Workplace culture is much more important than you think. Often, top candidates (especially younger ones) spurn higher-paying positions to work in an environment that “feels like home”. It’s critical that you sell your culture when courting top job candidates.
Corporate culture comes from the top. It should be the ongoing contribution of the founders and/or the C-suite. However, time goes by. Founders leave or become disinterested. The C-suite has enough on its plate. Your company culture can end up in the utility closet next to the broken printer and reams of printer paper.
We’re not going to tell you how to create a strong corporate culture. Maybe in another blog post, but not this one. We’ll assume that you’ve put in the work to create a unique, dynamic culture that sets you apart.
This article will tell you how to protect and maintain your corporate culture while hiring and ensure new hires are a cultural fit.
When discussing your corporate culture with a candidate, you need to be transparent and upfront. It’s something to be proud of, not something to brush under the rug.
If you are interviewing an outgoing candidate and are concerned about his or her fit in your button-downed, reserved organization, you owe it to yourself, your organization, and the candidate to address your concerns. Maybe the candidate is just chatty out of nervousness. Address it and save everyone a lot of problems down the road.
Set clear expectations
Take the time to put some things down in writing. You don’t want to end up playing a game of telephone with something as important as your corporate culture. Be clear about what behaviors and principles your business values. Don’t leave the candidate guessing.
Do as you say
This one is easy and if you don’t do it, you’re done for. You can’t sell your culture or effectively share it with a candidate if you don’t believe in it yourself. Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. Many things that appear on formalized job documents don’t translate at all to daily job performance. Make it clear that your company culture can be seen and felt every day.
Recruit the right people
Drill HR or your recruiting team on your culture. Let them know how they can leverage it to get the attention of top candidates, but more importantly, make sure that they are finding candidates whose values are consistent with it. You can identify candidates who would be good cultural fits by spending time learning about their motivations, past behavior, and the type of culture they are seeking in their next role.
Hire leaders who buy-in
Leadership needs to be the defender of your corporate culture. They need to be on the same page and invested before they start. Extra time spent vetting, testing, and interviewing leadership candidates will pay dividends down the road.
Keep it personal
Develop relationships with your team. It’s much easier to share values, motivations, and goals with people when you know them well. The more your know about your employees the better you can relate to them.
Reinforce the community
Culture, like all things in the business world, won’t take care of itself. It’s a living, breathing, growing thing and you need to care for it. A golf outing, company picnic, or leadership retreat can go a long way in strengthening your culture and your team. Make the investment, it’s not optional.
For more information on corporate culture read our articles on “The 3 Questions That Determine Cultural Fit” and “What’s Your Corporate Culture Made Of?”
What’s your corporate culture? How do you maintain it when making new hires?