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Why Recruiters Should Put Company Culture First

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Cultural fit isn’t the only thing that matters when matching candidates with the right prospective employers, but it should be Number One on your list. Why? Because for an increasing number of job seekers, the right alignment of a company’s vision, mission and values – and the understanding and behaviors around them – with their own is the secret sauce to their long-term commitment to an organization.

  • Culture is the “personality” of a company – and both candidates and existing employees often place it above other factors, including salary, in terms of what contributes to their satisfaction at work. It’s the core, the heart and soul, the glue that ultimately holds everyone within an organization together, driven toward common goals.
  • Candidates expect information on company culture before they even consider applying for a job. If they don’t get it, or are unhappy with it, chances are very high that they’ll bypass a company all together. So as a recruiter, be sure to clearly communicate culture. As you work to fill a role, keep it top of mind from your first contact with a prospective hire.

One Bad Apple

You’re probably already aware of the staggering costs of a bad hire: pegged by the U.S. Department of Labor at 30 percent of an employee’s first-year earnings, although it can vary widely depending on the position, company, industry and geographic region. It also has a toxic viral effect. One bad apple on a business team can indeed sour the whole bunch, alienating their peers and feeling alienated, nonproductive and generally miserable themselves.

  • If you fail to address culture in your recruiting process, a candidate who is poor fit may wind up being hired simply because neither party was aware of the mismatch. And the collateral damage can include weakened morale, high turnover, and indelible negative hits to a company’s brand. To paint the positive side of this picture, if you succeed in making the right cultural matches for a client company, their good reputation – and yours – will likewise quickly spread.

In a nutshell, communicating a company’s culture to candidates from the start helps them understand what they could expect to experience as an employee. In turn, this assists them in making an informed decision about whether to move forward in the hiring process or save everyone a lot of time, energy and expense and look elsewhere.

How to Hire for Cultural Fit

There are steps you can take to gain maximum insight into how well a candidate would fit a company’s culture. They include:

  • Referencing that culture in job postings and any other advertising for a role.
  • Deep diving into culture during interviews. Be transparent about it, make candidates aware of company cultural priorities and initiatives, and don’t let the conversation end until you’re satisfied that you’ve made a match.
  • Get to know candidates on a personal level. Chat with them over coffee or lunch so you have a good feel for their personality and character. Then, before you go any further, you can take a beat and assess where this cultural fit – or lack thereof – is going.

Need more tips to help your recruiting career soar? Partner with the Search Wizards team and we can make it happen together. Reach out to us today to hear more.



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