Why workplace culture might need fixing before trying to hire

Posted by Luke Burnett on Mar 20, 2019 3:46:53 PM
Luke Burnett
Find me on:

Culture is commonly defined as the ideas, ideals, standards that values that a certain set of people share. Organisational or company culture is fast becoming a more and more popular and fundamental notion.

But recruiting for culture fit is not just about people you want to have beers with after work (though, obviously that’s important). It’s about those who have an approach and principles that align with those of the company. A recruitment strategy driven by and celebrating your culture could be the means to attracting and retaining the best employees.

Hiring for culture fit comes down to making sure employees respect each other, work well together and mirror the company’s attitude and values. What it doesn’t mean is overlooking different cultures and lifestyles, or dismissing personal values you don’t agree with.

Creating dissent, resentment and conflict is a bad thing. It is often said that people don’t leave jobs they leave managers. Workplace culture management has never been more prevalent. 

The result of poor culture fit due to turnover can cost an organisation between 50-60% of the person’s annual salary, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

But before you can start recruiting, you need to address any issues that may already be prevalent. Most employees won’t want to work for very long in a toxic environment or one where they don’t happily ‘slot in’. Even if they do manage to stay the distance, they likely won’t be as positive, engaged or productive as they might be.

A good way to test the culture in your company is to regularly think about your vision and values and to regularly survey your staff against these values.

It’s imperative that hiring managers, interviewers, recruiters, and everyone else can easily identify desired culture characteristics.

Times have changed in recent years, and now potential employees are looking for different things than they were five or ten years ago. Generally, they no longer want a ‘job for life’. They want freedom, flexibility, responsibility, trust and development. If you offer these things to your employees they are more likely to stay longer, work harder and promote your brand to friends, family and people in their networks.

New call-to-action

If you have a robust Employer Brand, it will do most of the heavy lifting for you. People will be engaged, they will want to work for you and you will also attract the right culture fit. 

Your company and careers website, social media and job ads are the things candidates, potential candidates and external audiences will see first and judge you on. It is essential that your Employer Brand comes across strongly throughout all these touch points. 

Interviews and interviewers can also give candidates long-lasting impressions of your company. So it's especially important that everyone in the company is well versed in your Employer Brand, vision, values and culture. If your Employer Brand is consistent and at the forefront of everything you do, you’ll always be recruiting, whether actively or passively. Reputation is key.

To paraphrase a well worn saying, ‘If you build it, they will come… And stay.’

Recruiting for culture fit has become a standard. Cultural fit is the compatibility between an individual employee's personality traits, work style, beliefs and attitudes and the organisation's culture. When recruiting a new employee, it may appear vital that they have the required knowledge and skills for the role. But many recruiters believe culture fit is the single most important factor to consider. After all, you can teach skills, you can give training and development, but you can’t teach attitude or outlook.

Topics: Workplace Culture Management