Hey Company, do you have a strong emotional signature? Let me ask a few questions...
Ask these questions to determine the emotional signature of a potential employer
Everyone wants to have a good job and do it well. However, so many of today’s workers are frustrated and disengaged with their work and are seeking alternatives. The good news is that non-traditional work options continue to gain momentum as contingent work and the gig lifestyle takes off. Check out Wonolo, Ladders, getwork or Scouted for a start.
The coming year will show that an organization’s internal emotional signature can be as valuable and its external brand
For those still married to conventional work options, it’s time to ask a more relevant set of questions. Questions that will help determine if the grass will be greener or if you're just jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. I’ve talked to many recruiters to get their views on current interview practices. Most believe that by the time people have passed through multiple interview stages and screens to finally get to a hiring manager, they are too emotionally invested to risk derailing the process. However, it’s the hiring manager that can best answer the tough questions about the job and work culture. The recruiters weighted in to say only the most confident or less interested candidates will risk asking the relevant questions that would give the greatest insight to predicting their ultimate happiness with the company.
Unfortunately, zooming across the screen with the hiring manager is the point where you are finally in front of the person who can hopefully give you honest answers to determine it the job’s a good fit. More than ever before, a good fit means that the company has an emotional signature that is in line with your expectations, aspirations, values and non-negotiables.
The good news is that as the employment market shifts the idea of companies having quantitative and qualitative emotional signature scores will become commonplace. I envision a more standardized, transparent and externally visible acceptance for ranking companies based on their emotional signatures. The emotional signature of a company will come to have the same market recognition and economic value as a company’s external brand. We will come to see a time when emotional signatures are accepted, reported and compared, just as company brands are today.
Sample Questions to Assess the Emotional Signature of a Corporation
Here are the questions I would recommend you consider when planning for your next interview. Remember, these questions are to help you stay out of the fire and walk on greener grass. Pick the questions that will give you insights to those organizational attributes most important to you and your work life ideals.
Tell me about a time the company exceeded employee expectations?
Tell me about a time the company failed to meet employee expectations?
What do you think the company learned from these examples, and what have you seen the organization do differently as a result?
Can you describe the program for promoting sustainable employability? Is there an assigned person to manage the company’s program?
What is the annual per person budget for employee development (excluding assurance and compliance training)? What percent of employees use more than 50% of their allotment annually?
How much control and flexibility do people have in delivering their job outcomes in ways that work best for them and their personal situations? Can a speak to a potential co-worker to get their views?
What are the top and bottom three characteristics of the company’s culture?
What are the leadership skills and behavior capabilities the company is trying to develop over the next five years?
Can you share some of the high and lows from your employee survey regarding work culture and environment? Can you give me an example of how the company is addressing one of the low points?
Can you tell me the percentage of high potential employees that leave the company annually on voluntary basis compared to other employees?
Remember there are many types of interview questions that you can create to try to get the most valid and reliable answers to your most important questions. As you progress through the interview process you can compile an evolving set of questions to best match with the person you are speaking to, whether a recruitment screener or the actual hiring manager. Save your questions regarding verification of facts, clarification of key concepts and other information for earlier in the process. Heck, you can even throw in a few well-chosen opinion questions to see how insiders think. However, once you get to a decision maker, it’s time to dig in and determine if Company X is a place where you can thrive. Here you want behavioral questions, such as “Can you give me a specific example of…,” or capability questions, such as “Can you tell me how much the organization…?” Also, before an interview do some homework and check out sites like Comparably to get a view on the company’s reputation.
The point of it all is that life’s short, and you don’t want to look back after your first 90 days on the job wondering why you joined and how can you ever get that part of your life back. Find the green grass or starting landscaping your own yard.
Brent A. Kedzierski is the Chief Learning Officer at HumanWRKS and is working his passion to improve the human condition at work… one experience at a time.