The theme of the Alabama SHRM Conference and Expo for 2021 is “Embracing the Human in Human Resources” and organizational culture is a huge part of that goal. Craig Ellis, co-founder of our sister company MatchFIT, defined culture as “the unique way employers approach business and the unique way employees approach work” in his presentation Is Your Culture Attractive: What the Data Says Job Seekers are Looking for in an Organization’s Culture.
According to Craig, 75% of candidates ask about an organization’s culture during the interview process. Unfortunately, the response too often given is a singular response. It’s the interviewer’s opinion and is based on their perspective, one that is most often very positive (or else they probably wouldn’t be an interviewer).
So how can organizations accurately define their culture and describe it to candidates to ensure a compatible fit? According to Craig, organizations need to ask those in the know; employees. Don’t look to leadership alone to define your organization’s culture, ask those who live it day in and day out. How they view your culture may be very different than how leadership would define your culture. Conduct employee surveys, find out why employees are voluntarily leaving your organization through exit interviews, and conduct stay interviews to find out what it is about your organization that makes people want to stay.
Once you have collected data and used it to help define your organization’s culture, you can better determine who your ideal candidate is and what it is about your culture that would attract that candidate? What does your ideal candidate care about in an organization’s culture? If you have a culture that is exacting and procedural, meaning the organization values structure and diligence, a candidate that values a relaxed, informal culture won’t be a good fit for your organization. If you find that you’re interviewing candidates that you feel are your ideal but they turn down your offer, don’t be afraid to ask them why they have chosen not to come work for you. While you may not be able to convince them that it’s a good fit for both them and you, the data you collect can help you to close the gaps in how you present your cultural values to candidates and what values you seek in candidates.
According to Craig, an important part of the process is to “take the time to articulate your culture and share that with employees and leadership.” Ensure that everyone is on the same page and can communicate your culture in a consistent way.
How do you define your organization’s culture to candidates and is it making them want to sign on or sending them running for the hills?