The first step in recruiting the right people for your business is to know yourself and know who you want.
Deliberately shaping a cultural DNA enables you to attract talent that reflects your core values so it’s critical to take the time to establish and define your company culture. If you leave it to develop organically, you leave it up for interpretation which is a dangerous thing that becomes harder and harder to manage the bigger your organisation becomes.
Your Company Culture is your company’s unique identity — distinctive characteristics that set it apart from other organizations. These characteristics give employees a sense of meaning just from being part of the company. They also create passion for what the company does. But it’s not all just feel good stuff — the best performing companies typically display a set of performance attributes that align with the company’s strategy and reinforce the right employee behaviors such as…
- Honest. There is high integrity in all interactions, with employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders;
- Collaborative. There’s a recognition that the best ideas come from the exchange and sharing of ideas between individuals and teams;
- Agile and adaptive. The organization is able to turn on a dime when necessary and adapt to changes in the external environment;
- Innovative. Employees push the envelope in terms of new ways of thinking; and
- Oriented toward winning. There is strong ambition focused on objective measures of success, either versus the competition or against some absolute standard of excellence.
- Performance-focused. Rewards, development, and other talent-management practices are in sync with the underlying drivers of performance;
- Accountable and owner-like. Roles, responsibilities, and authority all reinforce ownership over work and results;
Few organizations exhibit all seven of these attributes. But high-performing organisations typically focus on the three or four that are most critical to their success.
Now, when it’s time to hire, you have a high-level benchmark to evaluate candidates — Using your defined cultural values, create criteria to score potential candidates.
As an example, AppDirect is a cloud service marketplace one of their values is “True North” which they define as “taking the lead in prioritising and managing efforts to deliver on company goals.”
To evaluate this, candidates are given a list of company to do’s and asked to prioritize them in an order that will ensure success. This shows how well they understand the company’s fit in the marketplace and how well they can determine what needs to be done to achieve those goals. While there’s usually no “right” answer, this exercise creates a conversation that allows you to understand their thought processes and how well they’re aligned with other team members.
But defining cultural value to evaluate cultural fit isn’t the whole job done when it comes to knowing who you want.
Next, you should think critically about the role you’re hiring for.
When it comes time to hire someone new, it isn’t simply a matter of copying and pasting the old job ad and job description. Whether it’s an existing position or an entirely new one, you should always go back to the drawing board and think critically about why you’re hiring someone for this role, what skills/ abilities and attitude they will need to be successful in that role and, not only that but happy working in your team, and finally how you’ll judge their performance.
If you go in with a clear picture of the kind of person you’re looking for and the selection criteria you’ll use to evaluate candidates, you’ll attract better quality fits and be able to distinguish the “yes’s” from the “no’s”.