Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, tesh@shaw.ca

Managing Corporate Culture article series

In my last article, Ensuring the right people are in the right jobs, I listed the three key activities that need to be undertaken to properly screen a candidate for a position in your organization. Before discussing each of these activities you must be sure that that you have completed a description of the position that you are seeking to fill and a profile of the person that would be an ideal fit. To do this:

  1. Prepare a job description for the position
  2. List the key target objectives for this position (now and in the future if you have a three or more year plan)
  3. List the key obstacles that a person in this position is likely to face in achieving these objectives
  4. Prepare a profile of the person that best suits the above including:
    1. Education, training, skill set and experience (including job stability)
    2. Degree of self-motivation, ability to self-manage and problem solve
    3. Fit with desired corporate culture
    4. Emotional intelligence

Here are a few things to remember during this process:

  1. It is not the responsibility of the CEO or a manager to motivate their subordinates. It is their responsibility to hire self-motivated people and then to help them achieve their objectives, including personal development.
  2. A key feature regarding a fit with desired corporate culture (in most cases) is the ability to be part of a team. This does not mean that they cannot be independent thinkers or that they should compromise their leadership skills. It just means that they should have a track record of supporting and being a positive contributor to an organization’s overall growth and goals (including their corporate culture goals). Be wary of those people who have great skills and can perform well at their specific function but have a negative personality (i.e. are never happy).
  3. Key features of emotional intelligence are:
    1. Is the person coachable? That is, do they welcome constructive criticism and guidance in order to develop themselves and then actually use this guidance to improve their abilities? As a leader, you should not have to “walk on eggshells” when discussing areas that need correcting or improving – instead you should be totally comfortable in broaching these items with them.
    2. Is the person able to handle change and take it in stride?
    3. For managers particularly, is the person even-keeled emotionally or prone to mood swings? A study completed in the United States found that people who worked for emotionally intelligent managers were 30% more productive than those who did not.
    4. Do they have a passion for great customer service (internal and external)?

The above items should be discussed with the recruiting people (internal or external) you are using to ensure only the highest-calibre candidates are considered for the position.

Future articles will describe the candidate screening process.

Should have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email me (Terry Thompson) at tesh@shaw.ca.


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