When it Comes to Making Great Hires, Culture Matters

Every organization is trying to recruit and hire top professionals with first-rate skills, proven experience, and a passion for their work. The savviest companies look for one more attribute that can take an employee from great to outstanding: a strong fit with the corporate culture. 

Of course, employees need to be able to perform the tasks associated with a position. But when they’re also aligned with a company’s culture, they are in an even better position to succeed. And, of course, when the team is thriving, so will the organization – all the more reason to make culture fit a key consideration in your hiring process. 

So, how does an organization determine if a candidate is a good match for its culture? The Achievers’ 2020 Culture Report offers some great advice, including these three things candidates are looking for.

1) Recognition. Some forms of recognition, such as raises, bonuses, and promotions, are obvious. But those aren’t the only ways employees can be rewarded for a job well done. Appreciative words from a manager, a thank you lunch, or a gift card to a favorite store are also great ways to commend an employee’s performance.

When you’re interviewing, ask candidates how they’ve been recognized for past achievements, what they’ve liked or disliked about it, and what’s worked and what hasn’t. Then, ask yourself: do their expectations match up with your company’s practices?     

2) Alignment. Employees are more engaged when workplace culture aligns with business values. Is your firm focused on generating profits and growing? Or, is making the world a better place a primary goal? In either case, employees that share your values will be more effective.

Again, the interview can shed light in this area. Ask candidates how they’ve aligned themselves with their company’s goals and objectives in previous roles. Also, ask them how they’ve gone the extra mile to support that mission. Their answers may point you to your next go-getter.

3) Listening. In an information-rich society where communication is vital, employees want to know their voice is being heard. The format could vary – from one-on-one meetings to town halls to company surveys – but employees want the ability to provide input and have it treated as valuable. 

As you interview candidates, ask them how they’ve helped to improve or strengthen the culture in previous organizations. Have they been collegial and collaborative with their colleagues? As you assess their response, you’ll get a sense of whether they’ll do the same for yours.

Relevant job-related skills will always be important, but remember: Culture Matters. Whether you’re struggling with how to define and describe your company’s culture, or how to determine if candidates connect with it, the experts at Alaant can help. Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!

About the Author

Tom Schin Director, Talent Acquisition Partnerships & Recruiting Consulting Services for Alaant Workforce Solutions

Tom Schin, Director, Talent Acquisition Partnerships & Recruiting Consulting Services

When he’s not working, Tom is an avid board game enthusiast, from Catan to Canasta, who makes sure game night is fun for everyone (even though they’ll probably lose). He’s also fond of celebrating his status as a child of the ‘80s by watching Star Wars, listening to U2, and reminiscing about his (gone-but-not-forgotten) Andre Agassi haircut.