CFOs in Hong Kong Clueless about Who Fits in Well with Their Teams

Almost two out of three (64%) CFOs in Hong Kong had the experience of hiring an employee who did not fit in well with their teams, said Robert Half.

The recruitment agency released results of an annual survey of 75 CFOs in Hong Kong done in December 2017 by an independent research firm on Thursday.

According to CFOs who have hired a staffer who wasn’t a good team match, the top five reasons behind the problem include:

  • lack of team spirit (40%)
  • lack of adaptability (33%)
  • misalignment with corporate culture (31%)
  • underperformance/lack of skills on the part of the employee (31%)
  • inability to work independently (29%)

The importance of checking culture fit before extending an offer to a candidate cannot be underestimated, as the lack of it is one of the main reasons why employees leave or are asked to leave, said Adam Johnston, Managing Director of Robert Half Hong Kong said.

“This can also incur significant costs, with non-monetary damages including increased workloads for existing team members and lost productivity, not the mention having to restart the hiring process from scratch,” he noted.

Three in 10 CFOs let employees go

Measures taken by CFOs in the survey when a staffer is not a good team match include talking to the employee (52%), getting support from senior company leaders (44%), and getting feedback from fellow team members (38%).

 Almost three in 10 (29%) CFOs respectively have either let the employee go and/or have tried to find the employee a better-suited job within the organization.

 In addition, 15% said the employee had left voluntarily before they were able to take measures.

Key tactics of sourcing the right candidates

Managers can avoid the predicament of poor cultural fit by employing the following key tactics when sourcing candidates, Robert Half advised.

Know the workplace culture

Managers should assess their company culture and communicate this clearly to candidates through an Employee Value Proposition (EVP), thereby minimizing the chances of a misunderstanding between manager and candidate.  

Look for cultural fit in the job interview

Managers should ask questions that reveal insights into how the candidate works in different environments, with other people, and the management styles that suit them best.

Probing into candidates’ previous experiences, both positive and negative, can also help assess whether the company culture will meet their needs. Keeping an eye on body language as well as asking questions about life outside work will also help determine their passions, values, and sense of drive.

Trust your instincts

If hiring managers think there’s something about a candidate’s response or conduct that raises a red flag, it is a good idea to pursue further investigation before making a decision.

For example, if there’s a mismatch between the candidate’s body language and comments, it could be an indication their responses are not genuine. Asking referees about your concerns could provide clarity.