Screening, Assessment, Interviewing

Assessing Work Style

President Trump has said he likes chaos. He has suggested that it energizes him. Indeed, some people thrive on conflict and upheaval. They find the alternative boring.

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Others, however, find chaos, for want of a better word, difficult to handle. They have a hard time remaining on task. And their job performance isn’t the only thing that may suffer. Their health and overall well-being may be affected as well.

Different Strokes

Work styles differ, and not every person’s work style is compatible with every manager. When recruiting, it’s helpful to recognize this—and to know the style of the manager with whom the person you are hiring will work. Then, you need to assess fit.

Although fit is often viewed in terms of corporate culture, fit is an issue when it comes to manager-employee relationships, too. And here, work style matters.

Consider these examples:

Employee’s approach: analytical and methodical
Manager’s approach: disorganized but definitive

Employee’s approach: focuses on long-term goals
Manager’s approach: wants immediate results

Employee’s approach: learns by listening, observing
Manager’s approach: believes people learn by doing

What is the likelihood of success when each of these pairs works together? If all these characteristics apply to the same two people, what is the likelihood of success?

Impact of Work Style

When work styles aren’t compatible, a new employee faces a more difficult adjustment period than he or she otherwise would.

Can the person still succeed in the job? Perhaps. But it will require an ability to adapt, which may sometimes mean going against his or her natural inclination. This requires energy and effort—energy and effort that would be better spent on the work itself.

Of greater concern is that the person may not be happy in the role. You know the saying, square peg in a round hole? The employee may start to feel like this. If the situation isn’t addressed, it can result in lower levels of engagement and issues with retention.

The problem is differences in work style can be difficult to address. Most professionals of a certain age have found ways of working with which they’re comfortable.

Instead, why not avoid the issue altogether? By assessing work style in relation to management compatibility, you can help ensure a more successful hire.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.