A 2018 Korn Ferry survey of 1,100 hiring managers, cited in a recent Wall Street Journal article, found that an alluring company culture has become the most important factor in recruiting top talent in today’s candidate-driven job market.
Employers eager to attract new talent have previously instituted incentives like office ping pong tables, free snacks, and craft beers on tap after business hours. But keeping employees happy and engaged goes beyond these office perks. Patty McCord, a human resources consultant and the author of “Powerful,” a book on workplace cultures, says they’re missing the mark. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, she described these perks as perfect for a “fun vacation” but ultimately “not what [employers] are here to do.”
So how exactly does one go about creating an alluring company culture and finding employees who’d be a good cultural fit? And how do you accomplish that goal without creating a homogenous group of people? It turns out, the key is understanding exactly what cultural fit is and what it isn’t.
In short, for employees, being a good cultural fit means loving a job for more than just a paycheck. And for employers, it means having employees who will continue to work hard even when no one is watching. That means looking beyond cold brew coffee office taps. It means finding out whether applicants are in sync with the more fundamental elements of a company’s culture.
Applicants who are enthusiastic about a company’s mission or purpose, who share a common approach to working, and who have a mutual understanding of how to make decisions and assess risks, are likely to be a good cultural fit for that company. And while those things are more difficult to decipher in an interview than determining things like educational backgrounds, they’re vitally important to ensuring that the hire will be a worthwhile one.
Companies, then, have an obligation to make their cultural values explicit to prospective candidates. In a survey, 7 percent of workers aged 24 to 36 said that they disliked their employer’s cultures so much that they intended to quit their jobs in the next two years. S. Chris Edmonds the author of “The Culture Engine” says that more young workers are holding their employers accountable for their values and insisting that they stand for something. As employees become more vocal, C-suite leaders will “have to listen” says Edmonds. This will help companies better define what they stand for and how their company culture is cultivated, ultimately leading to attracting employees in which those things resonate.
Read the full article about hiring for culture fit in The Wall Street Journal.