Communicating your brand as an employer is critical to attracting potential employees with aligned values.

But the shared values and personality of a workplace can be the difference between retaining valuable employees and sending them running to your competitors.

Too often in recruitment, culture fit is seen as a lower priority when compared to a person’s skillset, and it is this misconception that can cause problems within your workplace, according to Christine Khor, recruiter and managing director of talent management company Chorus Executive.

“We don’t just work in order to pay the bills. If that were true, we’d be happy to do any kind of work for any kind of company, provided it covered our living expenses. But work plays a much larger role in our lives and our identities, causing us to care about what, how and where we do it,” she says. 

Here are Khor’s most valuable pieces of advice for hiring the right employee and setting them up for success.

What is workplace culture?

The union of your business vision and values, which creates a framework for behaviours and attitudes that are considered appropriate for a specific organisation. When defined and adhered to these elements create social cohesion and the sense of working towards a common goal.

Your culture dictates the way people behave as employees. It influences their decision making, how they handle customers and how they treat each other. It will either retain valuable employees or send them running to your competitors.

Hire for culture fit, train for skills

Skills can be taught but culture fit cannot, so it is important to determine whether a prospective employee will fit into a company’s culture before hiring them.

1.      Define your vision and values The first step to crafting your workplace’s culture is to clearly define the vision and values of the business. If you cannot define these elements in under two sentences, they are not clear enough. Get your whole business involved in coming up with appropriate shared values – it should be a collaborative process.

2.      Communicate clearly Vision and values need to be communicated to all levels of the business and require buy-in from all staff. Protecting your company’s values means showing people how important they are and how they should never be compromised. This means that if there is non-adherence, it becomes an offence that could result in their employment being terminated.  

3.      Develop your employee brand Your brand might be held in high regard by consumers, but how is your business viewed in terms of being a desirable employer? Communicating your brand as an employer is critical to attracting potential employees with aligned values.

4.      Behavioural interviewing A person’s values can be assessed through the actions they exhibit. A skilled behavioural interviewer will be able to tease out information by getting the candidate to use real-life situations as evidence. For example, if ‘honesty’ is one of your values, then you can assess whether someone shares this value by asking for examples of mistakes they’ve made and what they’ve done about it. This provides an insight into whether they were honest about their mistake and took ownership.

5.      Integrate and on-board A well-structured on-boarding process is important to integrate new employees into the culture so they can adjust to the social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and easily. 

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