How to Hire People Who Fit a Company's Culture
We're searching for top company cultures to be featured on our annual list. Think your company has what it takes? Apply Now »
Entrepreneurs work hard to build and cultivate the culture of their organizations. But company culture doesn't result from an edict from upper management. It’s made up of the work and values of every employee. Each new hire can contribute to sustaining or eroding that culture.
Hiring employees who understand and exemplify company values serves to reinforce the organization's mission and vision and create a tighter team. And because many of today’s younger workers are specifically seeking positions at firms that are in sync with their values, finding hires that are cultural fits is a win-win for both the company and the employee.
Glassdoor recently announced its Top 25 Companies for Culture & Values. For companies not on the list, here are some tips explaining how to hire workers that not only fit but can also help build a great corporate culture:
Translate values into behaviors.
Spend time analyzing the company's values and determining how those values can be translated into actions. For instance, if the company wants employees who are team players, this could mean they stay after hours to help co-workers solve a problem or look for ways to acknowledge others’ contributions to their successes. Putting these value-based behaviors in writing will help the recruiting team develop a firm grasp of the type of people desired.
“Values that place a strong emphasis on responsibility, personal development, well-being, inclusion and recognition are key for any company looking to create a more effective culture," says David Nelms, chairman and chief executive for Discover, a corporation on Glassdoor’s list. "Leaders must clearly demonstrate by example how common values foster an atmosphere that inspires employees, contributes to the success of the company and produces a better experience for customers.”
Communicate value-based behaviors to hiring managers. Spend time training managers on the firm’s culture and values and be sure they understand the behaviors and actions that show if someone is a good fit.
Use behavior-based interview questions.
Rather than asking applicants about their values, using behavior-focused questions solicits information about how they’ve handled situations in the past. The specific examples shared by applicants from their past will help managers determine whether they have a history of acting with the company's core values at heart.
"The basic premise of the behavioral interview is that past performance is a good predictor of future performance," Angela Stanton, associate professor of marketing at Radford University, wrote in an article. She suggests asking questions like "Tell me about a time when you had to be really flexible" or "Can you share a situation when you were able to build rapport quickly with someone in a stressful situation?"
Communicate core values to candidates.
Use the company's careers page, blog and social media accounts to regularly communicate corporate culture, values and mission to potential applicants. Rather than simply listing corporate values, be creative and share stories that demonstrate those values put in action. For instance, post brief interviews with current employees sharing examples of how the company's team celebrates successes together or exactly how it is a family-friendly workplace.
"The power of Twitter's culture is our employees' shared mission and pride in the platform that enables connecting everyone to their world,” explains Skip Schipper, vice president of human resources at Twitter, which Glassdoor selected as the #1 company for culture and values.
Hiring workers who contribute positively to the company's culture helps foster a great work environment. These employees become brand ambassadors, affect future hiring and boost the employer's brand. If companies are not putting an emphasis on their culture during hiring, they may damage their brands, the efficiency of their organizations and even their bottom line.