Living up to our promise of being the best offshore-staff organisation, our operation team ensures that we have great candidates lined up for our clients.
This blog, on the other hand, focuses on how we select prospective staff. We have created our own sets of rules and criteria to ensure that we have all operations team member on the same page when it comes to identifying our ideal candidates. We call this guideline our Golden Standard for Recruitment.
Our goal is simple – maintain our superstar culture!
Ed (COO) and I (as the CEO) are involved in recruiting the first 150 staff to ensure they are suitable and are representative of VA Platinum’s values.
The culture established by the first 150 staff greatly influence the work environment.
Allowing one “culturally unfit” staff member into the company can create a poor cultural dynamic.
Let’s classify prospective staff into 3 categories…
A – Culturally Fit
B – Somehow Fit
C – Culturally Deviant
If you allow a C type person into an all A-type team, that C type person will bring the A-Team down to a B type.
If you allow any C types in, you might lose most of your A types, which then results in a poor office environment. The only way to maintain a high A-Team is to hire A-type people and ensure that they are happy. If VA Platinum can maintain a high level of company culture, it attracts and inspires growth and opportunities.
Association and Assimilation
Developing a culture is achieved in two ways – via association and assimilation.
Association occurs when you are hiring people who already associate and resonate with the culture you are trying to promote.
Assimilation occurs when a new staff member joins the team and copies the behaviour of the existing team members.
It’s easier to maintain a culture with someone whom you share values with. In our experience, it only takes us 5 referred applicants by an existing staff member to hire one awesome staff member.
Alternatively, by hiring a prospective staff member who has not been referred, their cultural fit is not known. It’s not impossible to find good people – it’s just harder in that it takes more time and effort. In this scenario, it takes over one hundred resumes for us to hire one amazing staff member.
Here are 5 essential qualities of prospective staff…
1. Have the same purpose
Believe in the value of a productive work environment and great customer service.
2. “We” People VS “I” People
When asking about accomplishments, we listen carefully. If a candidate answers, “I did this,” and “I did that”, we will not recruit them. We look for “We” people, not “I” people.
We ask: “Have you ever worked with a team that had accomplished an amazing feat? If yes, can you tell us all about it?”
3. Willingness to work with us long term
We ask: Pretend it’s 3 years from now, and you’re leaving VA Platinum, what would be the next job you would want to take?
“I hope I’m still with VA Platinum,” is a good answer but not an answer that digs deep enough so if they answer this, we then follow-up with: ‘That’s a great answer, but what if VA Platinum no longer exists for something we can’t control, what would be the next job you would want to take?’
If they say, “I want to pursue my studies by completing a Masters,” or “I want to move to Canada to live with my mum”, it might not be a good scenario as you can predict that this person will only be with us for a span of a year or less.
4. Demonstrate an explicit learning curve
We want to find people who learn fast and are adaptable to fast-paced environments.
We ask: Looking back over the past 3 years, what have you learned that you would do less or do more of?
This question helps us understand if they were observant of their own actions in the past and if they’ve learned from them. We want to see how they have worked on improving themselves together with the business.
5. Are vocal about their opinions for the greater good of the organisation
Staff may have opposing views but are able to relay these views freely with the best intention.
We ask: Can you tell us about a past situation where you were unhappy about something in your workplace and what you did about it?
By asking that question, we find out how they go resolving their problems and issues, and whether it’s done in a direct and sincere way. We want to promote a healthy discourse of varying opinions providing it is done with respect.
We encourage healthy debates because it’s when we know how much staff care about the organisation’s growth path. We want to know if the person is open-minded to new ideas.
Here are 6 important attributes to look for in a staff member as well:
1. Kind and Optimistic
They believe they can make the world a better place.
They look forward to each day to learn, instead of proving what they already know.
3. Work Ethic
They try to do things better every day.
They care about how other people feel and they are aware of how they make other people feel.
They are mindful of their own disposition every day. If they feel like they are less than 4 out of 10, they try to appear 7 or 8 out of 10 to not bring the others down.
They do the right thing even when no one is looking.
Simply put, following our Golden Standard for Recruitment enables us to provide clients with the culturally fit staff who value the business as much as if it’s their own.
Success is found in the mutual growth of clients and staff. As an offshore-staff service provider, our goal is to be the enabler of this success.
Check out some of our superstar staff who continuously make their clients (and VA Platinum) happy and growing!