Company culture focuses on what the company not only believes, but also how it puts those beliefs into action in interactions with employees and customers.
As a result, company culture is a huge factor when seeking out new employees.
For example, if you want to work for Bank of America, you will likely need to focus on progress, attention to detail, and having a more formal approach to solutions.
On the other hand, if you are interested in working with that new startup creative agency in town, your approach to culture will likely need to be more laid back, accepting of change and one that overall is more relaxed in nature.
No Company Culture is Wrong
Now, in the above examples, neither approach is incorrect. The examples do, however, point out how companies differ in their approaches.
Hiring someone, however talented, who does not match your company's culture, can prove to be a major problem going forward. Many companies find themselves not only reducing productivity in doing so, but also damaging customer relations.
How Does Hiring the Wrong Fit Hurt the Company?
Hiring someone who fits on paper - but not in terms of culture - can lead to low morale within the company or department.
For example, let's say you work in a buttoned-down culture and someone is hired who has a more laid back way of getting work down.
Eventually, this person will clash with his or her coworkers, and if nothing is done about this, the affected coworkers may feel that leadership is not taking the concern seriously enough.
Another example may be where a marketing hire who is very by-the-book is trying to sell a luxury product to a laid back persona. The marketer may take an approach that turns potential customers away because he or she is so rigid and the customer is not.
Avoid Making Poor Hiring Decisions
In the article, "Company Culture: The Secret Ingredient in Successful Hiring," author John Mattone points out that it's important to look for clues during the interview process, but it's equally as important to know, understand, and anticipate your own company culture.
Too often, employers expect and even allow employees to define the culture without taking this task on themselves.
Doing so can lead to a mixed bag of results, and in the end, it can make hiring more difficult. This should be equally applied to working with recruiting firms as they add another step in the process.
The bottom line?
Define who you want to be, and then find people who are and want to be that same thing as well.
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About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include human resources and corporate recruitment.