I recently attended a seminar in a “Think Tank format” for entrepreneurs and business leaders here in Stockholm – the subject was communication and we had very broad and interesting discussions, one of them being about the cultural fit of candidates.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast every day…
One conclusion that really caught my attention was the old expression “Culture eats strategy for breakfast every day”. The message during these discussions is that however well defined you had your strategy, business plans and KPIs, they can’t cover every rising problem in an organization. A strong culture will help your company in your day to day business as well as to take long-term decisions. That’s one important reason to really understand and develop your own culture and style.
In Sweden we think all we do is ‘the normal’ and we don’t have a different culture or a culture at all . . .
Now as a recruiter with 18 years experience in Executive Search I can relate to this in many ways. When it comes to recruitment. Here are my 5 best tips for helping your company culture flow – when you recruit both individual contributors and leadership in to your teams.
Cultural Fit Tip 1: The Rules Of The Game
Each team/group and also family forms their own rules/systems on how things work, how you communicate, how you create decisions and how a hierarchy is set. Each time you change or add a member in the group you need to realize that there will always be changes in all these aspects. As a leader, don’t make light work of this subject and pay extra attention right after the change!
Cultural Fit Tip 2: Culture As A Differentiator
In Sweden we think all we do is ‘the normal’ and we don’t have a different culture or a culture at all (we might think we are just a bit ahead of the rest – but that the world will eventually catch-up…)! Well don’t be a Swede in this – you must realise what your culture is and what stands out for your company or your team. If you don’t – it will be hard to describe the uniqueness of your firm to any candidate.
Culture Fit Tip 3: Culture Fit = Successful Hires
The most successful hires fit both the job and your workplace culture – period.
Culture Fit Tip 4: Fit Doesn’t Mean Clones
Break the habit of seeking to employ copies of yourself. Just because you have a certain culture – and people can work well in it – does not mean you should only employ people from the same background. A great culture should fit many different types of people and backgrounds to really make the team stronger! Pick new employees who will challenge your thinking with new ideas and new ways of looking at familiar situations. Create an environment and culture in which different approaches are welcomed and considered on their merit.
Create an environment and culture in which different approaches are welcomed and considered on their merit.
Culture Fit Tip 5: Don’t Forget To Ask About Culture
To find out if a person fits your culture (look at tip number 1), form particular questions around your culture. Questions around work-style, teamwork, customer management, most important factors in a job, environment that make them productive etc. Ask all the final candidates the same questions to be able to assess them against your own culture.
Written by Johan Redtzer
Founder CSA- Continental Search Alliance and Cross Executive Search
November 2016 – Stockholm, Sweden
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