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Company Culture and Candidate Selection go Hand in Hand

on Sun, 10/29/2017 - 02:27

If you are lucky, at the end of the recruitment process, you will have more than one strong candidate to select that you will extend an offer to.  If you are really lucky, early on in the recruitment process, you will find what you know is the right candidate…if this happens, move quickly and extend an offer right away, don’t shop around.  Knowing when to pull the proverbial trigger is an art in the world of recruiting. 

Part of the art of selection is making sure your candidate will fit in with your company culture. To many the term, ‘company culture’ is a mystery.  Simply put, company culture is the personality of the company.  The company culture defines the environment in which employees work.

Your company ‘about us’ website page should have a clear description of the company’s mission and values.  Some company websites have testimonials from employees, which can be a helpful way for candidates to learn about the culture.  If you had to describe your company culture in five words what would you say?  What does your firm celebrate?  Do you have company-wide meetings?  Are the firm’s executives approachable?  Is your culture fun and weird or more traditional yet flexible? 

While recruiting for a manufacturing firm we needed to hire an engineer with strong CAD experience.  Many CAD engineers tend to keep to themselves but the company that I was recruiting for had a culture of competitive team projects, monthly company-wide meal gatherings, celebration of employee birthdays and other highly interactive gatherings.  While being sociable wasn’t a requirement, a standoffish personality would have a difficult time fitting in with the company culture.  During the phone screen I would gage the candidate’s verbal communication skills.  I would ask what percentage of their job duties involved hand-calculations.  If there was a high percentage of hand-calculations I would ask the candidate if they enjoyed that aspect of their job or would they prefer to be more involved with the team projects.  Candidates would then let me know if they really prefer the serenity of keeping to themselves or if they felt boxed-in and bored with all the heads-down calculations.  Those candidates that expressed enjoyment in their solitary work were not a good match for our interactive engineering role. 

I have also recruited for large corporations where the company culture is steeped in tradition where each change the company undergoes is a years-long effort. Hiring a candidate with a clear entrepreneurial spirit, to this big, slow moving company would be a rather suffocating experience for the new employee. 

A strong company culture can contribute to improved employee communication, collaboration, wellness and performance.

It is important to pay attention to your company culture because if you don’t define your culture, someone else will.

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