Posts Tagged ‘recruiting and hiring employees’

Your Company’s Culture

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Company Culture E

Hiring employees is a lot like dating.  If you know yourself well, you know exactly what you’re looking for in a partner—and why those blind dates your Aunt Jane sets up are often disastrous. You know when there’s a good fit, even if you can’t quite explain why. 

It’s like that with companies, too. Every organization has an expected culture—law firms are generally very polished, while garden centers may have a more relaxed feel.  High-tech start-ups are high-energy and filled with workaholics; retirement homes are necessarily less stressful. 

Identifying your company’s culture can go a long way toward recruiting and hiring the best employees.  Take a good look around—what do you see?  Are people relaxed and smiling, or anxious and stressed out?  Is the environment neatly organized with everything in its place—or does it always need tidying up?  What do you hear? Is there a certain lingo in the conversations taking place? What type of music is playing? Or, is there no music—ever? Who’s allowed inside? Are there public and private spaces, or is the entire business open to everyone?

What about your company’s public face? Is your advertising formal or fun? How do employees communicate—in person or through memos and email? How do they address your customers? How do they address each other, and management?

All of these factors make up the invisible, but very real, culture of your company. When recruiting and hiring employees, keep the culture in mind and remember that you cannot force a good fit. Square pegs generally fit best into square holes. If your culture is formal and polished, an applicant wearing a t-shirt and jeans is not likely to work out well. And if your staff is all about fun and funky, a tightly-wound, stressed out type would not make for happy co-workers.

Think about the types of people who succeed in your organization—and those who fail. Determine their strengths and limitations, and look for these in potential applicants.  Then, think about the core values you want to promote in your company, and make sure you hire with them in mind. If customer service is the basis of your company’s culture, you should only hire applicants who demonstrate high levels of service. A wrong hiring decision can set your company back several steps. If product excellence is most important in your company’s culture, be sure your potential employees are likewise committed to delivering the highest quality product each and every day. 

Understanding your company culture can make it easier to hire and retain employees—just make sure your Aunt Jane isn’t setting up the interviews!

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