An independent West Coast agency.

Hiring with Purpose

Feb 28, 2020 | by Justin Palicki | Agency Life

There is a war for talent happening. People have more job choices and more ways to make income today than they did before, and loyalty just isn’t what it used to be. If you’re not committing thought and resources to the talent war, you might lose out to your competition.

We pride ourselves on hiring super-talented people. To ensure that everyone on our team can play a role in making great hires, we recently held an “Interview Skills” training with our partners from Coastal HR Elite to teach employees the Do’s and Don’ts of a successful job interview, and what it means to hire intentionally and with purpose. Read on to dig deeper into what we discussed, and hopefully, you will be ready to do battle and win the best new hires in today’s talent war.   

What are we really trying to accomplish when we interview people?

Through the hiring process, we are trying to gather meaningful data that can be evaluated against the needs of the organization. We ask direct questions in order to make responsible decisions about who can contribute to the team, both intellectually and emotionally. We’re trying to learn if a candidate can do the job successfully, and equally important, will they fit in our culture?

What are the consequences of hiring the wrong person?

We’ve all been there. No matter how much time and effort you put in, how many people the candidate is vetted by, or the range of questions asked, sometimes you hire someone that just isn’t a good fit.

All too soon the honeymoon is over, and you realize the weight of the decision or the consequences. There’s a negative impact on the team, on your customers, and ultimately on your culture.

But wait, there’s more! Mis-hires also result in:

  • Poor individual performance
  • Reduction in organizational performance
  • Loss of trust, respect, reputation
  • Attrition of good hires and organizational morale and worst of all
  • Negative feelings on both sides

Employee Benefits News reported that turnover can cost employers 33 percent of an employee’s annual salary. For a small business that can be devastating.

That’s why it’s crucial to shine and polish your hiring process like it was your very own sports car.

What does it mean to hire with purpose?

Hiring with purpose is having a clear understanding of the work-related skills you need to contribute to your culture, then actively looking for people with those skills, and not settling for less.

Let me pose a question… what conditions do you think are necessary for a company to grow?

The answer is good people

Arguably, your people are your most important asset, right? Given that, what does purposeful hiring mean to you? 

Here at Civilian, we believe hiring for our culture is paramount. We’re a highly creative group that’s motivated by doing social good, sharing Friday yoga class, or even just sharing avocado toast in our communal kitchen once a month.

Likewise, if you’re a sales-driven start-up with foosball tables, free cereal and a monthly quota display in your bullpen, then you probably want someone outgoing and goal-driven who fits that mold, or they’re not going to last long.

Employers who understand the impact of culture are deliberate in what they do to create it, nurture it, and protect it. Hiring for culture means knowing the mission, vision and values inside and out, and hiring people who live for the same values.  

Approach this process knowing who and what you’re looking for, and what that looks like. Don’t succumb to the panic that sets in when the first six people you interview aren’t The One. Like Billie Joe said: “you can’t go forcing something if it’s just not right.” 

We usually pay attention to two main areas: Eligibility (competency, hard skills, can they do the job and IQ or objective intelligence) and Suitability (soft skills, including self-awareness, empathy… EQ or emotional intelligence).

Eligibility is simple if you’ve taken the time to understand and map out job skills and requirements. Suitability is a little more difficult. But understand that suitability is also work-related. It’s not about personality, which could quickly become a slippery slope that leads you into discrimination, or what might look like discrimination. It’s about learning how will this person fit in and work with your team.

Remember, there’s a war going on out there. Be deliberate with your culture, it’s a dynamic living organism and you have to care for it. Knowing your values and hiring with purpose is the best way to avoid landmines. You’ve got this. Keep an eye out for Part II in this series where we cover the ins and out of successful interviewing, and how to go from just filling a need to actually finding a teammate.

Here at Civilian, our mission is creating social change for the common good. We work with government agencies, not-for-profits, and purpose-driven businesses to promote public health, transportation, conservation, disaster preparedness, education, and workforce development. We value teamwork and our mantra is, “Where there’s a we, there’s a way.”

Think you have what it takes to fit in with Civilian’s culture and deliver on our mission? We’re now hiring a Public Relations Manager. If you’re interested or know of someone who fits the bill you can check out the job description and next steps here.  

Also, check out our profile on new hire Camellia Mortezazedah to see the most recent results of our focus on hiring with purpose. 


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