In yesterday’s Advisor, we noted the fact that trying to assess whether a candidate will be a good cultural fit for the organization is both difficult and important. Sometimes finding the right fit is even more important than finding the right skill set. We also noted that this assessment goes both ways—while the employer is assessing “fit,” so is the candidate. Today, let’s continue that discussion.
How to Communicate the Organizational Culture During Recruitment (Continued)
- At some point during the recruiting process, let the candidate know more about the physical working environment. If applicable and possible, show them the work space. How the work space is set up will show the candidate what the working environment is like. For example, is it set up as an open plan? Or as cubicles? Or are work stations kept separate from one another? What common areas are available? What type of break room area is provided?
- When bringing someone in for an interview, pay attention to what they’ll see. Will they see décor and other things that give an indication of the working environment? What does the décor say about the company?
- When outlining expectations, give information that speaks to the working environment, not just job tasks. This can be done fairly informally by including plenty of descriptors and adjectives. (I.e. is the work fast-paced and deadline driven? Are there expectations of long work hours? How quickly do expectations and goals get changed? How much flexibility is required? How much autonomy is a typical employee given?)
- Consider using your benefit structure to communicate the company values as well. For example, it sends a message to employees if an organization offers a lot of leave options and flexible working options. It sends a different message if the organization limits PTO and opts to not provide benefits like health insurance. If your benefit structure is in alignment with the company culture, it will help the candidate get an idea of what it will be like to work there. Communicate about benefits early to let the candidate know what will be available to them if they join the organization.
- Tell candidates about what’s realistic to expect in terms of employee development and advancement opportunities. (Telling them up front can help set realistic expectations, no matter what the situation.) For example, what onboarding is provided? What ongoing training is provided and at what intervals? What are realistic expectations in terms of career progression?
- Consider allowing a job candidate the opportunity to have an informal discussion with another employee – ideally, someone who has no bearing on the hiring process – to ask questions about what it’s like to work for the organization.
It’s important to remember that there’s little to nothing to be gained from trying to portray the organization in an inaccurate way. There’s much more to be gained from trying to paint a complete picture so that both sides can assess whether that ever-elusive “fit” exists.