Check out iCIMS' latest blog post from iCIMS guest blogger Sharlyn Lauby.
Sharlyn Lauby, SPHR, CPLP is the HR Bartender, whose blog is a friendly place to discuss workplace issues. When she’s not tending bar, Sharlyn is president of ITM Group, Inc., which specializes in training solutions to help clients retain and engage talent. Her off-hours are spent searching for the best hamburger on the planet, fabulous wine that cost less than $10 bottle and unusual iPad apps.
Every organization has a culture. Culture is defined as a collection of commonly-held traditions, beliefs, and behaviors by a group of people. Culture is a part of every company and, in many workplaces, it’s never documented. In order for a company to achieve its business goals, they must recognize and leverage the talent within the company. That means being able to create a culture that is empowering, supportive, and, in turn, allows people to do their best work.
It also means having a culture that is diverse and inclusionary. Lew Platt, former CEO of Hewlett Packard, summarized the business case for diversity and inclusion best. “I see three main points to make the business case for diversity: 1) A talent shortage that requires us to seek out and use the full capabilities of all our employees. 2) The need to be like our customers, including the need to understand and communicate with them in terms that reflects their concerns. And 3) Diverse teams produce better results.”
The question becomes, how do we create a culture that does all of these things? Well, the first step is hiring the right people. The people that align with your cultural identity. Here are four steps to consider:
STEP 1: Understand Your Cultural Identity
Organizations need to have an unfiltered understanding of their culture – not the culture they want to be, but the culture they really are. As a human resources professional, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen companies make is to have meeting rooms full of posters that they say represent who they are as an organization only to discover employees don’t embrace those same qualities.
A company’s cultural identity is tied to the personal leadership of its employees, the emotional intelligence of its leadership, the trust employees share with each other, and the business’ ability to be agile and change.
STEP 2: Incorporate Your Identity into Your Career Website
If companies want to hire employees that align with their culture, they have to share what their culture is all about. A company’s cultural identity should be clear when a candidate looks at the company’s career site.
Organizations can use images and video to give candidates a sense of the organization. For example, I know companies that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and hiring people with disabilities. It is part of their cultural identity and their career websites reflect that.
Images aren’t the only aspect. Your culture comes through in the wording of job descriptions, job openings, and the communications you send out to talent networks and communities.
STEP 3: Share Your Culture with Candidates
Today’s candidates want to see your cultural identity before they ever apply to your company. They are also looking for confirmation of your culture when they interact with recruiters and hiring managers.
This includes the exchanges taking place during career fairs, interactions on social media, and conversations during screening and interviews. Each contact between a candidate and the company either confirms or denies your cultural identity.
When an organization understands and embraces their cultural identity, sharing corporate culture becomes a natural part of the conversation. If a recruiter is trying to “sell” a culture, it’s often very obvious – the candidate knows it and the recruiter knows it as well.
STEP 4: Include Your Culture in Onboarding
Organizations do not have to lose their cultural identity during orientation and onboarding. For those parts of the process that have been automated, make sure they still incorporate a piece of your cultural identity. Obviously, the company can bring their culture to life using video introductions. But organizations have a great opportunity with mentoring and coaching activities.
One of my former bosses called mentoring “an opportunity to tell you where all the landmines were” and how to maneuver around them. Those landmines were are part of the company’s culture and, to be successful, you need to know where they are.
Cultural identity reflects many things: trust, leadership, accountability and working relationships. It’s what companies stands for and the way for companies to excel is to hire individuals that share those same cultural values.