Company culture is a great way to build an environment of success that continues to attract great employees and leaders. Hiring people who mesh well with that culture helps you bring in people with the same mindset who can continue to build that culture from the inside.
It can be tricky to hire for culture. You have to ask yourself some questions:
- Do you have a well-defined culture in your workplace?
- How can you determine if a candidate fits into your culture in two or three meetings?
- How much of your desired culture are you willing to sacrifice if you are in desperate need of personnel?
What Is Your Culture?
What is your company culture? It’s very tempting to appeal to every culture, since many of them are complimenting. But just like evaluating your personality, you can’t chose every trait.
Evaluating what culture already exists is a great place to start. Are your employees introverts who enjoy a peaceful office space and hygge-themed office perks? Or are they extroverts who thrive in the open office space and love exciting outdoor activities? Looking critically at your current employees’ tastes and preferences can help you choose who will fit in among them. Watch your flock and make sure you don’t accidentally add in a goat.
How Do You Find Those People?
So how do you find people who will fit into your culture when you only meet them once or twice?
Research them heavily.
Social media checks, calling references, and turning the tables on your interviewee is a great way to get more information on your candidates. Evaluating the language they use in their resumes, checking their interactions on social media, and letting them talk will all give you more information about who they are as people. There are a variety of ways to let your interviewees talk: listen carefully, interact with what they say, and give them space to talk a little more than they might otherwise.
Just like finding your perfect client, marketing to your dream employee can also help you find these superstar employees. If your favorite employees found you via LinkedIn, advertising your posts on that network may be useful.
Putting your job postings where your dream candidates will find them and researching those candidates when they are qualified will help you find the perfect fit. Speak the language of your dream applicants on a platform where they will see it.
Sacrificing Culture? What?
Sometimes, in order to meet staffing needs, you need to make some compromises when it comes to company culture. There are areas where you can sacrifice your company culture and times when you should focus on not doing so.
It can be very tempting to sacrifice culture when dealing with your freelancers and independent contractors, but they are still employees who work for you, and their additions to your work is part of who you are as a company. It can be very tempting to hire the cheapest, most qualified candidate, but having someone whose vision matches your own can make for better results.
Can You Ignore Culture?
Ignoring your company culture can be dangerous. A well-defined company culture that makes your employees feel like they are at home will lead to better quality results. But sometimes, you are inclined to hire someone who clearly does not fit into the culture based on their stellar qualifications.
This is a time for you to consider where you could place them within your company. Will an odd-couple situation work for your office? Yes! Can your introvert be placed with a very kindhearted extrovert? Definitely!
Holding onto cultural standards too harshly can hide dream employees from you. Think more about where potential employees can fit into your culture rather than trying to hold them to a set cultural standard.
Hiring for your culture means defining what your culture is. It also means searching for your dream employees and researching the ones you’ve found. Just keep in mind that culture is more than a set standard; it’s about creating an environment of success.