HRchat Podcast - Interviews with HR, Talent and Tech Experts

Candidates and Culture Fit with Dan Hunter, Workzinga

March 03, 2022 The HR Gazette Season 1 Episode 404
HRchat Podcast - Interviews with HR, Talent and Tech Experts
Candidates and Culture Fit with Dan Hunter, Workzinga
Show Notes Transcript

The pandemic gave employees the time to reflect on their relationship with work and frankly, many weren't happy with what they uncovered. This has led to record numbers of resignations in 2021 and 2022 is set to be more of the same. 

The Great Resignation has ushered in a massive shift in what people value and what they are willing to tolerate in their work lives.

The key reasons driving the great resignation include a reduction in benefits, a worsening work-life balance, a desire to do more fulfilling work, or a toxic workplace culture.

Our guest today says that the days of matching web keyword searches with resumes and job descriptions are over! Instead, it's all about culture fit. Dan Hunter is founder of Workzinga, a job search and hiring platform emphasizing company culture fit. 

Questions For Dan Include:

  • Tell us about the mission of Navorion LLC’s first venture, Workzinga.
  • What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?
  • What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?
  • It seems like there’s a new headline every day. ‘The Great Resignation’.  ‘TheGreat Reconfiguration’.  And now the ‘Great Reevaluation’.  What are the most important messages leaders need to hear from these headlines?  How do the cultures of companies need to evolve?
  • Workzinga commissioned insights agency Opinium to conduct a survey of 2,501 full-time employed and unemployed US adults aged 20-64 years old. What did the findings suggest about the importance of culture fit?
  • You published an article on LinkedIn in early February 2022 called ‘What Does it Take For a Job Seeker to Get Noticed?’ Can you share some of your tips in the article that can help job seekers stand out from the crowd?
  • Workzinga recently hosted The State of Culture event in Nashville. Tell me about the event and Workzinga’s plans to attend/exhibit/sponsor other events in 2022. For example, I understand that Workzinga will have a big presence at SHRM this year?
  • What do you predict will be the same about work, the workforce and the workplace 10-15years from now?  What do you predict will be different?


We do our best to ensure editorial objectivity. The views and ideas shared by our guests and sponsors are entirely independent of The HR Gazette, HRchat Podcast, and Iceni Media Inc.  

This episode of HRchat is supported by Workzinga. Companies that hire based on alignment will reduce attrition, increase productivity, and boost creativity within their organization. The Workzinga team can show companies and candidates accurate culture alignment based on 26 characteristics! Learn more at workzinga.com

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the HR chat podcast, bringing the best of the HR and talent communities to you.

Speaker 2:

The great resignation has ushered in a massive shift in what people value and what they are willing to tolerate in their work lives. The pandemic gave employees the time to reflect on their relationship with work, and frankly, many weren't happy with what they uncovered. This has led to record numbers of resignations in 2021 and 2022 is set to be more of the same. The key reasons driving the great resignation include a reduction in benefits, a worsening work life balance, a desire to do more fulfilling work or indeed a toxic workplace culture. My guest today says that the days of matching web keyword searches with resumes and job descriptions is over instead. It's all about culture fit . Dan hunter is founder of Navor LLC. A company focused on bringing new ideas to market it's. First venture works . Zinger is a job search and hiring platform. Emphasizing company culture fit. Dan is a lifelong entrepreneur with a passion for developing and mentoring leaders before Navor Dan managed revenue cycle operations for smile direct club , where he helped hire over 1000 employees. This experience spurred Dan's desire to develop a more seamless hiring process that results in the best suited candidates, filling in companies , open roles. Dan, welcome to the HR chat show today.

Speaker 3:

Thanks for having me on . I appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

So beyond my reintroduction , just there, Dan, why don't we start with the basics? Why don't you begin by taking a minute or two to introduce yourself and tell us as a bit about you and, and your career background.

Speaker 3:

So I have been in healthcare for , uh, over 20 years, mostly operational roles and , um, involving in several instances building very large career , uh, very large teams call center operations, and it's been , um, it's really been a big learning experience , um, hiring and interviewing that many people. And , um, it's been a , a great privilege. I've worked for some terrific companies and built some amazing teams, but I have found some of the same problems , um, over and over again in the recruiting and hiring space. So , um, while it's been an enjoyable time, it's also had its challenges. And I , I think we've identified an opportunity here , uh, to , to make a change and to bring a product to market that I think could benefit both people that are looking for jobs, but also companies that are hiring.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. Thank you very much. Okay. So why don't you get into , uh, the mission of, of work Ingo a wee bit more then , uh, tell us, tell us about, you know , the , the why and, and how you're hoping to, to change the world of recruitment.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the , the premise is pretty simple. Um, I, we believe that there is just a missing element in the recruiting and the interviewing process right now, and that is the conversation around cultural fit. I think a lot of companies try to have it, and I think some candidates are, are keen to learn about it, but there's not a great vehicle for having it. Uh , there's plenty of products on the markets and plenty of consultants that will talk to you about culture fit and how do you build it in an organization. But what's lacking is a very transparent and candid tool that allows a candidate to really understand a company's culture. And which would also allow a company to really understand what motivates and drives a candidate. And we have that solution basically. Um, the, the whole dynamic that we're going for is a much more robust interview conversation, so that both sides truly understand what drives the other so that they can make a very well founded decision. Uh , this is just like dating, just like marriage. You're looking for a long term commitment here. And , um, this part of the conversation is really lacking in, in the industry today . We're so focused on experience, education skills, all of which are important, but it all becomes a secondary part of the relationship. When you think about sitting in an office or having relationships eight hours a day with your coworkers or a company, relying on the work that that person is doing eight hours a day, and yet fundamentally there's a disconnect and that they're just not happy there. So you can be the most qualified person in the world and still incredibly unhappy in that job. Our solution allows for a much better conversation upfront between the candidate and the company, so that that hiring decision and that decision to accept the offer is much more founded in information and a , a really solid understanding of what the other person wants.

Speaker 2:

Okay. Thank you. So the next question I was gonna ask you is the following, but then I'm gonna add something to it based on what you just said there , Dan . Um, so the next question is what advice would you offer to, to employers who want to future proof their organizations? But I, I feel like you started to answer that there, when , when you, you mentioned something which I thought was particularly interesting and maybe one of the key USPS of , of work , ER , and that's finding a long term fit, you know, that that's a big issue for , for companies right now that the only is, are they huge attrition rates and, and they're doing a damnest to, to find top talent to , to fill positions, but it ain't just about filling positions. Is it it's about finding people who will connect with the way of the company to use simony language , um, and , and connect in such a way that are there for, for the long term . So maybe as part of your answer , you can, you can talk a little bit about the, the , the benefits to a business of finding people who are there for five, 10 or more years.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely. The, I , I always believe that the fundamental part of, of any business relationship like this , it , it , it comes down to trust. You have to have a high degree of trust and that's any relationship, you know, like, like I mentioned, marriage or, or anything, it's, it's really about understanding what the other person is, is bringing to the table, what that person wants and what that person offers. And it it's all predicated on trust, the, the stronger, the relationship, then the easier it's gonna be to weather the hard times and the downturns. Um, and when, you know, and we've all worked <laugh> for , for companies, we we've been in the high times, we've been in the low times, it's , um, much more fun to celebrate together. And it's a lot easier to get to the hard times , um, if there's trust there. And I think the stronger that bond and the better the relationship, the more long term it's gonna be . And, you know, there's very practical considerations to recruiting. There are costs associated with it. There's disruption to the business . There's now, you know, having to get somebody else acclimated to a team. So there's a lot of downside to bringing on a new person. And if you can minimize that, you can, you know, mitigate the risks associated with attrition and minimize the expenses associated with it. Then the company benefits in the long term , you've got knowledge that stays with the company that doesn't get lost. You've got relationships that continue to mature over time and becomes stronger. Um, but it's all based on that element of trust and, and a candidate needs to choose a company where he feels like he's gonna have a high degree of trust and companies need to hire people. They feel they'll be able to trust. Um, so I think that is the basic element that always comes down to, and the stronger the relationship, the more long term it can be. And the better it is for both parties, you've got stability for the employee. You've got reliable work being performed, you know, for , for the company. So everybody wins, but it , it's not something that can happen just overnight. It has to develop, but it would , it's much stronger if it starts out with a candidate, knowing that the company he's choosing is more aligned with what he's looking for and what he wants , and a company choosing a candidate who is aligned with what they have to offer and what they're wanting. So I think that the basic premise is if, if you wanna future proof an organization, you've gotta look for candidates who are gonna be with you for the long term , and who are looking for what you have to offer. And you're wanting what the candidate has to offer. It's a very, very simple, very simple prospect. The one that's very, it's a very difficult needle to thread for some company.

Speaker 2:

So this interview today, it's the first conversation of many conversations that I'm gonna be having with you and your team over the course of the next year. I'm delighted to say , um, so listens you , you're gonna be hearing lots from, from Dan and , and other members of the , the work zinger circle, if , if , if you will, and, and what that allows me, Dan , it allows me to ask a few bigger questions cause we can get back into the weeds later on throughout 2022 . So here's a nice big question for you . What , what is your greatest source of optimism about the future of

Speaker 3:

Work? I think there is so much focus right now on the idea of the great resignation and , uh, people really , really reevaluating what they're looking for in employment and what they're looking for in a job and in a career there's so much focus on this right now that I think this, it could be a pivotal moment where we can begin to shift the discussion from employment and recruiting, being something that's transactional and just a necessary component of business to actually making it a strategic discussion. One where you can say this part of the business, this recruiting and bringing in human talent to help the company execute on its vision should be a cornerstone of the business's strategy. Not just a necessary thing. That's relegated to some very antiquated and outdated processes, quite frankly. So I think all the energy right now, this is the time for this conversation to really take hold and make changes. Um, so when we're talking about the future and we're talking about optimism, that's where I'm coming from, is that now is the time because you've got so much attention and so much focus on this right now that this could be a defining moment for us. And I think that's where works Inga is gonna play a key role.

Speaker 2:

Okay . Okay. Thank you. Let's, let's carry that forward a wee bit . Um , <laugh> we , we talk about the great resignation on this show a lot as I'm sure you, you can imagine Dan, but it's important to, to , to get your take on it. Um , so it seems like there's a , there's a new headline every day. Of course, the great resignation, the , the great reconfiguration, and now the great reevaluation in your opinion , what are the most important messages that leaders need to hear from these headlines and how do the cultures companies need to ?

Speaker 3:

That's an excellent question . And I think , um, when I, when I hear discussions about it, it is usually from the employer's side, they're looking at the great resignation as something they have to deal with and they have to address. And while that's very true, I think there's an important part that's missing there. And that is looking at this from the employees perspective, the employees don't look at this as a resignation, and they're looking at this as an opportunity. They're looking at this as a time to, like you mentioned reevaluate and decide, what do I really want to do? Are there other opportunities for me to have financial security without being tied down to a job where I'm simply not happy? So I think we have to understand that's the core, that's the conversation we have. What is it that people want? What are your teams in your company really looking for? Um, and, and we can't fall into the, the very trite employee engagement survey. Oh, the , the top three things or these over and over and over again, we have to move beyond that. That's conventional. What we're going through right now is not conventional though. This is a very unorthodox time. So we have to move our thinking and we have to truly sit in the seat of people in our companies and, and figure out what is it that they're looking for, engage them, ask what do you really want? And how can I, as a company provide that , um, we, we must have people in our companies doing some function, right? You , you've got to hire people to do things. So what is it that they need in return? It's, it's an equation. They want X, I need Y so how do we, how do we find this? If we can't meet their needs, we, we need to figure out, okay, why can't we meet those needs ? What is it that they're looking for? And are we stuck in a traditional model and way of thinking and are simply saying, no, that's not doable. No, we can't do these things. Maybe there are expectations from some people that can't be met. I understand that. But if they're simply looking for another way of thinking, it's time for us to embrace other approaches, other approaches to the Workday, the five day work week , the eight hour Workday, the I, you know, time and attendance system, which is very rigid. And I clock in and I clock out and I monitor vacation time and sick time. Those are all conventions that we've chosen to put in place. I advocate blowing it up and saying, start fresh. What do you really need in order to get the work done from your workforce and, and try to meet them at where their needs are, because if you don't, they'll go somewhere else. They're showing it every day . So this isn't just pine , the sky idealism. This is a practical thing that we have to deal with. And I think the most effective solution is simply to say, what is it that the people in my company truly need and how can I get there? And I need to be creative and I need to think outside the box, and it's not gonna come from these typical ways of thinking of just saying, okay, we'll do a little bit something different in our benefit plan with vacation time or whatever. We, we , we gotta think beyond that. We gotta think beyond the Orthodox.

Speaker 2:

I think that if , uh, employers are in Nashville, they should go to that awesome smokehouse. I forget the name of it, but I know that you are , you are in Nashville. That that would go a long way for me. If I was an employee, I'll tell you , geez , I love that place. It's the best. Um , what's the name of that place? I'm trying to think of ,

Speaker 3:

Uh , which one is it downtown on Broadway?

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Like where acne is

Speaker 2:

Maybe. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So yeah, there's, there's a couple like excellent places downtown on Broadway that , um, yeah , acne's a great one. Of course I go for the honky talks downtown. So that's my thing. I , I am , I'm a, Rippy kind of barbecue music, live music on each floor. Yeah. I'm all about Rippy

Speaker 2:

Me too. Me too. I've been , I've been twice in Nashville, both times. We have a couple of Canadian buddies and, you know , we , we put on all our plaid and we , we , we try and we , we , we try and mingle in. Um , but as soon as I open my mouth and my accent comes out, I , I show , I , I show myself anyway, we , we digress listeners. Let's get back onto it. The next few questions, Dana actually want kind of focus a little bit on , uh, some of the activities that you and , and your team have been getting up to recently. So, first one, I , I noticed that works Inga , commissioned insights, agency , uh, opinion to conduct a survey of 2,501 full-time employed and unemployed us adults age between 20 and 64 years old. Sounds pretty interesting. What , what did the findings suggest about the importance of, of culture fit?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so, you know , some of, some of what we expected to see certainly came out, you know, we expected to hear that culture is an important part of what employees , um, like in their companies, or don't like, it's what candidates are looking for. Oftentimes when they are searching for a new job. So some of, some of it certainly came out as expected, but there were some things that , um, I thought were interesting call outs . Um , one of which nine out of 10 respondent said that a good culture fit was important. Now we would all agree. Okay . I want a good culture fit, fit . I was a little surprised that it was that high, that that many people would consciously say, I want a good culture fit. Now, granted there's other factors that they're considering. Um, but good culture fit was consistently in the top three. So when you're looking at things like proximity to your home and, you know, the commute or salary and benefits and vacation time and things like that, culture fit was consistently a top three. And then , um, when you started diving into their history, just how many people came forward and said, I've been in a situation where I had very bad, very bad culture fit. Um , 70% or more said, I've been in a situation where I can tell you if it's a bad fit. So well, what happens when you're in a situation like that 80% or more said it had a negative impact on their mental health and their mental wellbeing. And there's been a lot of discussion recently about mental well mental health , uh, especially in the workforce, 80 plus percent said, if I'm in a bad cultural fit, it had some type of negative impact on my mental wellbeing. That to me is telling that, you know, your , your work might end at say 5:00 PM, but your mental wellbeing carries with you after you leave, you're taking that home, you're taking it to your friends and to your family. So this, this conversation around good culture fit, it's not just a , a catchy thing. This is about, this is about a sense of wellbeing. This is about mental health. This is about a lot of things. So the that's kind of from the , from the employees perspective, the impact when asked if you were in a situation where you had a good culture fit over 90% said it had a positive impact on their productivity levels, their creativity. So there are benefits for the company here. Um, if you can align the, the culture expectations of candidates and what is actually being delivered by companies, but over 90% said that basically they got more done and they were better at it. If they were simply in a situation where there's a good culture fit , uh, there was one other statistic that came out that, that surprised me a little bit. Um, and that is over a third of the people surveyed said that they would consider relocating to another state if the company that they were looking at had a good culture fit. And that was a little surprising that you would have that many people willing to relocate simply because they found a career with a company where they thought they were gonna have a great, they were , they were gonna be culturally aligned. So it's clear that people are looking for it. Um, and, and the survey results kind of spelled out, you know, like I said, some of the basic things that we were kind of assuming we would hear, but the significance of the veracity of some of these things, it was a little surprising that it was as important. And it was as high up on the list of priorities as it was for the respondents.

Speaker 2:

Then I would relocate if it meant I could go to Martin's barbecue joints. That's the name of the place ? That's the name of the place ? Oh , it's amazing. We

Speaker 3:

Literally, we literally had Martin a couple days ago here in the York .

Speaker 2:

I was so jealous, so jealous. I love that place. Uh , I've got a buddy. He went back twice in one day. Uh , yeah . So glad you liked it. Um , but one thing, one , one thing that maybe you didn't push too much, that last answer is I , I guess it's also kind of a snowball effect on the , on the recruitment side, right? The , the more engaged employees you get. I mean, yes, the productivity part of it is hugely important and ultimately that's, you know , that's the business metrics, but it it's a snowball on the recruitment side in the sense that the more engaged and happy employees, you have, the , the more positive reviews you get on glass door , for example, and , and the stronger the employer brand becomes. So the easier it is to attract top talent on , on the go forward , right.

Speaker 3:

And , and the referral. Um, I mean, one of the things that a lot of companies rely heavily on are employee referrals when they're recruiting. So, you know, your , your employees are the best advertisers you have. So they're out there engaging with friends, with family, and if they're happy, they're gonna promote you. And if they're not, the community's gonna know it. And whether they do a formal review, like you mentioned on Glassdoor, or it's just an informal conversation among friends. Um, there are certainly reputational issues that , um, that are at play there and recruiters have a far easier time recruiting when they've got a workforce that's happy and glad to be there than they do otherwise. And we know people talk,

Speaker 2:

We do, and I've done too much talking on this interview, you know , um, and , and therefore, and therefore I'm taking up your time. So I , I'm gonna have to challenge you now to answer the next question in 90 seconds or less. So , uh, you , you , you recently published an article on, on LinkedIn. It was in , uh, early of 2022 called what does it take for a job seeker to get noticed ? Can you , can you briefly share some of your tips in that article that that can help job seekers stand out from the crowd ?

Speaker 3:

Yeah . Um , I think one would be whatever your industry look for ways to show that you are an expert in your industry, that, you know, it, you understand it, and that you have an impact on it. Also show that you have the ability to grow your skills, and you're not just, you know , um, kind of isolated into one particular silo, but rather you have the ability to grow, acquire new traits, acquire new skills , learn new things , and become an even more valuable employee for the company is just, you know , truly understand , um, the company , do your research and know , um, what you're getting into, who you're gonna be talking to and what, you know, to , to the degree possible. Like I mentioned, talk to other people and, and certainly know their culture, using a tool works in a.com , you know, to understand what that company's gonna have to offer for, you know, that going in so that you can speak to it during the interview. Recruiters will remember that

Speaker 2:

Beautiful. I think that was like 70 seconds. Wow . Um , see , so sadly , I wasn't able to be there, but I , I understand that works in recently hosted the state of culture event in beautiful Nashville. Tell , tell me about the, the event and work Zinger's plans to attend or exhibitor or sponsor other events this year. For, for example, I understand that work , Zinger's gonna have a pretty big presence at Sherm talent. And of course, the big Sherm event happening later this year.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. We had a , um, we had a terrific panel event. Uh , we had the organizational psychologist from works Inga as a member of the panel. Uh , we had three terrific HR leaders , uh, Ellen hit from 10 , uh, Cody rap from , um, CAA and also rich Thomas joined us from Bridgestone and David Plaus from the <inaudible> was the moderator. So had a terrific event, very open discussion about culture in the workplace, the successes that they've seen, the challenges they've seen , uh, they offered some very real and, and practical tips for , um, ways to kind of root out some of those problem areas and really elevate culture to a bigger part of the discussion during the recruiting process. So it was terrific event and we're looking forward to having others in the future. And then later this year, we will be attending the , uh, Sherm annual conference and we'll have , um, a large , uh, representation in the expo hall. Um, we're super excited about having an opportunity to talk to so many people about the product , um, what it can do , um, in the marketplace. Um, the successes that we'll have seen up until that point, and then what we have kind of on the roadmap for future use . It's gonna be a great time for us to really talk to some of the key players in the HR field about their challenges and the problems they're seeing and how works seeing can be one of the solutions that they have to really elevate. Like I mentioned , the idea of this cultural fit to being a key component of the recruiting process .

Speaker 2:

Two more questions for you before we do wrap up for today , big one kind , maybe a little bit , the summary of some of the things you've spoken about so far , what do you predict will be the same about work the workforce and the workplace in the next sort of 10 to 15 years from now, and , and maybe what do you predict would also be different?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think some things are just, you know, they're gonna be the same. I think one of the key things in the workplace and whether it's in person or virtual is, is that human connection, that relationship, I , I don't think that that piece is gonna change it. It might change how that relationship occurs. Um, it may be virtual. It may be asynchronous because for people are working at different times of the day or different days of the week, but I still believe that there are , um, intrinsic needs in people to have that sense of community in the workplace, regardless of what type , what type of industry you may be in. So I think the human side is not gonna change. I think though, when we talk about the , the future and what might change is this concept of this traditional, like I mentioned before five day , week eight to five kind of job where people use that as their main source of income and financial stability. I just, I think there's going to be so many other opportunities for people to have sources of income, whether it be, you know, the idea of the gig economy, which, you know, we've, we've seen now for some time , um, or the democratization of investing where you've got people able to , um, get into the investing space with, you know, very modest amounts yet they're able to participate in the market and they're seeing that they can gain income from that as well. So there's gonna be, I think, some diversity there in income solutions, that means that people are not going to be so heavily tied to just a single job as their source of income. And so they're going to look for other things besides just the salary. I think it'll still be important. It will probably still be concern number one for most people, but it will not be the only concern. And I don't necessarily believe that it will be the, that have the same impact that it's had before. I think people are gonna be looking for , um, more, they're gonna be looking for ways not to have work life balance, but to actually integrate the two. And to simply say, I have a family, I have friends, I have work. And it's, it's all part of me. It's not that I have these separate spheres or these separate silos. I wanna earn a living, but I wanna do it on my terms. And I wanna , I wanna wrap it into my life, but not be my life. So I think that is definitely , uh, something that we're gonna see in the next 10 to 15 years.

Speaker 2:

And we are so lucky , uh, as a generation that we have the technology to allow us to do that. It , it , it it's , it's , you know, truly exceptional. My , my parents generation could not do this stuff. We have it now we , we can work remotely. We can , we can have work life balance. We have the communication tools to allow employers to recognize what, what the employer employee wants. Cetera , cetera . We are very, very lucky listeners, I believe. Yeah . One more question . Absolutely. One more question for you. Um , before we, before we do wrap up for today, Dan , um, so outside of, I don't know , going all the way to Martin's barbecue joint or downtown Nashville's honky , Don highway. How , how can our listeners connect with you? Maybe that's through LinkedIn email maybe or all over TikTok who knows. And also how can they learn more about work Inga ?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so the easiest way is to go to work inga.com . Uh , we've got , uh, information about the product and there is also an inquiry form on the site where you can , uh, sign up to learn more about the product , um, be made aware, and be put on the mailing list for , uh, when PLA the platform is gonna be going live and what you can do to download the app and , and start using it. Uh , we're also on Instagram, you can certainly find us on LinkedIn . Um , so definitely the social media channels , um, and then , um, hit us up on our website worksin.com .

Speaker 2:

Perfect. Well, Dan, this is the first of many conversations you and I are gonna have, which makes me very excited. But for Nelson , it just leads me to say thank you very much for joining me on this episode of the HR chat show .

Speaker 3:

No , thank you, bill. I appreciate the time and the opportunity to, to speak on this incredibly important topic

Speaker 2:

And listeners as always until next time . Happy working .

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening to the podcast , brought to Caz .