Why Company Culture and Recruitment Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

Odd man out
A recent personal experience in my own employment, has led me to the all too important realization that company culture is a top priority for myself when considering a position. I doubt that I’m alone on that. For me, working with people whose ideas, and ethics I respect, trumps pay, and even the job I am doing when it comes to having a position be a good fit. This is why culture is so incredibly important in recruitment. If an employee doesn’t agree with a company’s core principals, and doesn’t feel any unity with their employers, what incentive do they have to work hard, stay in their position, and be respectful?

In a post on interview.com titled “How Recruitment Can Help Scale Company Culture” they offer three tips on how to leverage your company’s culture to help recruit the right staff. The three tips, essentially, were to identify the ideals and ethics that define your company’s culture, hire leaders who embody this culture, and promote this culture to your staff, and to outsiders. I couldn’t agree more with these tips. I would like to elaborate a little more on the first and last tips, because I feel they are integral to understanding why company culture and recruitment, are intrinsically linked.

Defining your company’s culture is important for more than recruiting. Having a clearly defined culture is helpful for branding, retention, and recruitment. When you hire an individual whose ideals differ drastically from your organization’s, you run the risk of not retaining them, among other things.

Here’s a personal anecdote regarding the importance of culture in hiring; Recently, I was hired as a full-time blogger for a marketing company. In many ways this was a dream job. I got to write full-time, and work from home. Unfortunately, the culture was a disastrous fit for me. To put it as simply, and as unbiased as possible, I had a different opinion than my employer when it came to the ethical end of online publications. In addition to the business culture, the people I worked with, were just not like me. It was a very sterile, suburban, environment. That was just an awful fit for this colorful, urban woman.

As a result, I no longer work for them. Had I been more selective in my job search (sometimes you just need a job!) and had they had a more properly characterized company culture, they wouldn’t have wasted their time and money on training me. Sure I was perfectly experienced for the job, but one look at me in the interview could have told them I was not a good fit, had they been honest with themselves about their own culture. This is a perfect example of why it’s so important for companies to know what their culture is, for themselves, and their potential employees.

Another issue when it comes to an organization’s culture, once it’s defined, is letting your employees, and the public in on it. If your employees feel well-aligned with their company’s culture, they are much more likely to be productive, stay in their position longer, and help recruit like-minded employees. As most recruiters know, sometimes the best referrals come from within, so letting employees in on what makes your company unique, will help the communicate it to others. Even classified ads that clearly state your company’s culture will help attract the right kind of talent, and save you trouble down the road.

Company culture should be considered a lynch-pin for hiring by recruiters. No matter how perfectly talented and experienced a candidate may seem, as I have proven myself, if it’s not a good fit, it’s not a good fit. While all of the people who I worked with at my previous position were perfectly nice people, and the business was great, it just wasn’t right for me. If you multiply my experience by about a million, you can understand why it’s so important for organizations to recruit employees who share similar ideals, and thrive in whatever unique culture your company provides.


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