Corporate Culture Starts With How You Hire
When you imagine the perfect corporate culture, what does it look like? Perhaps it’s a work environment where you can count on every member of the team to perform their duties correctly, where people step in to help when one member of the team becomes overwhelmed, or where you can carry on a lighthearted dialogue with your coworkers without detracting from the work day. Great company culture isn’t born overnight–and it starts with your hiring process.
Your Hiring Process Sets the Tone
Think about the way you treat potential candidates when you bring them in for interviews. Interviewees are told that they should pay attention to your company culture throughout any interactions they have with your company. They’re checking out your website and social media pages and using the interview as a chance to see whether or not your company is a good fit for them personally and professionally. A smart interviewer is prepared for that process and knows how to provide the answers your candidates are looking for. This might include:
- Opening up and allowing your best candidates to take a walk through the building to meet other members of the team and interact with them.
- Offering information about the company culture, from the type of clothing employees most often wear to company events.
- Showing off the work environment: individual offices versus cubes or an open work space, for example.
- Discussing why previous employees weren’t a good fit for the job in a candid manner–not just with the job skills they possessed, but the personality traits that weren’t a good fit for the office environment.
During the interview, you also want to show that you’ll treat your employees with respect. Individuals who come in for an interview have other demands on their time and energy. When they’re with you, you want to:
- Get them in and started with the interview process promptly, without keeping them waiting.
- Share information about any potential delays.
- Offer the same candid conversation you want from them.
Hiring the Right Person for the Job
Today’s employers are quickly finding out that it’s often difficult to find new employees with precisely the skill set they need. Don’t feel that you’re stuck with a candidate who won’t be a good fit for your business simply because you don’t have many candidates with the specific skills you’re looking for! Instead, hire for cultural fit. Most employees are willing and able to learn the skills they need in order to do their jobs correctly. Personalities, however, are much harder to change! Look for a new team member who will fit with your existing team. Some tips:
- Invite the entire team to meet with the candidate before deciding to hire. Allow them to voice their opinions before making a final decision about the candidate.
- Look for the right traits. What do you really need in a candidate? Are you seeking someone who has great people skills? An entrepreneurial spirit? Defining the traits you need in your employees and seeking them in your candidates allows you to choose a candidate who is a better fit.
- Choose a candidate that meshes with your organization’s values. Whether it’s the charity that your company supports or the values that make up your mission statement, look for a candidate who can support the same things you do.
The right candidate for your workplace will fit well with your existing employees. While no transition is ever seamless, they should be able to work well with the existing personalities on the team, rather than creating a stumbling block that discourages teamwork or makes other members of the team uncomfortable.
Building a strong corporate culture starts in the interview. By choosing the right candidate for your open position, you can shape the way your organization’s culture develops. The more attention you pay to those details, the better you can maintain a strong company culture and keep your employees happier on the job every day.
Michael DeSafey is a leading executive recruiter for professionals in the construction, engineering and environmental industries. He is currently the President of Webuild Staffing www.webuildstaffing.com . To learn more about Michael or to follow his blog please visit www.michaeldesafey.com