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Acknowledging Culture In Your Hiring Strategy

There has been much discussion lately about culture, specifically the way that it relates to the workplace and employment. The implications have too often been lost in a blur of buzzwords and the glib way the term has been thrown about in the media.

The culture of your company plays a huge role in employee retention. Fortunately, the right recruiting consultant can help you to create the conditions to hire the right people and to retain them more effectively for the long run.

Culture Defines Comfort In The Workplace

It is worth taking a detailed look at culture in the context of hiring because one of the most important needs of workers is feeling like they fit in. Surveys consistently show that the most valued attribute of a position is not pay but team environment and manager-employee relations.

Your organization’s culture is actually a subculture of the community at large, where it finds employees, customers and any other stakeholders that have an interest in your enterprise. When you are recruiting new people, the faults and quirks of your culture limit how new hires see the potential to fit in. Your culture determines if they will agree to join you, and then whether they will settle and stay.

If employees can feel safe and believe that they can contribute at a high level, they are more likely to stay longer and contribute more effectively. To create the conditions for this to happen, you need to match the candidates to the culture from the very beginning. If you want to get the best retention results, you need a hiring strategy that communicates the values and culture of the company.

The significance of the fact that culture outweighs salaries as a determinant of job satisfaction and as the primary reason to remain with an employer cannot be stressed strongly enough. When you look at hiring through this lens it means that new employees who feel a sense of belonging are more likely to stay. It also means that candidates who do not believe that they will fit in will tend to decline offers if they can get a true sense of the culture before they join.

Culture As A Shared Mental Model

In the book The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge wrote about the elements that drive an organization’s culture. One of those elements that he defined in the book is the shared mental model, which is essentially the internalized understanding that each member develops, of the organization in parallel over time. It is the shared story of a company and the feedback that drives its evolution in a direction, which team members all share in common, of what is going on and what it all means.

Senge was writing about organizational learning. However, it gives a really helpful insight into the nature of culture because it makes clear that, as a company’s culture has grown over time it can be a shock to an outsider who is thrown into it, without having shared in the evolution of the culture, as it has grown over time.

It can be difficult for established members of an organization, particularly managers, to see the true character of a company’s culture clearly. The image, which is often projected to outsiders such as job candidates, is closer to the idealized mental model of what managers wish their culture to be. Unfortunately, once inside a company, the reality of the workplace becomes very apparent to new employees; no one is served when this leads to disappointment.

The Value Of A Smart Recruitment Service

Fortunately, there is usually enough overlap and shared culture in the community at large that some outside candidates will be better suited than others. They may not share directly in the organization’s subculture, but their experience will have been similar enough to allow them entry and to successfully grow into a productive team member.

One of the most valuable services that a recruiting expert can provide is to recognize the key attributes of the authentic culture within the organization and to develop a strategy that will best match the right hires to the company. The best search and recruiting services drive the hiring process and work with companies and candidates to find the best matches for both sides. This serves to better retain new hires, regardless of external economic changes.

The Hiring Mindset When Employees Have Choices

When you work with a professional recruiting service, you bring in a well-established base of experience and a fresh perspective. You need to have good people in order to succeed in business and the best managers and professionals know that they have choices now. You will achieve much more rewarding outcomes when you employ recruiting expertise that creates the right hiring strategy for the culture of your business.

So, while you have to work harder to attract the best people these days, a professional recruiting service can guide you to a strategy that enables you to do it less often (retention wins every time for cost effectiveness). Take advantage of the knowledge of a recruiting professional and the training they can give your team to put it into action. The cost will be lower to you, the culture will be better for everyone involved, and your business will be in a stronger position for long-term success.

Leanne Abraham is President of Premierehire, an Executive Search and Staffing firm, that specializes is helping companies secure and retain top talent in IT, Engineering, HR, Finance/Accounting, Sales/Marketing, Customer Service and Administration. Premierehire works as an extension of your leadership team bringing in the expertise and skills to help your company excel at acquiring and keeping the talent you need to succeed.

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