Why defining your organisation's culture could expose more suitable candidates
Let's define organisational culture. Organisational culture refers to employees' shared norms and beliefs as well as tangible aspects of the work environment reflecting those values.
Defining your culture can give you a competitive advantage
Your company values shape the perception that current, potential and former employees have about you as an employer and what it's like working for you. You might be missing out on hiring top talent if you are not managing, or promoting, your company culture enough.
A strong culture that resonates with your top talent is key in attracting and retaining that talent. We see a strong desire among the workforce to work for a company that aligns with their personal values.
So being a company that has attractive values, and that lives by them, will set you apart from competitors. It makes you a great employer and gives you an advantage when competing for talent.
There is not ONE best culture
The authors of the book 'Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies' analysed 18 top U.S. companies for their culture. They found no common, distinctive cultural attributes. This shows that there is no single best culture.
However, they did find that all 18 companies placed a lot of value on hiring, developing and managing employees based on cultural principles and beliefs. All of them had a culture unique to them and they hired people who fit that unique culture. This illustrates that a great company culture is one that is authentic.
A good culture affects your organisation's ability to attract quality hires. It also enhances your employees' workplace experiences and thus creates a more motivated workforce. Your bottom line will be positively impacted by higher employee retention rates and higher performance.
So how does defining your organisation's culture lead to more suitable candidates?
Defining your culture means establishing a clear set of values, goals and practices important to your business and current employees. Make sure to weave all of those into your hiring process and train recruiters and managers to look for and identify critical characteristics in candidates that underline your culture. You will want your talent acquisition to be at it's very best.
For example, if innovation is one of your core values, you can look for candidates that are innovative, with a proven track record of thriving in innovative environments, that have delivered innovative pieces of work, etc.
For some businesses, collaboration could be an important part of their culture. Hiring managers then need to identify whether a candidate thrives most in a collaborative environment or by working individually on projects.
This could be through asking questions like 'What is your ideal workplace?' or 'Tell me about a time you worked for an organisation where you felt you weren't a good cultural fit'. Other options are to conduct psychometric tests or group assessments.
Involve employees in defining your organisational culture
One of the best ways to define your company culture is by getting your employees involved. Encouraging that conversation with current employees makes defining your culture inclusive and two-way. Realistic employee stories shape your culture and allow you to thus match external perception with internal reality.
Ultimately, people want to work with like-minded people. So getting your employees involved in defining your culture will lead to attracting like-minded, more suitable candidates.
To sum up, you want a strong, unique and authentic culture that reflects what it says to be on paper internally. It will be a true magnet for top talent. Assessing for culture fit during your hiring process means hiring more suitable employees that will thrive in their roles and will stay longer.