induction strategy isn’t just a great way to introduce new employees to your workforce; it can also be an excellent way to ensure a strong cultural fit when a new hire joins your consultancy team; and set aside time to introduce them to your company culture and their colleagues.

Walk them through your expectations as a business leader and the processes your team members follow. Answer any questions they might have about your company culture during this process. You may even consider offering candidates a “trial” work period.

Avoiding Bias When Hiring for Cultural Fit

Ensuring your consultants have the right personality traits and values to thrive in your business is crucial. Asking the right questions and collecting the right data about each potential employee will help you hire people most likely to succeed in your industry.

Employees who don’t fit well with their company culture are more likely to quit, be disruptive, or negatively affect the outcome of projects.

However, it’s important to ensure hiring for cultural fit doesn’t lead to biased recruitment decisions. Ensuring a person will fit well with your existing team doesn’t mean hiring people with the same traits and backgrounds as others in your workforce.

It’s still essential to ensure you’re implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion into your hiring process. Avoid confusing personal similarities with cultural fit. Make sure hiring managers identify unconscious bias when making hiring choices.

Find The Right Fit for Your HCMTeam

Hiring for cultural fit is an excellent way to boost your chances of sourcing professionals who will thrive in your business. However, assessing cultural fit isn’t always easy.

You’ll need a strong knowledge of your company’s cultural values and a plan to ensure bias doesn’t harm your hiring decisions. If you’re struggling, the best strategy is to seek the assistance of a recruitment agency.

The right recruitment company can help you understand the characteristics and traits that give an employee the best chance of success in your organisation. Plus, they can assist you in embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion into your hiring decisions.

Staying Motivated in HCM Consultancy: Tips and Strategies

Staying Motivated in HCM Consultancy: Tips and Strategies

Staying motivated in HCM Consultancy is essential to achieve career success. The more motivated you feel in your HCM role, the more likely you are to unlock superior levels of productivity and efficiency. Plus, highly motivated employees are generally more satisfied and fulfilled by their roles.

However, motivation can be difficult to maintain as HCM roles grow more challenging and complex. While the Gallup State Of The Global Workforce Reports 2023 revealed that employee engagement is rising, many employees are still “quiet quitting” due to lacking motivation.

Discovering how to re-ignite and retain high motivation levels could give you a crucial edge in your career, pave the way for progression, and boost your professional brand. Here are some top strategies you can use to find your drive.

Strategy 1: Setting Personal and Professional Goals

Setting clear, achievable goals impacts your motivation and productivity levels as an HCM employee. Several studies show that by setting goals and giving ourselves specific targets to work towards, we boost our chances of achieving what we want.

Goals can even help deter procrastination and enhance your confidence at work. In your career, it’s essential to have short-term and long-term goals that align with your personal and professional aspirations and the broader objectives of the organization you work with.

Set aside time to complete a self-assessment to define what matters most to you in your career and personal life. In the short term, you might want to focus on becoming more efficient at work to complete crucial tasks faster, or you might like to master your influencing and persuasion skills.

In the long term, your goals might be to earn a promotion in your current HCM business or take on specific new responsibilities.

Remember, long-term and short-term; your goals should be “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

For instance, a long-term goal might be:

“Within the next five years, I want to apply for an executive position as [job title]. To do this, I’ll work on developing [specific skills] to show my value to my employer based on the organization/organization’s long-term goals of [target].”

Strategy 2: Seeking Feedback and Growth Opportunities

Feedback is a powerful resource for any tech employee. Negative feedback, as it is often referred to can be hard to hear. It’s more helpful to consider it as “developmental feedback” as it gives you a clear insight into the specific skills or behaviour to improve, which will contribute to you achieving your desired goals.

Several scientific studies show that regular feedback can keep us motivated by showing us our work, efforts, and progress are being recognized. With that in mind, seek feedback from your peers or colleagues in the workplace, your managers, and mentors.

Based on the feedback you get, look for ways to develop yourself consistently and proactively. Formal training, workshops, cross-departmental projects, and more can all give you excellent opportunities to improve your skills and HCM knowledge.

Not only will committing to professional development help you progress towards your goals, but it can also reinvigorate your passion for your role, helping you discover new and exciting parts of your job. Plus, self-development will boost your intrinsic motivation levels by paving the way for career advancement.

Strategy 3: Cultivating a Positive Work Environment

Your work environment can affect your work motivation in various ways. A poor working environment, a competitive or unsupported culture, or a limited focus on employee wellbeing can harm mental and physical health, increase stress levels, and lead to disengagement.

In some cases, a sub-par work environment in the tech industry can result in burnout, causing you to disconnect from your role and feel less passionate about your career. Alternatively, a good working environment and positive company culture drive motivation.

A Harvard Business Review study found an excellent company culture and working environment minimises emotional pressure and inertia while improving “total motivation”.

While your employer is partly responsible for creating a positive work environment for team members, you can help shape the landscape, too. Consider how changes to your workplace or office, your schedule, and your day-to-day use of systems and processes might improve your experience at work.

Present these suggestions to your employer and explain how they might impact motivation for you and your team members. Highlight the value of a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture to business leaders to drive them towards positive changes. For instance, several McKinsey studies show diverse workforces perform better financially.

Strategy 4: Maintaining Work-Life Balance

When striving towards ambitious goals in your tech role, it’s easy to lose track of work-life balance. One study found around 40% of employees neglect crucial aspects of their lives when focusing on work. However, while feeling “committed” to your role is pivotal, looking after your mental and physical health is also vital.

Think about how you can optimize how you balance professional responsibilities with your personal life. Can you set boundaries with your employer and colleagues, such as establishing when you won’t be willing to work overtime or respond to messages outside of office hours?

How can you improve your work-life balance by finding ways to manage your time more effectively so you’re less likely to feel you need to work through lunch breaks or commit to overtime to adhere to employer expectations?

If you feel overly stressed at work or believe your work-life balance is faltering, speak to your manager about your options. Ask whether they can help with more flexible scheduling options or offer access to well-being initiatives.

Strategy 5: Leveraging Mentorship and Networking

Building relationships with peers in the HCM industry is another excellent way to increase motivation. Creating strong connections with your colleagues can help to give you a sense of accountability, reminding you that your performance impacts others.

Your peers can also provide support and guidance when your motivation dips, offering positive feedback or words of encouragement. Networking with professionals in the tech industry also gives you a great way to cultivate your passion for your sector.

You’ll be able to learn about trends and changes in the landscape from other like-minded people and could even attend exciting events and training seminars that nurture your interests.

Working with a mentor is an excellent option to support your continuing development. A mentor can offer advice, make introductions that expand your network and open doors to new opportunities. They will also be an invaluable sounding board when you are experiencing frustration, demotivation, or disengagement.

Strategy 6: Embracing Challenges and Innovation

Finally, one of the best ways to improve your chances of staying motivated in your current role is to continue to develop your mindset. Adopting a “growth mindset“, as pioneered by Carol Dweck, means changing how you think about yourself, your skills, and your failures.

People with a growth mindset are more likely to feel motivated because they see everything as an opportunity to learn, develop, and improve. If you’re constantly looking for ways to enhance your role, you’re more likely to feel passionate and engaged by what you do.

Additionally, a growth mindset means you’re less likely to let failures or mistakes diminish your confidence or motivation. Look for opportunities to nurture your growth mindset by seeking new responsibilities or projects in your tech role to push you out of your comfort zone.

Take advantage of opportunities to explore innovative new solutions and technology in your sector, experiment with creative problem-solving strategies, and see every challenge as exciting. Embracing this mindset will re-ignite your enthusiasm for your role and could help you achieve a wider range of goals.

Staying Motivated in Your HCM Consultancy Role

Maintaining motivation is crucial to staying productive in your HCM role, achieving your professional goals, and unlocking new opportunities. However, motivation can be difficult to preserve, particularly in a challenging working environment.

Regularly reflect on your motivation levels at work, and use the strategies above to re-ignite your drive when it starts to diminish.

Alternatively, if you feel that no matter what you do, you can’t rediscover the motivation you need in your current role, work with a tech recruitment agency to find a new position that aligns with your priorities and strengths.

If you’re looking for help with your recruitment strategy, get in touch by calling James Shenton Managing Partner for Technology on 01580 857179 or send us an email here.

Opus Resourcing recruits world-class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and the US.

Book a Call with James Shenton

5 Ways to Ensure Diversity and Inclusion Whilst Hiring Your HCM Consultants

5 Ways to Ensure Diversity and Inclusion Whilst Hiring HCM Consultants

The importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce has never been greater. Studies demonstrate that diversity in the workplace promotes better business outcomes. Diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors financially and 17% more likely to be innovation leaders.

What’s more, 80% of candidates say they prioritise evidence of inclusion when choosing a new employer. Unfortunately, unconscious bias remains a consistent problem in the recruitment landscape, influencing hiring decisions.

With this in mind, business leaders need a strategy to champion diversity and inclusion with existing employees and when sourcing new candidates.

Here are several ways hiring teams and managers can optimise recruitment for diversity and inclusion.

1.   Create a Diverse Hiring Team

The first step in developing a more diverse and inclusive recruitment strategy is to diversify the people responsible for evaluating your HCM candidates.

Unconscious bias affects all of us, but how it influences our decisions varies depending on our backgrounds and experiences.

Making the recruitment process a collaborative effort, driven by a team of people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, reduces the risk of one set of biases influencing every recruitment choice.

When several individuals are involved in the hiring process, including team leaders and professionals from different departments, people can work together to ensure the focus is on finding the candidate with the right tech skills. There’s less risk of issues like “affinity bias” getting in the way. Plus, we’re more likely to see the biases in others than in ourselves, leading to a higher level of accountability among your group.

A good way to get an edge is to work with a tech recruitment company already trained in diverse recruiting to guide your process.

2.   Develop Inclusive Job Descriptions

Inclusive job descriptions are essential to capturing the attention of a diverse range of candidates. Yet research from the CIPD, a respected body in the U.K., shows less than a fifth of employers make efforts to remove bias from job adverts and descriptions. In a competitive talent landscape, it’s common for business leaders to use eye-catching and flowery language to engage potential employees.

However, some of this language can unintentionally show bias. For instance, certain terms like “decisive” and “ambitious” are seen as stereotypically masculine, while others like “compassionate” can be seen as feminine.

There are even terms in HCM job descriptions that can show a preference for a candidate of a specific age, such as “young go-getter” or “industry veteran”.

Carefully assess your job descriptions to find words associated with identity-based stereotypes using online language decoders or working with your recruitment or search partner.

Focus on highlighting the skills, competencies, and qualifications required for a role rather than highlighting desired traits.

Additionally, ensure your HCM consultancy job descriptions highlight your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by drawing attention to your versatile culture.

3.   Implement Blind CV Screening

As we have already mentioned, unconscious bias is a persistent issue that’s difficult to overcome in any recruitment process. According to Harvard Business Review, up to 97% of hiring managers still say they rely on intuition or gut instinct when evaluating a candidate.

Unfortunately, in the HCM industry, reliance on intuition can allow unconscious bias and preferences to get in the way of intelligent hiring decisions. Blind CV screening can address this problem by removing the unimportant information affecting hiring choices.

Use A.I. technology, or ask your tech recruitment partner to remove personally identifiable information from applications such as names, addresses and photos. This will allow hiring managers to focus their attention on examining the skills and competencies of each applicant rather than homing in on irrelevant factors.

4.   Use Structured Interviews

In recent years, unstructured and informal interviews have become increasingly common. Yet studies show that structured interviews are more effective at helping hiring managers predict their candidates’ potential job performance.

With structured interviews, hiring teams ask candidates a predefined set of questions, chosen based on the recruitment goals of the organisation. Responses are then scored using consistent criteria to help determine the best fit for the role.

For instance, a question could test whether a candidate is aware of the risks involved in a particular process, and then scores could be given for each risk identified. A structured process is an excellent way to ensure every candidate is evaluated fairly. They make it easier for panels to compare candidates using relevant criteria directly.

5.   Offer Diversity Training

Studies indicate around 13 common hiring biases, yet many business leaders aren’t aware of what they are. As a result, creating an inclusive and diverse hiring strategy starts with awareness.

Training your hiring managers and team members on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics can help them identify and mitigate their biases. Educate your team members on the importance of diversity and make it easy for them to understand where biases come from.

For instance, you could provide insights into the origins of confirmation bias, where people often look for evidence to support their assumptions and ignore contradictory information. While it’s important to ensure business leaders and hiring managers access this training, it’s also worth ensuring the same training is available to every team member.

This will help to create a more diverse and inclusive company culture where everyone sees the value of eliminating bias and discrimination.

Bonus Tip: Set Diversity Goals and Metrics

Finally, one additional way to ensure diversity and inclusion throughout your HCM business is to set specific goals. Examine your existing workforce, and ask yourself where to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.

You may decide it’s important to increase the number of women in your management team or ensure you offer employment opportunities to younger and older candidates. A hiring dashboard can give you a better insight into your level of diversity and inclusion and ensure you can measure your progress towards each goal you set.

Identify key metrics to monitor, such as retention rates per group, employee engagement levels, and the number of staff members hired from different backgrounds. Clear goals and metrics will help keep your tech business accountable when implementing D.E.I. strategies.

Transform Your Hiring Process with Diversity and Inclusion

Today’s HCM teams rely on high levels of diversity and inclusion for business success. A more diverse team leads to greater productivity and improves financial performance. At the same time, inclusion paves the way for better employee engagement and retention.

Implementing the abovementioned strategies will ensure you’re widening your talent pool and sourcing professionals from different backgrounds in a skills-short hiring landscape. A tech recruitment agency can also help give you an edge by introducing new and effective ways to eliminate bias from your hiring methods.

If you’re looking for help with your recruitment strategy, get in touch by calling James Shenton Managing Partner for Technology on 01580 857179 or send us an email here.

Opus Resourcing recruits world-class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and the US.

Book a Call with James Shenton

6 Clever Interview Techniques for Screening HCM Consultants

6 Clever Interview Techniques for Screening and Hiring HCM Consultants

1.    Review Your Company Mission and Vision

​Companies with the strongest culture attract and hire the best HCM Consultants; it’s a fact.

Reviewing your company vision and mission might be a case of refreshing your memory of the values and attributes that your business aspires to, but it could also be a case of rewriting them entirely.

Since the pandemic and the shake-up to businesses that this caused, many companies are finding that their mission and vision has changed – is this true in your business?

For example, in some organisations, communication between employees in the form of weekly in-person meetings might have once been an essential part of their business strategy. But since the role of remote working, this is no longer the case.

The first thing to do before the interview process starts is to review your company vision and mission statement for our post-pandemic world.

2.    Get Familiar with the Job description

​In an ideal world, you will have written the job description yourself and inherently understand what you need from your new hire, but this is not always the case.

In larger companies, there can be several people involved in the recruitment process for hiring HCM Consultants, so it is essential that everyone involved is aware of what you are looking for in your new IT role and that this is communicated to candidates at every stage.

Especially now in our ever-changing world, the position that you are hiring for might be an entirely new role for the company – do you know the exact skills and attributes that you are looking for?

3.    Work to a Method

​Interviewing candidates can be an emotionally-charged experience for both the employee and the employer.

Many interviewers by-pass red flags in the interview and go with their ‘gut feeling’ – but this is not the best way to hire the right talent for your business.

For every interview to have the best outcome, you must work to a method and stick to it. This means:​

  • Choose your questions carefully and don’t deviate. You can ask extra questions that might crop up in your mind at the end of the planned questions – this gives all candidates a fair interview.
  • Practice your note-taking – taking accurate notes is an essential quality for all interviewers to have.
  • Use a scale to rate candidate answers – you can give a score out of 10, or use ‘excellent’ to ‘poor’ at the end of each answer to remind you when you are looking back over your notes.

4.    Be Compassionate

​Interviews can be daunting, and this is something that interviewers and hiring managers can become desensitised to, especially if they have a lot of experience conducting interviews.

Showing compassion and consideration instead of the stony managerial tone some interviewers adopt will benefit both the employee and yourself.

Candidates perform much better in interviews when they feel at ease, and so making sure they feel relaxed is a great way of seeing the real candidate and allowing their best self to shine through.

So, don’t be continually testing the candidate or focusing on negativity and flaws to try and catch them out. Keep it positive, even if you plan on asking the dreaded ‘what’s your greatest weakness?’ question (we will look at interview questions in the next section).

Take your time, and allow the candidate to take theirs – allow enough time for a good conversation, don’t aim to get them in and out in 20 minutes.

And finally – smile!

5.    Get Your Questions Right

​There are certain interview question stereotypes, which it is best to avoid if you want better interview outcomes.

There are standard questions that many interviewers ask, such as ‘what will you bring to the role’, ‘tell us what you know about our company’ and of course, ‘what is your greatest weakness’.

But for an outstanding interview, there are some questions to introduce, which can give impressive results.

Try asking the candidate to explain a passion of theirs to you – it can be work-related or not. As this will allow them to demonstrate their communication skills and their passion – it brings them out of their shell and shows you how effective they are at communicating ideas to a layperson.

Another great question right now is to ask how they coped with the Covid-19 crisis, either at home or at work. We all had to make changes to our lives and routines – did they take it in their stride or did they find it hard to adjust quickly to new ways of living and working?

Additionally, aim to curate an interview environment which feels like a conversation rather than an interrogation – this will put candidates at ease and makes the interview experience more pleasant and productive for everyone involved.

6.    Candidate Aftercare

Ensure that you treat each candidate, even unsuccessful ones, as you would treat a customer, even after the interview process is over.

This is a great way of looking after your talent pipeline – candidates who are suitable but unsuccessful on this occasion will be inclined to apply again if they come out of the experience with a positive view of your company.

Respond to candidates in a timely manner – this goes for successful and unsuccessful candidates both during and after the interview process.

Encourage unsuccessful candidates to apply again, and you can even keep in touch on LinkedIn, where you can share information and updates about your business.

As for the successful candidate – congratulations on your new hire; now it’s time to get them onboarded successfully.

Finally

​If you are looking to hire HCM Consultants with SAP SuccessFactors or Workday HCM Cloud skills into your organisation and you need help attracting the right talent – we can help.

For more information on how we can help you recruit the high-performing individuals you need, get in touch with James Shenton on 01580 857179 or email us here.

Book a Call with James Shenton