By Randy Stocklin, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, One Click Ventures
While the vast majority of companies long for a strong work culture, not all are willing to put in the extra effort that it requires. Instilling culture in new team members isn’t a task that can simply be checked off a list. Rather, it's a series of things company leadership must do that begins with the hiring process.
It doesn’t end there either, though. Companies must be devoted to protecting their culture at all costs. Culture doesn’t happen on it’s own; companies must be very intentional about the type of environment they want to create from day one. As a founder, it’s been my pursuit to instill our values and mission into our culture, but it’s also up to each and every one of our team members to take ownership of it. They, too, must strive to protect our culture at all costs.
Since culture is one of the key cornerstones of our business, hiring has become an integral process as well. Read on to learn more about how to hire for a cultural fit and protect your company culture at all costs.
Begin with the hiring process
Hiring should be a strategic, intentional, and deliberate undertaking. From the moment an interview candidate walks through our doors, we ensure we’re setting appropriate expectations around our values. Team members responsible for hiring should ask specific and thoughtful questions during the interview process. Talk about your mission, team member experience, and customer experience.
It’s important to be candid about what things your company values during this time, to ensure you’re both hiring the right candidate and that potential new hires are excited about your workplace, too. For us at One Click, we’re passionate about our community. We’re upfront and honest about that online, in our office, and especially during our interview process. We want to hire individuals who are just as passionate about giving back to our community as we are. If we weren’t to share that from day one, there would likely be misalignment with our new hires that could have long term, negative effects.
The bottom line is, it’s okay to drill your mission and values into your candidates during the hiring process. This will ensure everyone is on the same page. You don’t want anyone to be caught off guard about expectations when they show up for their first day.
Invest in multiple check-ins with new hires
As previously mentioned, company culture isn’t a one time effort. It’s something that requires attention every single day. One great thing companies can do to nurture their culture from the start with new team members is to invest in multiple check-ins.
This means arranging meetings with new hires and all departments. It’s important team members have a broad understanding of the greater company and how everyone works together. It’s important people understand the business holistically.
Company leaders should make an effort to meet with all new hires as well. Schedule a meeting during the first week to open up a direct line of communication to make sure their questions are answered and they feel welcomed.
Another great tip is to have members of the senior leadership team take new hires out to lunch in the first few months. Again, each of these touchpoints reinforces core values and company culture. After all, if culture isn’t nurtured from the top-down, it’ll be difficult for any individual to buy into it.
Don’t sacrifice culture for a speedy hiring
One of the biggest hiring mistakes a company can make is to rush hiring. While there is sometimes a strong demand to speed up the timeline during hiring, short-circuiting that process will often lead to poor outcomes.
Whatever happens, though, it's critical to not stray away from value and mission alignment. These objectives are too important to sacrifice. While experience and skills are important, at the end of the day, attitude is king. Hiring people with the right attitude and value alignment are what will make a company culture great. Accelerating the interview process simply to fill a role in a timely manner isn’t worth the trade off of a poor cultural fit.
There’s no overnight solution to improving one’s company culture. Instead, it’s a lot of small things that add up to an amazing culture. When you focus on the hiring process, invest in frequent check-ins with new hires, and don’t sacrifice culture for an accelerated hiring process, you’ll find you’re hiring the right people for your work environment and contributing to a strong company culture.
Randy Stocklin is the CEO and Co-Founder of One Click Ventures in Greenwood, the parent of Readers.com.
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