You are so pleased to have hired a supply chain director. It was hard to find the right match and then you met with Gianni who did exactly that same job in one of your company foreign subsidiaries. No doubt he would know how to perform as he masters the way your company does things.
You are so pleased to have hired a new sales manager. When you met with Pablo, who comes from Spain, you quickly knew he was the right match. He has worked with one of your company competitors in his home country. Pablo just needs to adjust to your company “way of doing things”. The screening made by the recruiting team showed that Pablo shares your company values. You confidently believe that he will perform as well as in his past position.
You are so pleased to have hired a director for a construction project you have in Switzerland. It was hard to find the right match and then you met with Angela who successfully completed a construction project in Germany. Since she will work on the German side of Switzerland, she should not face any communication problem and you are confident she will perform as well as on her past project in her home country.
You are so pleased but maybe you should remain cautious and verify you have made the right decision.
Are you really giving these new hires the best support to succeed their new challenges?
When recruiting talents, businesses and organisations prioritise the technical expertise and experience. The soft skills come second and are assessed by psychological tests and interviews. This is logical as many recruiters have a background in psychology. Finally, references complement the assessment and are deemed to ensure the candidate’s trustworthiness.
In the recruitment process, the candidate’s cultural agility is often overlooked and therefore it is seldom addressed.
Which types of inefficiency can result from onboarding a new hire without any cross-cultural preparation?
Gianni provided some feedback to his Turkish team the way he was used to in Italy, his home country. His vocal and open criticism made his Turkish colleagues to lose face and subsequently to distrust his leadership. Since Gianni did not have any cultural codes to read his Turkish colleagues’ reactions, he continued behaving the same way over and over until he became the target of sabotage and lost his job together with the control over his foreign team.
Angela imposed her German leadership style to her Swiss colleagues. They felt disrespected by her lack of sensitivity to their need for a consensual decision-making process. Since both Angela and her Swiss team share the same mother tongue, she has taken for granted that she can effectively function the same way as with her German team. Upset by her too strong ego, and by her rude way to respond to colleagues, some Swiss colleagues lost the motivation to work with her.
Pablo, the Spanish responsible for the South American market, got a negative appraisal for dealing with personal matters on the workplace. He did not know that his natural propensity to mix work and not-work related activities during his working day would be considered as a lack of professionalism.
What a waste of energy and resource when a training and a coaching session could ensure your new hire start a new position in full awareness of how she or he can remain as effective and efficient as in her/his past position.
Would you like to avoid hiring culturally insensitive executives and experts?
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