Thermoforming Report

Are You Digging in the Wrong Place?
Culture & Fit Alignment in Talent Recruiting

by Keith Brown, President & Owner, Siena Group.

In all likelihood, the information you learn isn’t just the opposite of what’s desired.

I’m a fan of movies, and the first “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is up there on my list of all-time bests. I mean, who doesn’t love Indiana Jones’ iconic grin?

I’m also a fan of using my favorite movie scenes & dialogues to better express a pressing point. One such line from Raiders is: “They are digging in the wrong place!

[For a point of reference, check out this short clip from the movie.]

In the scene, Indiana Jones and his friend Sallah are concerned that the Nazis have figured out where to find the secret resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, which is believed to provide supernatural power for world domination. 

BUT, thanks to an interpreter, Indiana and Sallah realize that the Nazis are missing an absolutely crucial piece of information – there is another side of the medallion! Indi & Sallah look at each other and exclaim in unison: “They are digging in the wrong place!

What is the Wrong Place?

From a talent recruiting perspective, there are many ways to interpret this question: 

  • Are you targeting the right companies? 
  • Which technology platforms are you using to find the talent? 
  • Are you exclusively using networking? 
  • Do you only leverage your already over-taxed Talent Management team? 

Though all of these can be true to an extent, I wanted to look at this from another perspective: What about the OTHER side of the coin??

What we learn later is that – due to a fiery encounter earlier in the movie – the Nazi Officer Major Arnold Toht has an imprint of the medallion on his hand.

And therein lies the conundrum: What do we need to understand about what’s on the other side of the medallion?

Culture and Fit Alignment

When leveraging a trusted recruiting partner on your key searches, it is very common to talk through the role, the challenges, and the culture of the organization and team. 

What happens next is that highly refined Talent/Candidates are presented that align with the bulk of the requested skills and experience.  Again, using trusted recruiters on what is normally a deposit-based or retained search effort, this is expected. But what makes one candidate stick for the long term?  Or, flipping it, why did they only stay for two years?

The short answer is culture and fit. 

Normally, the focus of discussions with the client organization is about what the culture is or what they are working towards. Likewise, when speaking with the Talent, the discussions center around how they align with the company culture.

What is missed and usually rarely discussed: what’s on the other side of the medallion?!

It is assumed that if you understand what it is about a culture, then you immediately understand the opposite is true for what it isn’tThat is a critical mistake!

Learning about the culture of an organization and team is learning from many different people their perspectives on how the team functions, how they work together, and how they would describe the culture.  Additionally, sometimes you even get great information on the parts that are missing and hoping to be filled by a particular Talent that they are hiring to join the team. 

What isn’t discussed in many cases is to ask what the culture isn’t… and you must dig into and figure out what doesn’t work and why.  

  • What are the things that won’t work within that team? 
  • How would someone not align with the organization’s culture? 
  • Why, in their opinion, did the other person not work out for the long term? 
  • What was missing? 

Flipping the conversation to the Talent, asking key questions about cultures that didn’t work for them in their past and what didn’t they like about previous leaders that were particular to culture and fit is a must. 

What are those things that really bug them that would eventually turn them off and look for a new opportunity? 

There are many ways to get at this, and it is absolutely imperative to learn it!  Otherwise, you will be ‘digging in the wrong place’, and that can be very costly to the organization. 

The Medallion Approach

Here’s the GOLDEN takeaway: Make sure you know what’s on the other side of the medallion.  

In all likelihood, the information you learn isn’t just the opposite of what’s desired.

It provides needed insight into the Talent Search process to bring the right person on board for the long term. This approach will save you time, energy, and money and further ensure your new Talent will align with the team and organization.

It’s this shift in mindset that can move you from a simple recruiting firm to an industry advisor who builds companies and careers.

We are your Thermoforming Talent Partner. With more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing, hiring & recruiting talent, we bring a greater understanding of the companies we partner with and the candidates we pursue.

Siena Group. Let’s Strengthen Your Search!

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