Finding people who fit into your culture gives you the best chance of meeting your performance and growth goals


You've not just built a business.

You've created a team, and a special environment in which your business thrives.

And you're proud to invite people to work with you.

But they have to be the right people for what you've built.

One bad egg you can get away with. But teams get spoilt really fast if you don't recruit well.


Why recruit for culture?

Every business has a culture. Some, like say Apple or Google, are more distinctive than others, and some can be tough to define.

But every business – from the street corner mechanic to the multi-national conglomerate – has a culture.

Culture is just your way of doing things.

If you or your team members ever find yourselves saying, “We don’t do it like that here,” to new recruits – that is you expressing and reinforcing your culture.

That new recruit will hopefully become steeped in your way of doing things, and pass that on themselves.

At least, that’s the goal.


What is culture?

There is no right or wrong when it comes to company culture.

You can be sales-focussed, service-focussed, practical, no-frills, touchy-feely, indulgent, or even aloof.

Do not confuse this with your brand. Your brand is the promise you make to your customers.

Culture is the feeling that your customers will get about your organisation when they interact with you. It is the living proof of your brand.

And it is always transmitted to your customers via your company’s employees.

The obvious conclusion then is that you need to employ people capable of making your customers ‘feel’ the right way.

Training staff correctly – in ‘your’ way of doing things – is certainly a part of that.

But perhaps even more important is recruiting the right people in the first place.

Recruiting the right people for your company’s culture is not something that happens in isolation. Yes, it is a process, but it should be one that is tightly integrated with your business. Even if you use an agency or a number of agencies.

But first, you need to know yourself before you start hiring.


Identify your culture

Do you, the senior staff, or your team all know what your business culture is? If you are one of those well-defined brands like Virgin this might already all be defined for you. If so, then you need to ask yourself if the reality lives up to the hype? Do you live the culture you are supposed to have?

As we have said, culture and brand are not the same thing. Brand influences culture and culture should be the living embodiment of the brand, but is that the case in reality? There are plenty of companies out there who say they do one thing but the reality of what they deliver is quite different. Some may not even be aware of this.

Knowing what you’re aiming for, and where you’re falling short, will help you determine what type of people you need to hire to get performance where it needs to be. For example, if your sales results are great but your perceived friendliness is an issue, then if you care to fix that you need to hire more personable sales people rather than chase down the best closers.


Identify your challenges

This comes down to a deceptively simple question: Why are you going to recruit new people?

But there are answers to this question on several different levels:

  1. What do you need people to do? Is it for a sales, customer service, helpdesk, technical, debt collection, or other role?
  2. What cultural gap do you need filling?
  3. What tangible business goals are you aiming to deliver? For example, if the business plan says ‘set up customer service team’ then this is your main objective.

Armed with all this information, we can now start the recruitment process.


The process of recruiting for culture

There is of course no single ‘right’ way to do recruitment; every company’s situation and needs are different. As a recruitment agency we tailor our approach to each client and each job role.

But every time the objective is the same. And that is to recruit staff who can not only functionally do the job, but who are of the appropriate mindset to flourish in that particular company and that particular role long term.

In our experience the only way to reliably do that is using the framework we outline in our White Paper that you can download below.

  • Identify your culture and objectives
  • Profile your best performers so that you can clone them
  • Find talent pools to tap into to build your own reserves of candidates
  • Conduct assessment centres that predict how candidates will fit into your organisation
  • Onboard candidates as you mean for them to continue

The results are annual retention rates of up to 95% per year, employee satisfaction ratings consistently in the 90s, improved commercial performance, and happier customers.