Hello, Companies! It’s Rita, again!
Everyone at Landing.jobs knows I’m a Culture Trainer Advocate. It’s not an excuse to have fun; I believe Culture is the glue that makes talent work together to achieve greatness. It’s what enables the whole as greater than the sum of its parts.
For instance, in our case at Landing.jobs, I’d like to see someone who can’t stand the sound of a cowbell or someone who hates speaking two languages in the same sentence. That would be an interesting social research.
Today, I want to talk to you about how, as Companies, we can assess if someone has the nowadays highly acclaimed cultural fit during a hiring process.
Cultural fit should be thought of as a skill-set. And like all skills, there are people who have them and people who don’t. And although a skill can be learned in school, through books, or lectures, cultural fit is different. Way different.
I read that “cultural fit is the likelihood that someone will reflect and/or be able to adapt to the core beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that make up your organisation”. Basically, we’re talking about values and attitudes, things that define us as Humans. Naturally, the number one rule you should follow when thinking about Culture during your hiring process is to understand that candidates are humans, not just CVs, Linkedin or Github accounts, or unread emails.
With this in mind, let’s think a bit about the important things we can do to hire according to Culture.
1. A hiring process is a two-way process
Sorry to disappoint you, but you’re also being assessed during a hiring process. #feelthepressure
The process needs to be transparent to both Candidate and Employer, so both sides can have enough information to decide whether there’s a fit with one another.
2 . Make sure you and everyone in the team understands your Culture
This may seem pretty basic, but I can assure you it’s not. The very first step should be to understand the core values and beliefs of the company. The ones which shape its personality, purpose, and philosophy. It’s all about what’s behind the “why” the company was built on, and “how” the company works on a daily basis. Do not forget to make sure that everyone is on the same page on this.
3 . Communicate your Culture
No, I’m not talking about sharing photos of people playing ping-pong on Linkedin. If there’s a rule I learned at Landing.jobs, it’s “Always be hiring”. If you want to hire people who fit in at your company, you need to attract them, to make them see they’re looking for you, even when you’re not hiring. Mainly then.
Job ads, culture representative videos (e.g.: show a day with your Prod Team for instance), or company blogs are some examples of how you can communicate your culture to the outside world.
At Landing.jobs, for instance, we write a few blog posts about our work methods, which always take into account our company culture, and we’re never shy to share our fun side:
Plus, once a month we organise our Landing.sessions, an hour-long session where we invite someone from outside the company to learn about different topics.
Plus, give voice to your employees. Look at me, for example: I’m writing an article about Culture. Through this blog post you can rightfully guess that Landing.jobs worries a lot about helping their Clients about Culture and, more importantly, how much we do worry about it. With this simple gesture we’re telling our network how important this is to us.
By communicating what you do and your practices, it opens up a window of communication with your future employees, as well. If someone identifies themselves with a piece of content you share, it’s more likely that they will apply for a job at your company.
Some of our Clients talk a lot about the fact that they aren’t able to attract talent. I have the ultimate tip: always create content that shows your team, your company, and what you do. I assure you, once you start a hiring process, people will come to you.
4 . Ask the right and smart questions
First of all, one minute of silence for the souls who keep asking questions like, “What is your favourite color?” or “What was your favourite toy as a child?” (really) thinking they’re assessing a candidate in a good way.
I can assure you, if you make the right questions you’ll quickly understand whether the person has the right fit or not.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask:
- Have you ever worked in a company or on a side project that was meaningful to you? Can you tell me a bit about that experience?
- What do you want to accomplish in life through your work?
- Why did you choose us and not our competitors?
- What kind of issues do you personally care for?
Pick some company values and ask questions related to them:
- Problem Solving — Tell me about a time when you had a big problem in your hands and needed to solve it. What did you do? / How did you solve it?
- Customer Facing — Can you describe a moment when a Client complained about your service? How did you respond?
5. Your Hiring process practices must resonate your culture
Create the opportunity for candidates to assess your culture by having contact with the daily environment of the company (e.g.: onsite, via Skype, an informal chat through beers)
Involve the people who are going to work with the candidate in the process. Besides creating ownership of the hiring process across the entire team, candidates can assess whether they see themselves working with them.
6. The Cultural Fit assessment is way more than the “normal hiring process”
Check the candidate’s behaviour before and after their assessment moments. They can be super cool with you, but not so much with members of the team.Check how the candidate interacts with their team when you’re not looking (yes, you can ask their help!);
The process doesn’t end once both you and the candidate say yes. The process doesn’t end once both you and the candidate say yes. Onboarding is crucial for new employees to sink in the company’s culture; the culture itself will also adapt and change with inputs from new employees.
Extra-tip (because I’m a nice person): Aim For Diversity
Hiring according to cultural fit doesn’t mean you need to hire every single Engineer who finished his studies in school X, who was born in city Y, and who took part in 7 hackathons. Darwin wouldn’t approve this choice. Success is all about Diversity. With little diversity your organisational creativity and fresh, crazy problem solving ideas will decrease.
In the end, “culturally” hiring someone is a Human, Team Work, All-the-time-communicating process. If you keep this in mind, you’ll find that Little, Beautiful, Cultural-Fitting Unicorn you’ve been looking for.
You can start by looking for one here. 😉
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