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Using the power of company culture when recruiting

5 Mins

Many people talk about how important it is to create a great company culture, but the biggest challenge is enhancing that as your company grows and new employees come aboard.

Company culture is always there in the background, either motivating or frustrating its employees. Saying or thinking you have an amazing culture and actually having one could be two completely different things. When it comes to recruitment you can only hide a bad company culture for so long; with the growth of social media the truth is only a tweet away.

The premise of creating a top notch culture seems, on paper at least, to be a pretty simple process; establish the equivalent of the sun and get everyone to point in its direction. Recognising the key factors that allow you to establish that position, however, is a whole different ball game. It will take time, patience and may well be a journey of discovery about your business as you find out things you didn’t know – or didn’t want to know.

The first step is identifying those behaviours the company values and those traits which are taboo when it comes to the kind of company you want to be. Your values will have an impact on everything you do within the company and at the heart of this should be a plan for continuous growth. Regular communication with – and getting to know – your staff plays a huge role in creating a company culture to be proud of as everyone needs to be feel both needed and that their contributions are appreciated.

(1) The critical cultural fit

You should never compromise on cultural fit when you are recruiting. Even a potential employee that blows your mind at their interview could turn out to be a bad hire if they don’t fit in with the ethos of your company culture and your current team. You cannot move the goalposts to suit one person, however much skill or experience they possess, so be prudent in your questioning at the interview.

Bring in elements of the company culture without actually spelling it out during the interview as in that position they will say anything you want to hear to get the job – leading to serious issues further down the line.

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(2) Multi-step interview processes

Telephone and video interviews are very much par for the course in modern recruiting, but use one of these to concentrate on how well they will fit into your company culture.
Are they easy to talk to when not discussing the job role? Are they contributing to the interview or just waiting to answer questions? Do they display enthusiasm or is their body language or attitude telling you they feel this is all a drag that is somewhat beneath them?

(3) Transparency

Recruitment isn’t just about explaining the job role but getting the message across about what makes the business tick. Ask the candidate what input they would like to have in key areas such as staff reviews and what they would do personally to display the values of your company. Their reaction will give you an instant indication of whether they will be a valuable member of your company culture or become a nuisance.

Another good indicator is the average length of time they have spent in each of their previous jobs. Somebody who has jumped from one company another may well be a lone wolf who finds it difficult to fit into an already established company culture, only you can decide if they are worth the risk.

Tim Morris is a director of IT recruitment agency Applause IT

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