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Tips to Recruiting for Cultural Compatibility

November 20th, 2018 by Jackie Doherty

In today’s tight employment market, understanding how culture supports talent acquisition is essential to attracting strong candidates and making the right hire—not only to fill today’s openings but to select people who will stay with your team. As you strive to hire people with the right skills, they should also fit your company’s culture for the match to be long-lasting and truly successful.

“One of the ways we develop strong partnerships with our clients is by taking the time to understand their culture,” explains JCSI President Jim Sullivan. “Knowing your culture helps us better identify your A candidates and can be an effective tool for attracting talent to your opportunity.”

Culture is the company’s personality and work environment.  It encompasses many aspects, from team-building events and pizza Fridays to company-supported community service or an organization’s management style. Whether the company encourages a collaborative, open-door approach or supports a traditional hierarchal structure, culture is a top-down concept: Leadership models the organization’s values and mission, setting the tone and the culture.

As a recruiting tool, culture is most effective when it reflects a positive environment that is infused in all aspects of the search. This works two ways: First, hiring managers seek qualified applicants who meet their skill requirements and fit well with their existing team. Second, candidates want to join a company where their contribution is valued and their personality matches the culture. To be successful, the cultural fit must encompass both perspectives.

Three areas to consider when strategizing how culture can inform and enhance your recruiting efforts:

  1. Know Your Culture: Understand the personality/culture of your organization, the micro culture of the department, and the type of personality best suited for the role and the team. Cultural awareness requires an honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your company culture to build on the assets and lessen the gaps by hiring candidates who work well with the existing team while moving it forward.
  2. Share the Benefits of Your Culture: The benefits of your organization’s culture should be an integral part of your recruiting strategy at all phases of talent acquisition—from job descriptions to messaging. It can be as simple as highlighting company awards, events and perks, to emphasizing values, and promoting retention and promotion data.
  3. Own Your Culture: Whether it’s the mission-driven energy of a start-up or the unlimited advancement potential of a large, established firm, aspects of your culture will appeal to different people. From the first moment of contact between a recruiter and a candidate, your culture is on display through messaging and most importantly, through the actions of your hiring team.

Recruiters are the first ambassadors for your employer brand, so it is essential that your company’s culture is represented in an accurate and positive light since cultural compatibility is directly linked with employee retention, satisfaction and success!


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