Written by: Brian Smith
Original by: Home Business Magazine

One of the first things I do when I meet with a new business is ask for an organization chart of the entire company. Usually, the request is met with a lot of different answers: “We don’t have one,” or, “It’s out of date, we only have an accountability chart,” and many more. Almost everyone asks, “Why do you want that?”

When an organization is looking to hire a new employee, the hiring structure and onboarding process are usually lacking certain details. Typically, companies use templates to place ads for wanted positions. This creates shortcuts in the interview and onboarding process. Additionally, companies don’t always ensure that their new employee understands all their technical responsibilities or the environment and culture they will be working in. Conveying this and finding the best employee for the position starts by doing your due diligence to understand the influence this new person is going to have on the company, and vice versa.

Hiring the correct individual so they can become successful for the long term requires a basic understanding of the company’s culture and each employee’s influence on that culture. The foundation of this information begins on an organizational chart. When a company doesn’t have this chart, and therefore likely doesn’t understand the employee influences, we recommend a functional organization chart (FOC) be created for the entire company.

Understanding Influence

Creating an FOC does not need to be complex, all you need to begin is a basic organization chart. On this, you should find the hierarchal composition of the company. This chart, by adding functionality, can become one of the most powerful tools in the manager’s toolbox. Having access to what responsibilities each position has, who fills those positions, and who supports those positions is powerful. Adding “communication lines” between employees identifies how they interact and for what purpose. In front of a qualified manager, the FOC can help make decisions about hiring and other key aspects of running a business much more intuitive.

DISC Workplace profiles should be included on your FOC. DISC is a behavior assessment tool based on the psychological theory of William Moulton Marston, which centers around four personality traits: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. Adding your DISC assessments of each employee to your FOC will produce an influence chart.

The combination of technical and psychological knowledge at your fingertips, something the influence chart (FOC + DISC) provides, allows managers to understand the current influence of the organization. This paves the way to hiring the best individual that will bring a combination of technical and psychological skills into the work culture for each position you are hiring for.

Applying Your Understanding of Influence to Hiring

As a manager, once you have this knowledge about your organization, you can apply it to your hiring decisions. The hiring process is generally the same:

  1. Identify the need for a new person
  2. Advertise for the position
  3. Interview people for the position
  4. Hire and onboard the new person
  5. Turn that person loose into the work environment

Understanding your influence chart will allow you to hire the correct individual to fill your open position. This allows you to positively influence the company when making your hiring decisions. Also, successfully developing an influence chart shows a more intentional understanding of the role culture plays in the workplace and hiring process.

Step two in the hiring process, advertising, is a perfect way to convey the technical and cultural aspects of your company as honestly as possible. Doing this will make it more likely that the correct applicants will apply and will narrow down your list of individuals to consider. Those that apply who ignore the technical or cultural points identified in the posting can be pinpointed quickly and eliminated from the decision pool.

During the interview process, HR should not be the only division involved (unless, of course, you are hiring your first employee). People with whom the candidate will interface with should be utilized at some point during the interview process. It is during this phase that a melding of the technical and cultural aspects can be seen through the inclusion of potential peers. Final selection of a candidate should be focused on technical skills supported by the best cultural match.

Once you have chosen your perfect candidate based on their technical and psychological profile, you will be able to prepare them for their onboarding process. For some individuals this includes being partnered up with another employee to show them the ropes, and for others this includes reading manuals or watching video tutorials to learn what is expected of them. Tailoring your advertisements, interview, and onboarding process to fit your new employee that correctly distinguishes your company’s culture is how you will find the best person for the position every time.

Having a concrete understanding of the technical and psychological aspects of the company and the position means the hiring process can be tailored from the beginning—from advertisement to onboarding. Managers that understand this can influence the overall process and create an environment that has the best opportunity for low employee turnover.