Reinhold Messner: Cultural Fit in extreme situations
I have been working on the subject of Cultural Fit for several years now. So I have, for example Reinhold Messner interviewedwho realized he would have been lost in his expiditionsif his team had not exactly the same motivation as he himself. Just such extreme examples show how important the good interaction of a team in Company is.
At the TALENTpro 2019 we had, organized by the Süddeutschen Newspaper, a very exciting panel discussion on the topic of cultural fit. The whole thing was moderated by Raoul Fischer, my co-supporters were Marcel Rütten and Christoph Athanas. In the end, our result looked like this: Culture and values are extremely important for employers and applicants, but depending on the perspective, different values are in the foreground.
Digitization and humanity
That's exactly what the 17 shows. "Recruiting Trends" Study by the Center of Human Resources Information Systems (CHRIS) of the Universities of Bamberg and Erlangen-Nürnberg and the career portal Monster. Her motto this year: digitization and humanity go hand in hand and bring the industry forward.
As the CHRIS data are collected over such a long period of time, the study claims to be able to analyze developments over years and distinguish real trends from short-term modes.
Cultural Fit as an employer branding hype?
And for my concepts, one should urgently take care that Cultural Fit does not become a mere marketing topic: As it becomes more and more difficult to find employees with the right hard skills, technical development is looking for employees who can learn on the job and provide the necessary conditions for this.
And since this is a very spongy area for many with many potential faux pas, there must now be an objective as possible method, so that the recruiters do not have to decide on gut feeling. In addition, there has recently been a rather exciting discussion at Twitter regarding an interview in the time in which a female staff member said that she does just that: to decide gut feeling.
Cultural Fit - old wine in new tubes?
In fact, the term Cultural Fit is actually nothing new, it's just old wine in new tubes. Because of course it sounds great to find the right employees.
The basic problem, however, are the values, by the way also a trend topic at the moment. So not the values per se, but the way these values are handled. All management consultants and companies talk about values and how important they are.
What values do companies represent?
But are companies even clear about which values they represent? And do you even hit the nerve with the applicants with these values? Let's take a look at the latest figures in the CHRIS study.
Accordingly, cultural values are particularly important for applicants. Top 3 are:
- Mutual appreciation
- Open communication culture
But: A maximum of half of the surveyed employees sees this as implemented by employers. By contrast, 86 percent of companies think that these topics are well implemented.
Different perception among applicants and employers
How different the perception is, shows a look at the topic of teamwork: Entire 100 percent of companies think teamwork is important. Applicants do not consider teamwork at all important.
If you take a closer look, in which jobs is team work really important, then you have to look at the times in the hotly contested market for IT professionals: Many developers prefer to work alone to get their baked goods. For which jobs is team ability important? And for what empathy?
Employees in Spe: suitability for the job or for the team?
And often enough, the suitability for the job is checked, for example in assessment centers - but the focus is less on whether the employees even fit into the team. It is no coincidence that employee referral programs have been constantly on the hurry in recent years. In short, it makes perfect sense to look for the right employees, but you have to be clear as a company, who or what you are actually looking for exactly.
Another problem is how these values are communicated at all - eg on the website or in job advertisements. Usually it is spongy about any values such as innovativeness or employee orientation fabulated, including you can then imagine anything as an applicant. Often these beautiful formulations do not even correspond to reality.
Employer: respect spongy communication
Yes, even most job advertisements are so spongy that applicants can at best guess the values and intentions. This is due to several factors:
- Too many cooks spoil the porridge
- Legal requirements
- Or politically incorrect values - for example, Kindernothilfe has an easier time communicating positive values that everyone contributes to, for example, a producer of canned meat.
But if job advertisements were more honest, many would also find suitable candidates.
What are you looking for: Companions for the journey to the sunny South or South Pole expedition?
Imagine that Reinhold Messner would be looking for fellow combatants for a dangerous South Pole expedition or for a trip to the South - that would make a significant difference ...
It is possible, however, that something will inevitably change here as a result of automation: According to the CHRIS study, the machine readability of job advertisements is considered one of the most important digital topics of the future. 90,9 Percentage of companies see this as the most important feature of a job advertisement to appear in search masks such as Google Job Search in five years or to be found and processed by job-referrers.
Cultural Fit and Diversity - how does it work?
Finally, when it comes to Cultural Fit, the question of diversity always crops up. Fittingly, we had not touched on this topic in the discussion, but were then questioned from the audience.
Since you have to ask yourself the fundamental question: Is this even desired in companies? For example, several years ago, I was looking for interview partners on mixed leadership - and how exactly this works in the company. Mixed leadership companies also declined: "We are not ready yet".
Employee Referral Programs On the Rise: More of the Same?
In practice, it is easier for employers to adjust more of the same, so that a certain efficiency is bleached out, especially in times of crisis. Anyone who says otherwise, of course, has a good PR theme.
The increasing number of employee referral programs identified by the CHRIS study in many companies also shows that this particular type of cultural fit will be promoted in the future, no wonder, as it ensures that employees also fit into the team ,
New competition for the HR departments?
One sees such developments: The classic HR departments are getting more and more competition. But so far, only 4,5 percent of staff are afraid of being automatized away soon. But you should have them in my opinion:
Seven out of ten companies (top 1.000 and IT) assume that JobRecommender will be used more frequently in the future. Also, five out of ten candidates find this development good. However, as with other topics, there is also a clear discrepancy between the expectation of what will prevail in general and one's own plans.
More Digital Career Consultants in Business?
For example, only one out of every ten of the top 1.000 companies and IT companies plans to set up a corresponding offer in the future.
Companies are also predicting a big increase for digital career advisers: Every tenth Top1.000 company claims to offer digital career counselors. In contrast, however, is the current trend, which has been declining slightly since 2016 and has fallen from 3,3 percent to 2,4 percent.
Crass mismatch: Employees distrust their own HR departments
Bad for HR only, according to the study, employees do not trust their own recruiting departments because they are the last people they talk about with their career plans. Much rather they talk to the recruiters of the competition.
Here, the barking of staff should be loud and maybe the real task of HR is in the future: recruiting and administration of employees will be more and more automated. On the other hand, HR professionals have to go more and more into the departments, pushing the digital change, promoting innovative forms of work, and frightening employees.
Conclusion: Where will human resources management stand in the future?
I do not even see this last step in the HR scene. At that time I am still much too concerned about one's own status, the personal role-finding and ultimately also the preservation of vested rights, and yes, ultimately, they also complained. Or why is it necessary to put whole events under the motto "Proud to be HR".
As far as the cultural fit is concerned, it is important for both sides that companies and employees fit together and it makes sense to develop mechanisms beyond gut feeling here. Nevertheless, one should not expect miracles from the Cultural Fit method.
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