Before the global outbreak occurred, 2020 predictions and trends in job and hiring showcased the rising importance of the organizational culture. More specifically, different industries’ leaders realized their employees’ impact and power, which led to a gradual shift in culture-first thinking. Since executives started to realize that part of succeeding companies’ inner strength lies in labor, the employees’ needs are of higher importance now more than ever before.
Since then, the pandemic shed even more light on the impact of the work culture. Why is that organizational culture matters greatly, and why should you hire for a cultural fit?
In the next lines, we go in-depth with answering the 5 most valuable questions about culture and culture-based recruiting.
1. What is organizational culture?
Let us start by covering the basics. What is it precisely that makes a corporate culture?
All the shared beliefs, assumptions, and norms among employees – that is what constitutes the organizational culture. Physical, tangible aspects from the work environment that affect the intangible parts count as well. From defining business hours, dress code, work ethic, employee benefits to having Friday beer and ping-pong with colleagues. Or simply the office décor: black & white minimalistic furniture setting or wooden & leather chairs/desks, etc. It all contributes to the overall organizational culture – what makes the company’s core beliefs and values. Just like every individual has their unique traits, the same goes for each company’s culture.
That being said, a crucial chunk of what makes the corporate culture is the shared belief between employers and employees about how they can behave and the consequences of it.
Leaders set the tone and drive the culture of the company.
For instance, if the CEO does not foster open communication, it is doubtful that the employees will give their honest feedback.
2. Why is organizational culture important to define?
Culture is rarely expressly defined. On the contrary, culture in the organizations is usually implied, and a direct result of the hires companies have made over time. For a company’s culture to be influential, employers need to consider the business market they are operating in, its strategies, and workforce. For instance, an organization that sells eyewash products cannot have the same culture as an entertainment company.
What are their business priorities – employees’ safety or innovation – have different meanings and magnitude depending on the various industries. The intake? Culture influences organizational performance, and that varies for sectors.
3. What can we learn from the most successful companies?
Just like there are no perfect individuals, there is also no perfect or best culture among companies. Clearly, some organizational cultures are better than others.
A study done over time indicated that there were no common cultural attributes among 18 successful businesses in the US that stay at the top list for 50 years. However, each of those 18 companies knew what kind of corporate culture they wanted to have and sought candidates for cultural fit. Their cultural efforts are projected in recruitment efforts where they value hiring and managing the right employees for the unique company.
Apple is such a company that has a profile of a candidate with a specific personality and cultural traits that the company has outlined to be points of differentiation from other brands. Apple has a clear vision of what personality and cultural preferences seeks to nurture within the company, thus seeks for those values in candidates.
4. How has COVID-19 changed culture and recruitment?
The pandemic accelerated the digitalization of companies in few years. Whenever possible, remote work quickly became the new norm. Thus, work culture has changed its shape, and it can no longer be found in systems and routines in the office. This does not mean that culture does not exist since employees are still at its core. Cultural beliefs and norms are still being created through remote and hybrid work.
The first lesson for moving forward with an effective work culture is to forgo the office-centered way of fostering culture.
The second lesson is understanding that the ability to connect with people digitally is less satisfying for people, and they can quickly feel disconnected. To tackle this issue, some companies should establish more touchpoints with employees. For instance, employers can reach out more often and explain the purpose of doing so.
The third lesson for executives is to be more flexible and offer a post-pandemic world a possibility for a hybrid working style. This type of work is the future. Studies show that:
“While only 16% want to be fully remote, only 12% want to return to work in the office five days a week. A clear majority of 72% want the option of working within a hybrid remote-office model.”
Return to work
Hybrid remote-office model
5. How are culture and recruitment connected?
As mentioned above, culture is made of the cumulative hires that a company had over time as employees. How the organizations attract employees, who they hire, select, and keep is all connected with each place’s work culture. In this sense, the relationship between culture and recruitment is its brand image and how they communicate it. Those businesses who understand the importance of culture also value their recruitment processes to make sure that they market the company’s values, beliefs, and norms. The efforts to communicate the company’s culture early on and find a cultural fit between the organization and applicants are mutually significant. A word of note here is the proper understanding of the proper meaning behind “cultural fit“. That is not to fit already hired employees to a desired cultural framework where they clearly struggle to resonate with. On the contrary, it is the process of CEOs to identify their cultural preferences and seek candidates that have the same cultural values. Those hires should feel and know that have their individual freedom within the company’s cultural values and norms.
Employees who resonate with a specific organization’s brand projection will have certain expectations. If they are not met, the risk is of dissatisfaction, consequential disengagement with the workplace, and high turnover. A study shows that if a worker feels like they align with the work environment also stay longer and are more tolerant of potential errors that the company might make.
So, how do you hire for culture? What criteria represent “culture” and make your regular recruitment strategies a “cultural recruitment”? Word to be told, if you already have recruitment software for your hiring processes, simply adding recruitment extensions that help you choose from pre-selected cultural values will tremendously help you screening candidates based on those values.
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