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A company’s culture refers to the shared set of values, goals, attitudes, behaviour and practices that make up the organisation. It is the ethos, the way people feel about the work they are doing and the morals they believe in. It permeates all, from C-level execs to front line staff and is a defining blueprint for everything a business does. According to Dave Cummings, co-founder of Pardot: ‘company culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.’
When a company purports a strong culture it leads to a cohesive environment that allows a candidate who also shares these values to flourish. There are a number of different long-term benefits that hiring with culture in mind offers.
This is perhaps the most instant factor. A happy employee who feels connected can immediately function well in the organisation’s workplace. Even if the job suits a person’s skill set on paper, an incongruent environment can lead to dissatisfaction. For example, BuiltIn notes that employees are 26% more likely to leave if they feel there is a lack of respect between colleagues.
Employees who actively embrace a company’s culture become increasingly invested in every aspect of their work. They tend to be more confident and will endeavour to work harder and achieve.
Hiring with culture in mind means hiring for longterm. When employee and employer beliefs and behaviours align, there is considerably less motivation to leave. Decreasing turnover also reduces recruiting expenses and cuts training costs. According to the Harvard Business Review, losing an employee due to a poor connection with the culture can cost an organisation between 50-60% of the person’s annual salary.
Commitment to company
In companies that foster strong cultures, 90% of employees report to feel confident in their leadership team. Sourcing candidates who consistently demonstrate behaviours that blend well are intrinsically motivated to help the company reach its goals.
Finding potential employees who can easily integrate and adopt the core values of a company helps to drive long-term growth, eases integration and even improves retention rates. As much as 50% of new hires fail within the first 18 months because of bad fit, so it is important to find people who understand the company and team DNA.
Keep this in mind…
Hiring solely for culture fit can be a tricky business. It stands on a knife-edge. While statistically successful on one side, when abused, it can be a dangerous shorthand for discrimination. The benefit of sourcing people to suit a culture is clear. But it is also important to ensure this doesn’t come at the cost of diversity. Biases need to be effectively and consciously separated. You want to target the right candidates for a position, those who fit into the culture of your company, but not if they exacerbate an issue of homogeneity.
The goal is to hire, instead, for a culture add. You want to source people who not only align with the company’s standards and values, but also bring different elements that positively contribute to an organisation.
With the proper definition of your company culture, and objective tools that can be measured against this, there are immense benefits to hiring for a culture add. But the practice requires rigour and vigilance.
For a deeper discussion on culture add and its importance in recruiting, why not download our eBook here! It delves into all aspects, from the benefits and potential pitfalls to attracting the right candidates and interview prep.