Authenticity in a company mission and vision is critical. Employees, partners, vendors, and candidates can sense when your culture is just a slogan, or if it’s really the lived values of the company.
How Do We Know When a Company Lives Their Values?
A 2002 study showed that nearly every Fortune 100 company had virtually identical value statements. You probably know them already: Respect. Integrity. Responsibility. Trust… but how many companies care about those values after the yearly shareholder meeting? How many companies live their values every day?
Here are some tell-tale signs that a company doesn’t live their stated values:
- Daily behaviors aren’t consistent with company values. Chances are, a person can tell within minutes whether a company treats them with respect, or whether the company cares about their employees. Employees who are stressed, distracted, unreliable, or treat others poorly are engaged in daily behaviors that reveal the real corporate values.
- High turnover. Job seekers and industry experts alike are well aware of how many job openings a company has, or how long they have been working to fill positions. High turnover is a red flag for poor hiring practices, unhappy team members, and lack of a clear vision and values.
- Too many posters. Ironically, there often seems to be an inverse correlation between the amount of values printed on posters, mouse pads, and coffee mugs, and company values that are actually lived every day. The 90s trend of decorating the workplace with mission statements didn’t actually result in changed behavior, because behavior is embodied every day from top leadership to the frog lines. If your company values are nothing more than a poster on the wall, you may need to rethink your strategy.
How Company Culture Affects Hiring and Recruiting
Corporate culture and values crucially affect not just hiring, but also retention. Candidates who aren’t the right fit, or who believed in false corporate values, will quickly move on to a company that better suits them. And when your HR and recruiting staff are truly living company values, it will shape every aspect of their work. Here are some of the important ways that culture affects recruitment:
- Creation of job listings. Companies that care about values reflect them in their job listings. This isn’t always just referring to the mission statement or company values in the text: values also influence job descriptions, team roles and interactions, and daily processes. Your description of the work, company, benefits, and requirements are all reflective of company values.
- Professionalism during the recruitment process. Candidates should be treated like customers. If your business would respond to a prospective client right away, respect their time and schedule, and greet them by name, then you should treat candidates the same way. The behavior of HR and recruitment teams during the hiring process is indicative of how your employees behave toward each other every day.
- Authenticity during interviews. The job interview is the best time to determine if a candidate is a good match for your company. Their CV indicates their skill and experience, and lets you know if they are capable of performing the role, but only an interview can indicate their values, attitudes, and priorities. Use the interview to find out what matters to them, what motivates them, what they care about, and how they solve problems. Be honest and authentic, in order to effectively communicate your corporate values, and listen with an open mind. Make the interview into a dialogue, rather than a question-and-answer session.
In today’s competitive job market, company culture is the best way to set yourself apart, attracting candidates who share your vision and are passionate about your goals. Culture is the best way to find candidates who are the right fit for your company, and who will stay longer and perform better. Make sure that your values aren’t just skin deep, and use them to connect with the right talent. At Grapefrute we are experts in learning your company culture and attracting the best technical, commercial & cultural fits. Contact us today for a tailor-made recruiting solution.