MOOCS, massive open online courses, and small private online courses, or SPOCs, are increasingly popular learning and development tools, especially when it comes to onboarding and training. However, there’s another option: use MOOCs to gauge cultural fit in the recruiting process.
The traditional recruiting process is built to gauge technical skill well, but it often does not take into account cultural fit, according to Bonnie Evans, global client services director at Xerox Global Learning Solutions. This is problematic since replacing an employee because of poor cultural fit can cost a company 50 to 60 percent of that employee’s salary.
“When you have the right person in a role,” Evans said. “They have increased satisfaction, better morale and increased productivity. We should be incorporating culture in the recruiting model.”
Evans recommended using MOOC and SPOC technology, typically used for onboarding and training, in the recruiting process itself. Then companies can see how candidates respond to situations and react to challenges presented.
“It opens up the lens for an organization to show what it’s like to work there, and [candidates] can either self-select out or get really energized about working at that organization,” Evans said.
She gave an example of a call center that deals with military families — a type of organization with a typically high turnover. Technical skills like communication are important, but is cultural fit is equally important.
In this scenario, a company could use an online learning platform and video technology to simulate a difficult interaction. It could gauge how a candidate deals with a difficult call, such as calling someone to tell them their family member has died. With this type of bite-sized learning, a company can see if a candidate deals with a delicate situation with grace and empathy. A candidate could self-select out if they find the situation too emotionally difficult to handle.
Similarly, a tech company can use e-learning technology to show candidates the day-in-the-life of an employee and the workspace they will occupy. Introverted candidates could run a simulation and see that an open office space and certain team-driven scenarios are not the ideal match for their personality. They might need their own space to do their best work.
“You can ask yourself if this environment makes you feel engaged and productive,” Evans said. “You’re able to start to understand the culture of an organization before you join.”
This relates to another oversight in the traditional recruiting model: it focuses more on information sharing rather than learning. That is, candidates get a lot of information thrown at them, but they don’t necessarily retain that information. Further, companies don’t necessarily know what candidates do with the information, or how they would use it on the job.
Improving the recruitment process using cultural fit is a conversation several functions of leadership should be having in an organization, said Evans: the learning function, which creates learning material; HR, which does the recruiting; and business leaders, whose bottom line is affected by new hires’ engagement and cultural fit. If these leaders can worry less about turnover, they can focus on driving business results.
This high-level conversation also should include a basic understanding of what cultural fit really is — something that promotes a diverse, but like-minded workforce, one united around organizational goals and mission.
“[From an employer’s perspective,] cultural fit isn’t someone who looks and acts like me but someone who will be engaged in the work they’re doing for the organization,” Evans said. “When you can demonstrate the values and beliefs of an organization, you get a more committed candidate and more committed employee.”
Andie Burjek is an associate editor for Chief Learning Officer. Comment below or email editor@CLOmedia.com.Filed under: StrategyTagged with: culture, MOOCs