The Role of Company Culture in Talent Acquisition

March 28, 2016 Deb Broderson

Talent Acquisition,  it's not just about skill set

Did you ever think that hiring someone with the right skill set was the most important element of the interview process.  Think again.  I just finished reading an article that drives home the importance of company culture in the talent acquisition process.  The article My Year in Startup Hell clearly identifies the importance of a cultural match between the hiring organization and the potential hire.  

Let me start by disclosing three items about my work history: 

  1. Yes,  I have worked at start-ups.  The successful ones always have a bit of the craziness described in this article.  People work hard and play harder.  While I'm not a start-up junkie,  I do have a friend who just can't quit working for them.  She goes from one to the other, to the other, etc.  She loves the culture behind a start-up.  
  2. We are a HubSpot client and while I can't address the culture inside their company,  they have a really good product and great client support.  However they got there,  it's working for them.
  3. I'd give my youngest child (sorry Jesse) to work at a company that allows dogs to "roam the halls".  I've been fortunate enough to work at two companies that are pet-friendly and bringing my dog to work made getting up at 4AM worthwhile.  In fact, I took one job specifically because they were dog-friendly.  Perks is also dog friendly  and our CEOs dog, Xee is at the office every day, in fact, his picture can be seen on our leadership page.

So, when I read this article,  what leaps off the page at me,  is that a person was hired who did not, could not and would not be able to successfully navigate the company culture.  It just was not a fit.

It makes good copy talk about the fact that the person hired was 52 and that the people he worked with were in their twenties, but the age differences are irrelevant, and just muddy the waters.  Facts are facts - this was never a cultural fit.

Preventing cultural misalignment

When interviewing potential candidates, I always ask them to describe what they are looking for in a new company.  It is amazing how often the responses describe a company very different in style or size from how I would describe Perks.  When that disconnect is pointed out to the interviewee,  they typically breezily try to explain it away.  

Here's where an Employee Referral Program is invaluable. You want candidates backed by your closest allies: your employees themselves.  After all,  who knows the culture better than your employees?  As important to an understanding of the company culture, social recruiting supports all areas of the employee life cycle and will improve time to hire days, reduce recruitment costs associated, engage your employee population and improve your retention rates

Better yet,  your company won't be featured in a book about called My Year in Startup Hell.  

Have questions? Send me an email!


About the Author

Deb Broderson

Deb Broderson comes to Perks with 30 years of diverse experience leading channel marketing, marketing operations and program management teams within the technology industry. Deb has provided strategic direction to Fortune 500 clients, developed and executed global, multi-channel, go-to-market strategies and created worldwide field marketing organizations. Deb has worked on both the agency and client-side of the business, providing a well-rounded perspective to client challenges. Deb was honored as one of the Top 50 Channel Chiefs in North America by CRN.

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