Banking on Culture for Better Recruitment

The following article was originally featured on HRE’s sister site, HRM Asia.

An organization’s employees will always be its greatest asset. For recruitment professionals, being able to identify and attract the best talent represents a huge opportunity to accelerate growth of a company.

LinkedIn found that nine in 10 professionals across the world are interested in hearing about new opportunities, with interest growing even stronger in Southeast Asia.

With a vast pool of passive talent to tap on, how can hiring managers ensure that they find the best professionals to take their company vision forward?

Fortunately for most companies, the single most important thing that helps them pick the best candidate can actually be found within the organization itself.

A strong company culture is useful as a recruitment tool in two ways. First, it allows you to strengthen your talent pipeline and attract the best people by standing out from the competition.

Second, it strengthens the recruitment process. When the key components of the company’s culture–such as its core values–are clearly defined, it empowers hiring managers to identify candidates who will be a culture add, not just a culture fit.

While it is undeniably important to consider skills and experience in hiring, it is a mistake to make it your only concern. Just because a candidate has the skills for a certain role, it doesn’t mean they will thrive in it.

Hiring on skills and qualifications alone dismisses the importance of attitude, values and a sense of purpose, which can often be the difference between a star employee and an average one.

Not evaluating these factors during the interview process and compromising by making hires who can simply “do the job” is akin to mortgaging the future of your company.

Seeing Recruiting as Marketing

Companies can liken culture in recruiting to a product in marketing. Customers are easily attracted when you have a good product.

Similarly, an employer brand that is built around a great culture helps your company stand out amongst the best job-seekers while serving to also retain your best talent.

Every product has a hook–what is yours? As recruitment professionals, it is vital to set up an employee value proposition: “People love to work at _____ because _____.” Remember, it is also essential to back claims up with credible, real product offerings.

Think about it this way: the newest vacuum cleaner on the market claims to be the best because it is able to operate in complete silence.

How do we know it works? Today, most consumers would trawl through the internet for reviews. Maybe the real-life demonstration sold us on it immediately, or perhaps our friends have told us how well it worked.

Similarly, a company has to be able to communicate these attributes to its potential buyers.

Defining and codifying your culture sets a tone for the type of people you want to attract and helps people at the very top of your recruiting funnel get a sense for what makes your company tick.

At HubSpot, we document our company culture in our online Culture Code.

Since its first public release, it has received over 4 million views, and is often cited as one of the reasons candidates choose to apply to work here.

In the second part of this article, HubSpot’s Shahid Nizami writes about how organizations can build their employer brands in the digital space. To read, click on Leveraging the Power of Digital Media in Recruiting.

Shahid Nizami
Shahid Nizami is the managing director for Asia Pacific at HubSpot.