We’ve all heard about the importance of building a strong company culture for your employees. But what does that even mean? Hanging ironic posters on the wall and eating pizza on Fridays in the break room? Company culture can mean many things; but an easy way to explain your company culture would be to simply identify a few words that define the company.Not what your company does, but what it stands for and what is important to your company. In other words, the core values of the organization.
It can also be explained by things such as how one gets promoted and what kind of behavior gets rewarded/reprimanded, and what it takes to “fit in.” A company culture doesn’t mean everyone acts in the same robotic “cult-ural” way, rather a strong company culture is able to take everyone’s opinions and personalities and collaborate them to achieve common goals. It is critical to define the culture of your company because it provides employees with the foundation that they need for the ideals they are expected to follow and for them to have an understanding of the company’s direction and core values PRIOR to them joining the team. Despite its importance, many companies let the culture of their company simply “evolve” or take shape rather than paying any formal attention to it. Which does makes sense because having the foresight to completely map out a long-term plan for culture is difficult and rare for the most part. Nevertheless, being able to identify those values are crucial. So how do you re-establish a strong company culture right now, today? The key to reestablishing or placing a higher emphasis on your company’s culture starts with the new employees that you hire and the process in which those hiring decisions are made.
Obviously the knowledge and skills that a candidate possesses are of the utmost importance, however the cultural compatibility needs to also be a match before a hiring decision is made. This needs to be focused on during the recruitment process from the initial interactions with candidates to the interview stage and eventually the job offer. A 2012 poll conducted by CareerBuilder found that 67% of employees who were considered bad hires were described this way due to their lack of competency and job fit, while 60% lacked a cultural fit. These results show the importance of hiring based on both job fit and culture fit at the same time. This idea is causing the recruitment process to be more and more based on core values and cultural fit rather than technical competencies. According to a study conducted by an international talent management company, Development Dimensions International, 78% of respondents believe that organizations and hiring managers do not assess for culture fit because they do not know how. So if this is the case how can you even begin with keeping culture in mind when making hiring decisions, especially if you are working with a recruiter? The key is to work collaboratively with the recruiter to make sure cultural fit is implemented in the screening process. Agile recruiting allows the recruiting team to work with hiring managers and provide feedback about their cultural fit with their organization. Having this line of communication and feedback is so important because it allows the recruiter to identify candidates who match exactly what the company is looking for from a cultural standpoint. It can save a company thousands of dollars by avoiding hiring a new employee who is not a fit. If a recruiter does not understand the culture and values of the organization it is recruiting for, the candidates that they bring in could be counterproductive to the company’s cultural efforts.