Is Company Culture Crucial To Successful Hiring
Building an authentic company culture is one of the more complex challenges facing organisations of all sizes. It’s also one of the most elusive. A 2014 Gallup poll shows that more than half of all employees in the U.S. describe themselves as ‘disengaged’ at work. Millennials are the least engaged demographic, suggesting that positive company culture may be in decline, despite economic growth.
Fostering a culture of shared values in which each employee does what they do best is no mean feat. If businesses are to meet this challenge, the work must begin at the hiring stage. A meticulous recruitment process will minimize the risks associated with mismatched employees: disengagement, individualism and low retention rates.
A healthy company culture makes for a healthy business. Let’s look at some of the ways in which a strong company culture – one shared by all employees – can improve your business:
- Productivity. When morale is high, productivity increases. The cost of low morale in the workplace is huge, but because it can be hard to spot, and its negative effects difficult to quantify, it’s often ignored. Companies that impose top-down, command and control styles of management are less productive. Equally, unfocused management that does not communicate their expectations will result in less productive outcomes. Boost productivity by encouraging open dialogue between all employees and managers, and setting clear goals that are achievable but challenging. The more valued your workforce feels, the more likely they are to go the extra mile in achieving your objectives.
- Reputation. On it’s own, high productivity is not a reliable measure of a healthy corporate culture. If it goes hand in hand with a respected brand image that customers and employees alike want to be associated with, you’re doing it right. A healthy culture encourages workers to deliver the products and services of the highest standard – even when it’s not, in the short term, going to directly benefit them more than doing the bare minimum. A strong reputation is vital to the recruitment process, as it will attract the most talented, skilled candidates to the organization.
- Retention. Workers with a positive attitude are far likelier to remain loyal to your company. High staff turnover is very costly, so it’s important to get the right people in the right roles from day one. Turnover is contagious, but so is retention: the longer employees stick around, the more likely new recruits are to do the same.
Recruiting for Culture
Ascertaining the suitability of a candidate for your company culture is a real, actionable goal. But it requires companies to think differently about how they project their corporate image. Does your PR material truly reflect your culture? What will potential candidates take away from looking at your website? Does your brand image match the job requirements you’re asking of them?
To answer these questions honestly, you need to look externally to see what others – current and former customers and staff, disgruntled or satisfied – are saying. Use sites like vault.com to see what job applicants say about your company culture and bear in mind that, even if you think a particular criticism is unjustified, perception matters.
During the recruitment process, invest more time and training in ensuring you properly assess candidates’ values. Too often companies obsess about skills and qualifications and, while these things are important, they are easily assessed by looking at a candidate’s CV. It’s only by talking to prospects at the interview stage that you can establish whether their values are consistent with the values of the organization. If you hire someone with the right qualifications but whose values are misaligned with the company, be prepared to lose them.
And that is the most important message: more often than not, turnover is rooted in cultural mismatches. Know your culture, and make sure everyone you work with knows it too. By nurturing a sense of camaraderie and community, you’ll build a strong, loyal team capable of attracting strong, loyal talent for the future.
Matt is a Director of The Talent Hive and leads the Engineering recruitment practice within the business. Originally from the UK he’s been living in New Zealand for 12 years. Matt is a retired ‘amateur’ athlete who has given up chasing great marathon times for chasing his young children around the park, a far more worthy (if not exhausting) pursuit.
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Categorised as: Talent Search & Management