Wood Words

“Can’t we all just get along?” Hire Smarter to Prevent Workplace Conflict

Your new hire is great at their job.

Well, parts of it, at least.

Now that they’ve been working with your team for a few weeks, you’ve noticed that they bristle at constructive criticism. And they’re occasionally abrupt with coworkers. In fact, just the other day, one of your best employees complained to you about an argument they had with the new employee.

Yep, your new hire is great at their job.

They’re just not great at getting along with others.

Where did things go wrong? Did you miss a red flag during the interview process? Is there a way to prevent hiring people who are difficult to get along with?

Nobody has a crystal ball, but smarter hiring can help you select people who will cooperate, get along and mesh well with your existing team. Here are a few tips to help you prevent workplace conflict by tweaking your hiring process:

  • Identify required soft skills. A candidate is more than job skills and experience. Each day, the whole person shows up for work. To improve the likelihood your new hire will fit in, define the soft skills that are critical to success in the role as well as in your organizational culture. Who has been successful in this (or a similar) role? What personality characteristics does this person have? Use the traits of your best employees as a guide in creating your soft skills inventory.
  • Ask current employees for help. Round out your list of soft skills by meeting with the people who will work most closely with your new hire. Find out the personality characteristics that are important to succeeding as part of the work unit. Including your employees’ input will increase your hiring accuracy, as well as the likelihood coworkers will welcome the new hire with open arms.
  • Train interviewers to ask behavioral questions. The best way to predict work behavior is by finding evidence of it in the past. Use your list of required soft skills as the basis for creating behavioral interview questions. Then, train your team to ask, probe, clarify and objectively rate candidates’ answers. Proper training increases the validity and usefulness of open-ended interview questions.
  • Use the right assessments. Once you know a candidate can do the job, use one or more assessment tools to determine if they have the right values, motivations and personality to gel with your team. Culture-fit assessments can be used to screen-in candidates who will fit well in your environment. Personality tests can be used to gauge a candidate’s natural personal tendencies (e.g., motivations, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses), and see if they align with your needs.

Need help with hiring?

As a leading Rutherford County staffing firm, Wood Personnel’s recruiters use proven behavioral interview techniques and assessments to ensure our candidates will work well with your employees and thrive on the job. How can we help? Give our Murfreesboro staffing agency, or your local Wood Personnel office, a call.