We often write about how we are a values led business at Collingwood, and that we attribute a lot of our success to the fact that we attract and work with clients who share many of our values and a similar culture. It really helps when it comes to us being able to deliver the best possible service to the clients who entrust us with finding their next hire and future talent or leaders - and it helps because one of our most important and impactful jobs is to be able to consult. 

After taking a brief we undertake research, and it is here that some of that more important work is done. There will inevitably be some differences between what the market can provide and what our client wants, this could be due to salary, location, the the fact that different organisations do things in different ways - therefore the perfect match in experience and capability might not be there. So now we consult, and now the real value in that initial attraction comes to the fore - we get their culture, so we have a good understanding of the type of person who will excel even if not the perfect fit!

Having a well defined culture, especially one that allows people to be challenged, to learn and to grow with the business means that even when someone is not a 100%, or even only 80% fit - if they have certain attributes they will still flourish. What is missing that can be learned, how do they approach challenges, when have they learned something new in a short space of time? And again, if the culture is well defined these attributes become less hypothetical and much more tangible, because you have a base from which to operate. 

Because we at Collingwood spend so much time invested in learning what our clients culture is, we can build this in to our research, in to our interviewing and candidate selection, in to our candidate preparation. Ultimately we can get to a position where our client feels so confident that we know what type of person works for them, that trust our recommendation and we work in partnership.

There are some useful ways of identifying great candidates beyond the job description, or the industry qualifications - some of which are covered in this article and would resonate with the clients we work with. I hope you find this helpful and would be interested to get your thoughts as a decision maker in your organisation.