Culture is the unwritten rules and unspoken mantra of a company. It is closely correlated to how the organisation actually operates. Often intangible, it is the underlying mood and feel of an organisation. Company culture is important to employees as they are more likely to enjoy their work when they embrace and feel aligned with the company culture.
The greatest impact a poor Talent choice can have is a detrimental effect on the company culture which directly impacts staff morale. Not only does this lead to decreased productivity it causes rising resentment and anger within the team.
Disregarding the importance of cultural fit is the biggest mistake made when hiring a new employee. When hiring it is tempting to choose the Talent with the most impressive credentials and experience. However, ignoring cultural fit that results in employment of someone who is culturally misaligned will almost certainly cause issues.
Cost of a bad hire
Hiring quickly to fill a vacancy may suit short-term interests, but in the long term, it can be costly. Introducing new Talent into a company with a healthy, working culture can be daunting. If you hire Talent whose behaviours, work ethic and expectations do not match those existing in the team, you will be disrupting more than the culture. Sometimes such hires are purposefully made by Management because of the need to drive change.
Statistics show that a bad hire in Australia can cost a company, at a minimum of two and a half times the salary of that Talent. This means Talent earning $100,000 who is a poor recruitment choice can lead to a potential loss of $250,000 coupled with the impact on staff morale, which is usually 23% lower. Talent not aligned with the existing company culture will eventually part ways unless the cultural change is desired, and you will have to begin the entire recruiting process again.
Spend the time upfront to assess the personality traits and values of the potential Talent with your organisations existing values and cultural. It is as important as matching the Talent’s skills and experience with the job tasks and responsibilities.
Know your culture
Very simply, if you cannot define your culture, you cannot assess. Culture grows organically with the team and the older the organisation is, the stronger the culture is in the eyes of its employees. Because a company culture is often intangible it can be hard to define and therefore assess.
You only want to hire Talent whose beliefs and behaviours have congruency with your company culture. Your current employees are best able to describe the company culture as they are aligned with it the closest. Identify your existing company culture by speaking to your current team about their experiences in the workplace. This will give you a clear picture of the personality traits incoming Talent must demonstrate to fit with your existing team.
Vague, recycled job descriptions do you no favours when hiring. Your job description should not only describe the work your candidate will do, clearly articulately their role responsibilities and tasks, but it should also describe the working environment and challenges of the role. If you’re a dog-friendly office with flexible working hours, let the candidate know. If working on weekends is commonplace and afternoon drinks with the team happen every Friday, say that too. Don’t hide the truth from anyone or you run a significant risk of bringing in someone whose expectations are different from the reality of your workplace. (It is why we recommend the preparation of a performance profile – but that is a completely separate article)
Articulating your culture enables you to better understand what you are looking for in your next Talent appointment,
Make Cultural assessment a significant part of your recruitment process
Assessing cultural fit must be a part of the selection criteria when searching for Talent. When recruiting, the focus is too often on clearly visible tangibles Talent brings such as their skills and experiences. Unfortunately, too regularly the consideration of whether the Talent will be a fit for your company culture comes last – or not at all. If you spend the time to define what your culture is, then when you are recruiting, spend time assessing the fit of the potential hire.
Interacting in the interview setting cannot give you a true representation of how the Talent is likely to behave in the workplace. This is because an interview is an artificial environment where both parties are trying to sell themselves. Instead, take them out of the environment where they feel they have to wear a mask and test how they react in a more natural setting. Go to a less formal environment and observe how they deal with the people they come across in it. This will give you the greatest insight into their true values and behaviour.
Ask them to share with you the culture of their previous working environments that they have been a part of and what they liked and disliked about them. Chances are if they are used to working in a large corporate environment where they simply turn up and do their work, they might not be suited to a boutique workplace. If you have Talent who prefers to work independently, but your company is an open-plan office with an emphasis on teamwork, they are less likely to be happy and efficient.
Employees are more likely to stay where their needs and values are consistent and aligned with the workplace. Hiring Talent based purely on their skills and credentials will almost invariably lead to issues sooner rather than later. Avoid repeating the recruitment process over and over by defining your company culture and including it as a pivotal criteria that must be assessed during your recruitment process.
If you need help when next recruiting for your team, contact the team at C3Talent.