Skills are Only Part of the Package: Hiring the Best Web Vendor for Your Organization

standingonheadDo you ever wonder if Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip, is sitting on your shoulder? I have to admit, sometimes I do. This week, he’s lampooning the idea of hiring for cultural fit — something we at Geonetric have recently started intentionally focusing on.

It’s often amusing … and fairly easy … to joke about trends. Because frankly, any business concept, taken to its illogical extreme, has negative aspects and can be a target for ridicule.

But here’s the thing: a bad hire is expensive. We all know that. There’s all kinds of research that shows bad hires cost companies not just in terms of the time and resources to hire and train employees, but also in missed sales opportunities, lower client satisfaction and retention, strained employee relations, and potential legal issues. It’s often said that companies traditionally hire for skills and fire for behavior.

Of course, no one is hiring ONLY for cultural fit. At Geonetric, we use a combination of interviewing approaches — skills tests, personality assessments, behavioral interviewing, etc. — to get at a candidate’s ability to perform a job well within the team environment we’ve created.

We took the same approach when we interviewed for a general contractor for our new building. We asked the “candidates” — the potential vendors — the typical questions regarding their skills doing similar projects, pricing, timelines and references. But equally important to us was the cultural fit, so we also asked them about their cultural match — their experience designing facilities for companies with highly collaborative environments and unconventional team structures, their approach for projects in our new neighborhood and with infill development, and their fit with our existing key partners. Over time, our selected vendor became a trusted partner and friend, and anyone who visits our new building sees the impressive result.

I believe the same is true for any significant vendor partnership, and especially when hospital marketers are selecting a Web vendor. Of course you want someone who can help you with things like design, content organization and Web technology. But to be successful, I think you also need someone who will turn into a trusted partner — someone who will be accountable, provide great service, bring ideas that help push you forward, be candid, and share their knowledge and energy to deliver impressive results.

Geonetric boasts of great people — project managers, client advisors, Web designers, writers and developers. We have the skills to build you an exceptional Web presence. But where we really shine is in the delivery — by living our core values:

  • Own it: We are accountable, responsible, ethical, and keep our promises.
  • Bring it: We deliver consistent high quality, exceptional service and value, and aim for Wow!
  • Push it: We challenge legacy systems, try new approaches, identify and address issues, and keep you moving forward.
  • Say it: We’ll actively invite your ideas and opinions, listen for understanding, and have direct and candid conversations.
  • Unite: We’ll bring positive outlook and energy, value each person’s unique perspectives, and work collaboratively to achieve a common goal.

If you’re in the process of hiring a Web vendor, be sure to evaluate your vendor candidates from both a skills AND a cultural fit perspective. Want more ideas on how to avoid a bad vendor hire? Be sure to register for our upcoming Webinar. Don’t let a poor hire keep you from meeting your goals!

I’ll keep reading and enjoying my favorite comic strips. And I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the next big business trend just as soon as I hear it from Dilbert.

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This entry was posted in Best Practices, Geo.com Homepage Panel, Geonetric Culture, Value by Linda Barnes. Bookmark the permalink.
Linda Barnes

About Linda Barnes

Don’t let Linda’s green belt in Lean Six Sigma or master’s degree in marketing and finance from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management intimidate you. This driven marketing executive brings her high standards for quality to every marketing campaign and branding initiative she manages. But she’s also a people person and values creativity. It’s this unique combination that makes her the perfect person to manage Geonetric’s business development efforts, pushing her team to find new ways to tell Geonetric’s story while still remaining focused on results. With more than 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, sales, strategic planning, and project management, Linda knows a thing or two about developing and executing integrated marketing strategies. Between traveling the country sharing Geonetric’s vision and approving marketing campaign ideas, Linda can be found assembling care packages for her two away-at-college sons and finding new and inventive ways to remodel their old rooms. Tea in the sitting room, anyone?

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