Five seconds. That’s how long it takes for someone to form a first impression. Scary isn’t it? Most studies show that first impressions are based on what a person sees or hears their counterpart say in those brief moments. As employers making hiring decisions, it’s daunting to think our minds are forming opinions and conclusions so quickly, and especially that they’re being formed on information that is often irrelevant. Moreover, studies have shown that first impressions really do last.
“Experts have discovered that new experiences that contradict a first impression become “bound” to the context in which they were made, whereas first impressions still dominate in other contexts,” writes doctor Rick Nauert for livescience.com.
So, you’re bound to judge someone predominantly in the framework of the way you first viewed them, and if you have contradictory experiences you’ll see those as “exceptions”.
Many ill-placed hiring decisions can be put down to first impressions. She was neat and well-spoken in the interview and you mistakenly assumed she was a diligent, meticulous worker. Or you both laughed at the same joke and it made you think he was the perfect match for the team, only to find out he violently clashed with everyone. To ensure a happy working environment for everyone, hiring the right culture fit is of paramount importance.
So how do you over-ride ‘first impression’ mode and find someone who really gels with the culture in your organization, especially when you’re outsourcing an important position such as FD?
Here are four tips on hiring the right outsourced FD.
- Hiring the right outsourced FD tip one: Articulate the values that define your business. Think about how you would define your business environment. Is it competitive? Collaborative? Innovative? Once you know what you are, use those keywords in your job brief, suggests Ian Cluroe, director of global brand and marketing at Alexender Mann Solutions. “So, in addition to looking for X years of experience, say that you’re looking for someone who’s innovative, entrepreneurial or customer-centric — whatever characteristics reflect your culture.”
- Hiring the right outsourced FD tip two: Look at personality tests. Professional personality tests might not be infallible, but they do give you a fairly accurate snapshot of the type of person you’re dealing with. For example, an advertising agency might be looking for an outsourced FD who is fun-loving and can communicate with creative types. In that case, you’re more likely to find a fit with an ESTP (that’s an Extroverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiver on the Myers Briggs test) rather than an INTJ (that’s an Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judger).
- Hiring the right outsourced FD tip three: Allow the promising candidates to meet several line managers in the organization before making a decision. If all the managers get a ‘good vibe’, you can be fairly confident that you’ve found a great culture fit. If most of the managers say “there’s just something about him or her” that puts them off, consider it a red light.
- Hiring the right outsourced FD tip four: Ask culture-related questions. In the interview, ask open-ended questions that help you understand the candidate’s ideal corporate culture. What kind of culture do you thrive in? When did you work in a company where you felt there was not a good cultural fit? Match that up with what your company offers to determine whether it’s a go.
Finding an outsourced FD with not only the relevant experience and skills, but the right personality and values will mean a happier work environment and greater productivity for everyone. Get in touch with The Finance Team to assist you in this process. We know our experienced finance executives well, so we can identify the best culture fit for your organization.