A company’s recruiting culture is the first doorway through which potential candidates peek at their overall organizational culture. More than ever, the company’s internal structure will determine its ability to attract and retain talent. And that includes the recruitment process. Think of it as an elementary part of branding. It either drives desire or repels candidates. The company’s mission and value statement may look good on its website; however, nothing speaks more about work culture than real actions.
Not long ago, a post of developers refusing to undergo lengthy technical tests went viral on LinkedIn. According to one of the platform’s users, companies should either pay for the time invested in solving coding problems or find contentment in simpler hiring processes. Whether managers agree, the inevitable reality is apparent: the recruiting culture must be aligned with the type of professionals companies aim to attract. Hiring the best technical fit is only part of the puzzle. Imagine an ambitious employee stuck in a slow-paced work environment or an introvert struggling to perform in a highly informal organizational culture. More often than managers wish, the most knowledgeable candidate does not necessarily have the best behavioral fit.
The importance of a well-rounded recruiting culture
Often, companies looking for top talent focus on technical expertise and proven working experience without considering behavioral fit. Nevertheless, a well-rounded recruiting culture gives equal importance to both. It comes from the comprehension that when the hiring process is aligned with the organizational culture, it can improve employees’ satisfaction, productivity, retention, and long-term engagement.
A sole focus in hiring for technical fitness has significant potential to backfire. A new hire may know everything that is to know about the role to perform well. Still, if they are unable to adjust to the culture, the negative impact will be visible throughout all levels of the organization. It is like placing a plant that requires 8 hours of sunlight in a dark living room. The plant slowly wilts, unable to acclimatize itself to the environment. Similarly, candidates seek positions in which they can flourish. They want to find their natural habitat—a place to thrive.
According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor in four countries — United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany, organizational culture trumps salary. The study with over 5,000 adults revealed that 77% of the participants would consider the workplace culture before applying for a job. In addition, 56% confirm that the company’s way of doing business is more important than the salary when it concerns job satisfaction.
During the last two years, great coverage was given to the great resignation, as if workforce dissatisfaction was a new phenomenon. However, the massive exodus of professionals switching jobs is only the natural aftermath of a deficient recruiting culture that continually fails to address the importance of the organizational match. Culture directly impacts performance. Hiring culturally fit professionals is not only good for workplace morale but is excellent for business. Happy employees perform better and are more likely to refer their employers to family and friends, acting as a doorway in the early stages of the recruitment funnel.
Be honest about the organizational culture
The desire to impress sometimes makes companies stretch the reality of their workplace culture. Understandably, people like to cause a good impression, like on a first date. But companies must be honest about their organizational culture, on and offline, if they seek a long-term commitment with employees. Although a well-built presence may do the initial trick, new hires will easily spot discrepancies between spoken value statements and the actuality of the work.
Take the necessary time to define the organizational culture of your business. Make sure that your perception of the culture actually matches the reality. Once corporate values are defined and put into practice, recruiters can begin marketing the organizational culture to candidates as an added value proposition. They will be able to realistically showcase the benefits of working with your company beyond the paycheck.
If your company wants to use organizational culture as a selling point, it is important to create an accurate representation. It is nearly impossible to hide a negative company culture in today’s highly connected society. When companies insist on a false representation, they ultimately act against their own interests. Though this may not be immediately evident. No matter how long it takes, once employees find themselves in the wrong place, they will resign, leaving managers with the overwhelming costs of finding and training a replacement. Remember, the purpose of defining an organizational culture is to make each puzzle piece fit easily into place and not force it to match.
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