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Why Hiring Great Employees Starts With A Beer And A BBQ – Forbes

The two-part evaluation that will change the way you hire for the better and create awesome company culture.

We spend an average of 90,000 hours of our lives at work – meaning you probably spend more time with your team than you do with your own family. Despite this huge time commitment, many companies neglect to focus on personality or cultural fit when they’re hiring.

As I started to rebuild my team, I realized that the recruiting process should be focused less on ticking off a checklist and more about trusting your gut. Once potential candidates were in the door, I started thinking, “Do I like this person? Do I find them interesting, and interested? Do they have a passion for something in life?”

From this, I developed what I call the Beer Test, narrowing those questions down to one: “Would I enjoy grabbing a beer with this person?” It’s a hypothetical (most of the time), but it’s incredibly powerful.

If the answer is yes, it’s likely the start of a great working relationship. Having the right qualifications for the gig is essential, but the Beer Test determines if the candidate is culturally compatible. Sure, it’s simple, but it cuts right to the chase, and it’s been invaluable in helping me put together a team at O2E Brands that I love working with every day.

While I got a great first impression, I learned the hard way it wasn’t enough. In a bad case of tunnel vision, I failed to consider how this person would mesh with the rest of the team and the larger culture we had developed. From that oversight, I came up with another critical hiring hack: the BBQ Test.

The BBQ Test is all about the group dynamic. It’s a matter of asking, “Would this person fit in at a backyard barbecue with my corporate ‘family’?” If you threw the candidate into a group social situation with other employees, would she be able to hold her own, or find someone to connect with? A Beer Test is singular (do I like this person?), while the BBQ Test asks, “Does he or she fit into our community?”

Filling your office with staff who get along makes for a pleasant environment, of course, but your business will benefit from cultural alignment, too.

My friend Tony Hseish shares this laser-focus on culture. At his company Zappos, they hire specifically to ensure new people fit (one of their three core values is to “create a little fun and weirdness”). They even offer a $4,000 quitting bonus to weed out weak hires. With this culture-first staffing principle, bringing in people that mesh with each other and with the company’s goals, they’ve flourished.

Not every company cares about the same cultural values. What’s important to us at O2E Brands wouldn’t necessarily be important to a high-end commercial law firm. But even if you’re a tough, suit-and-tie place that takes pride in driving people to tears, you’ve still got to find people who have the same values or you’ll scare them away.

The bottom line? A culturally aligned team that gets along and genuinely enjoys each others’ company is a more engaged team – and a more productive one.

Read the full story from the Source: Why Hiring Great Employees Starts With A Beer And A BBQ – Forbes