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Article -> Using Culture to Attract and Remove Employees

Date Added: November 2005

The culture in any business starts with the values of the leaders. Every business decision they make, and each action they take, shapes the original culture. Culture helps build the foundation, so leaders can execute key business strategies, build strong partnerships with employees and customers, and freely communicate the values of the organization. Over time, the values become customary for all employees.

As business grows, new employees are recruited and hired. There are three questions leaders should ask themselves before hiring a new employee:1

  • Can the candidate do the job?
  • Does the candidate have the skills to grow into other roles as the company grows?
  • Is the candidate a good fit for the organization?

Based on their prior experiences, employees bring their own set of values and behaviors into the work environment. Leaders believe employees create additional value for the organization by communicating its values with the employee's own set of beliefs.

Experts tell us that corporate culture should be a major factor in recruiting and hiring employees. This relates to fitting people into the culture and staying with the organization. When employees' beliefs do not fit with an organization, increased turnover and low employee engagement occur.

During an interview, prospective employees should be asked specific interview questions, and take "personality" tests to see if their values match the organization. This helps leaders obtain a more comprehensive view into the prospective employees' beliefs and values.

For example, John and Sue are employees at the same company. John is a good worker; however, his morale is always low and he doesn't get along with many co-workers. Sue is an average worker; however, everyone likes her and she is always willing to help out other employees. Who is more valuable to the organization?

Employees that don't fit into the corporate culture can make leaders uncomfortable. Leaders hope employees will align themselves with the organizational culture. There are times when employees may be high performers, yet do not fit the culture. Leaders should search for employees that are both high performers and high on the culture "scale."

Employees that are aligned with the culture are more productive and engaged in their work environment. This results in increased organizational success, customer loyalty, and increased profitability.

1 Cornwall, Jeff. "Culture as a Criteria for Hiring (and Firing)." The Entrepreneurial Mind

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