Don’t underestimate cultural fit. It’s just as important as a skill fit. A candidate who is lacking in either won’t last long at your company.
Imagine a new data analyst who is insanely talented, but is also arrogant and often disrespects people on your otherwise tight-knit team. Or, imagine hiring a developer who thrives off teamwork and face-to-face collaboration, but for a remote, international team.
Those situations will not end well for your organisation. You’ll end up investing a lot of money in onboarding and training, only to lose it when your new hire feels unhappy and walks out. The only way to avoid these kinds of headaches is to be transparent about your company culture from the outset. It will help you engage the right candidates in your recruitment process, while those who aren’t a good fit will self-select.
In this post, we have outlined nine ways you can use your culture to its full potential – one that makes your ideal candidate think “This is the place for me”.
1. Sharpen up Your Careers Page
A career site shouldn’t just be a submission portal for applications. It should spell out in clear terms why talented candidates should want to work with you. Share insights about your company culture throughout your career site, starting with your mission statement and values. Everything else on your career site should be aligned with those. The end goal is to give potential candidates who are visiting your website a realistic picture of what it might be like to join your organisation.
Here are a few things you can do:
Create employee spotlights: A series of employee spotlights on your company blog can help candidates see your company culture in action. For example, if your organisation values continuous professional development, share a story of an employee who has been with you long-term, and has been promoted several times.
Publish a culture code: In many cases, company culture is implied. However, some companies like Hubspot and Netflix put a lot of thought into explicitly outlining their culture so it is crystal clear. If you already have a well-defined culture, this is an excellent way to communicate it.
Choose the right benefits and perks: The right benefits and perks can help you attract and impress culture-fit candidates. For example, the online fundraising and donation platform JustGiving gives new employees a donation voucher to give to a charity of their choice. This helps get things off on the right foot in a company culture that is built on generosity.
2. Take Social Media Seriously
Social media offers a great opportunity to provide an authentic window into your company culture. In addition, it helps to considerably expand the reach of your recruitment efforts and further engages strong passive candidates. Social media efforts work best when you encourage your current employees to share their workplace stories on social. Visual content is the key to success here, so make sure you include plenty of photos and videos – this holds true for all the major platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Here are a few things you can do to enhance your social media presence:
Post photos and videos from company events: Whether you’re holding a company-wide training day, attending a conference, or celebrating an employee’s birthday, take photos and videos that give a behind-the-scenes view. Emphasize visual content that supports your culture. For example, a company that values diversity and inclusion may share photos from their employee resource groups or a video of their team at a ‘Women in STEM’ event.
A day-in-the-life: Choose an employee to take over your Twitter or Instagram account for one day each week, to share what an average day looks like for them. For instance, if your culture is family-friendly with a great work-life balance, you may choose to showcase an employee who works flex hours.
Create your own hashtag: Chances are, your employees are already sharing their workplace stories on social media, so provide them with a hashtag so those stories can be brought together into one stream. This adds credibility to your culture as it is seen through the lens of your employees.
3. Embed Your Culture Into Your Recruitment Process
There’s no point putting all that effort into attracting great candidates if your recruitment process doesn’t match the culture you are promoting. Candidates will be put off pretty quickly if they get the impression it’s all smoke and mirrors. So it’s key that your culture extends into your recruitment process. This could potentially mean going back to the drawing board. Every step, from your outreach and application process, to your interviews and offer, should be crafted with your company culture in mind.
Here are a few things you can do to build your company culture into your recruitment process:
Deliver a great candidate experience: How you treat candidates should reflect how you treat employees. If respect for people is a core value, it doesn’t look very good if your interviewers turn up late and unprepared or your hiring managers fail to follow up when they say they will.
Build the right interview panel: The people you have interviewing candidates can speak volumes about your company. So if you value diversity, you should make sure to create a diverse panel of interviewers. Or if you value professional development, at least one of your interviewers should have a history of internal promotions.
Include a lunch interview: A lunch interview gives both candidates and interviewers a chance to relax. They can get to know each other on a more personal level. It also gives candidates an experience of your company culture outside the boardroom.
4. Find Your Culture Champions
Culture Champions are individuals who embody the values of your company and they’re a vital component of positive company culture. They’re like micro-influencers within your own company who take every possible opportunity to shout about the amazing work your company is doing.
Find Your Champions: Every company has those individuals who bring up everyone else around them. These are the types of people you want to be at the forefront of your culture.
Give Them Something To Take Culture To The Next Level: If these are the people you’re trusting to champion your culture and come up with the ideas, it’s a great idea to give them some budget to really take things to the next level.
5. It’s Time To Shout About Your Company Culture
With most companies struggling to find tech talent with the right skills alone, adding culture fit to the mix might seem like a bad decision. It will inevitably shrink the available talent pool. But a small candidate pool is fine if it’s full of the right people. Candidates that will perform best as employees are those who are genuinely excited about the prospect of joining your organisation. The argument can even be made that focusing more on culture fit, may help you attract candidates who otherwise wouldn’t have considered your opportunity. Your company culture can be a competitive advantage but only if people know about it.