Recruiting for culture – how assessment can help uncover the ‘wiring’

This article is part of the series: The Financial Services Royal Commission and the talent landscape

The outcome of the Financial Services Royal Commission has sparked deeper conversations about how organisations can ensure that their stated values are reflected in every day behaviours and decisions.

There is a web of factors that can drive a chasm between stated values and actual behaviour, and one that is central is culture. Equally, when a leader’s values are questioned, the spotlight is not just about ‘what they do’ but ‘who they are’.

The role of leadership in shaping culture is significant, whether leaders facilitate the development of a new culture or maintain the status quo. Their capacity to set the tone for what is important and how work gets done should not be underestimated. Our research-based point of view is that finding the right leader for a given role can be approached in increasingly informed ways including; a systematic process involving simultaneous analysis of the role, the organisation’s desired culture and, an executive’s skills, motivations and traits.

Korn Ferry assesses candidates using our Four Dimensions of Leadership and Talent - KF4D - framework, which measures competencies, experiences, traits and drivers. Competencies include the abilities, skills and behaviours that a candidate will need to succeed, while experiences are assignments and positions that prepare candidates for future opportunities. While competencies and experiences can indicate what an individual can do, traits and drivers provide a deeper insight into who they are – and their cultural fit to the organisation. These are the internal qualities a person has, such as personality traits and personal motivations, and when combined with a behavioural interview, will reveal a candidate’s values.

The Royal Commission made it clear that culture matters – and when the prevailing culture does not reflect the stated values of the organisation, misconduct can thrive. From a business perspective, culture matters because it drives performance and influences risk; it is key to attracting and developing the best talent and it is vital to executing strategy.

Learn more about the power of assessment.