Culturally Aligned Talent, 10 Ways To Find Them!

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How can a company identify culturally aligned talent?

To help your company find talent aligned with your workplace culture, we asked HR professionals and business leaders this question for their best advice. From defining your core values to sharing your company culture in social media, there are a wealth of ideas to hire a candidate that is the right fit.

Here are 10 ways a company can identify culturally aligned talent.

1. Be Open and Ask Questions

To determine cultural alignment, you need to share as much as possible up-front about your company’s mission, personality, and work style. You will also want any potential new talent to meet with as many people as possible within the company to learn about day-to-day life on the team. Encourage candidates to ask questions and share openly. You should also ask questions to find out what the candidate likes and dislikes in a work environment. This information can give you clues about a potential cultural fit.

Kimberly Kriewald, AVANA Capital

2. Get Help From a Recruiting Agency

Today’s employees have high expectations of their employers, and it goes far beyond just a paycheck. In fact, a recent LinkedIn survey found that people would rather accept lower pay (65 percent) and forego a fancy title (26 percent) than deal with a poor workplace environment. This is why finding culturally aligned talent is so important. Hiring an executive recruiting agency that focuses on hiring culturally aligned talent will ensure that you find a candidate that shares the values and beliefs that fit with your company.

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie

3. Consider How They Can Add to Workplace Culture

Many companies look for cultural fit in their recruiting process, but I recommend looking for a cultural add or bonus instead. One of the best ways to do this is through the interview process. Get to know your candidates. What are their personal goals, and how might those align with your company’s goals and vision. How can they add value to your business? This is one of the best ways to find culturally aligned talent for your company, hopefully for the long-term, depending on your business model.

Ryan Nouis, TruPath

4. Highlight Your Culture Through Branding

Companies can identify culturally aligned talent through branding. Using brand campaigns that highlight your culture, mission, vision, and values, you can make it easier for the right talent to find you. This means aligning your website and social media platforms to reflect what plays a vital role in your company culture. The right candidates will be inspired and may take action on your calls to action, whether on social media or within your client or employee network.

Rronniba Pemberton, Markitors

5. Emphasize Your Mission, Vision, and Values

Every successful business has a clear mission, vision, and set of values that are understood by its employees and upper management. Mission, vision, and values create the foundation of any organization and ultimately ensure everyone is on the same page, but they leave room for individuals to bring their own ideas to the table on how to move the business forward. By making this foundation abundantly clear to every employee and potential hire, you can mitigate having people within your organization who do not believe in your mission, share your vision, or hold the same values. This ultimately creates a better culture. If we all share the same sense of purpose — the purpose being what it is we’re trying to achieve as a company — and agree to uphold company values, there is an inherent sense of teamwork and respect in the workplace.

Rachel Geicke, Snow Monkey

6. Use Social Media to Share Company Culture

Identifying culturally aligned talent requires a company to be self-aware. Companies need to know their strategic priorities and court new hires who have skills that can help bolster those specific priorities. Additionally, a company will only be able to hire for cultural fit if they attract talent that is drawn to that ideal company culture. Companies can do this with clear messaging of their values and voice across all platforms — from the initial job posting to the company website to social media — so potential new hires can decide for themselves whether a company seems like a cultural fit.

Guna Kakulapati, CureSkin

7. Define Your Core Values First

You can attract and retain top talent based on cultural fit if you first define your organizational core values. If you’ve operationalized your values by clearly articulating what each core value looks like in the form of behaviors, then you can easily develop questions to use during the interview process. Even by simply describing the culture of your organization (Purpose + Values + Behaviors) to candidates, it will quickly become obvious to you (and them!) if there is a fit.

Brian Stinson, The PEAK Fleet

8. Ask a Few Critical Questions

Typically in today’s fast-paced world of hiring, we quickly become attracted to great talent with subject matter expertise and a resume that fits perfectly with the job function we are trying to fill. After a quick interview, we proclaim this candidate is amazing and is exactly what this company needs, and we hire them! Scroll ahead three months down the road, and we have to let go of this ideal candidate as they were not a strong cultural fit! Could we have ascertained this by just asking two additional questions earlier in the process? Try these simple questions: How would you describe the culture of your previous workplace? How well do you believe you fit in? What’s most important to you about an ideal workplace environment?

Ronald Kubitz, Forms+Surfaces

9. Reveal Behaviors With Simulations

First, the company needs to be really honest with themselves about the cultural behaviors they’re looking for. Too often, values are jargon or inauthentic to what the organization is really like, and if that’s what you vet a candidate by, you’re both going to miss the mark. Once you know what you’re looking for, simulation or scenario-based questioning is a great way to evaluate. There’s an anecdote about a leader who took a candidate out to lunch and, in advance, asked the waitress to mess up the candidate’s order to see their reaction. It didn’t go well for the candidate, but I’ve always loved that example because it shows how tension can reveal the truth. While that might be a bit much to put the typical hire through, it reinforces the importance of finding specific, authentic examples of the cultural behaviors you’re seeking in candidates one way or another.

Christina Zurek, ITA Group

10. Set Up a Cross-Functional Culture Interview

Consider setting up a “culture committee” of employees who best embody the culture of your organization. When a new candidate comes in for interviews, include a session with one of these people along with the people who assess the candidate’s skills. Ideally, the culture interviewer would come from a different department, so they won’t get into the nuts and bolts of the role. The result is an assessment of whether the candidate exhibits the characteristics your organization values — and a tendency to hire people who are a better fit.

Elliot Brown, OnPay Payroll

Customize Your Company Profile

JobsInTheUS’ network of local websites provides employers with the space and tools to communicate what makes each of them an employer of choice. Every business is special in it’s own way so take advantage of your company profile to present your unique company culture. This is how you can attract a diverse group of people who are interested in working for a company like yours.

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