Everyone Is an Acquired Taste 

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WineWhen it comes to a good glass of wine, not everyone likes the same levels of dryness or sweetness. It takes time, trial, and error to find your perfect wine. Similarly, it can take the same sort of time, trial, and error to find your dream candidate. Without an ATS, this struggle can be even harder. You are left to find the perfect combination of dry and sweet — functional and cultural fit — on your own, without any guidance.

A Glass of Your Finest Chianti, Please

James walks into the boardroom, ready for his interview. He respectfully shakes the hands of everyone at the table. He spent the last two weeks preparing as best he could for this interview; this is his dream job. While practicing every little detail of his work-related stories in order to convey his best qualities, he forgot one thing: the joke he typically tells new colleagues — like a glass of dry red wine — isn’t everyone’s favorite.

Unfortunately for James, he is like a dry Chianti. What he doesn’t know is that most of the interviewers in the boardroom prefer something a little sweeter. His notes of cherry and oak are pleasurable for those who know him — those who have acquired a taste for him — but not everyone appreciates the palate of his joke. He told the joke as an icebreaker in the first five minutes of the interview — what he didn’t know cost him the job.

According to a survey from CareerBuilder, 49 percent of employers know within the first five minutes of the interview whether or not a candidate is a fit for the position. Furthermore, 87 percent know within the first 15 minutes. Some of the common mistakes candidates make during the interview include providing too much personal information (20 percent) and talking negatively about current or previous employers (50 percent).

Where Can I Find Your Shiraz?

Michael had been on the job search for months. At this point, he was just looking for something as a filler position. After all of the applications, resumes, and LinkedIn updates, he finally found something. The job was perfect and the culture was even better. So, he put his best foot forward during the interview. He surprised them with his functional and cultural match. He blended the two together impeccably, much like a Shiraz.

Michael finally did it. He landed the job. He perfected his resume and performed well during the interview. What caught the employer’s attention, however, was his nearly perfect functional and cultural fit — the perfect combination of dry and sweet. Hiring for a little bit of both functional and cultural attributes in a candidate helps avoid bad hires, which can cost a company: 27 percent of American employers who experienced poor hiring decisions said it cost them more than $50,000. CareerBuilder explains that bad hires “point to a significant loss in revenue or productivity or challenges with employee morale and client relations.”

What Do You Have for a Selection of Moscato?

Holly has had her fair share of jobs, and everyone who has ever worked with her has loved her. As sweet as she can be, she’s a modern-day Southern Belle. However, the law firm she applied to wasn’t quite prepared for this polite young lady. They barraged her with questions and scenarios to see how she would react. Her sweet Moscato personality didn’t quite fit the Pinot Grigio culture of the job. 

More practiced and a little rough around the edges, the job Holly applied for required a bit more experience than a palate for a Moscato. Her personality simply didn’t match the rigorous atmosphere. In a quickly changing workforce, culture is becoming more important. According to a survey by Strategy&, 84 percent of executives feel that culture plays a critical role in the success of an organization.

Not everyone has the same taste. Likewise, not every candidate is a match for a given company culture. It takes trial and error to find the right candidate that fits functional and cultural preferences for the position. Some employers hire for skill, some hire for culture, and some hire for candidates who have the best of both worlds. Whatever your company hires for, it’s important to pay attention to what the position requires. Don’t let your candidate fail after employment simply because they weren’t entirely a match for the position.

By Sean Pomeroy