How You Recruit Reflects Your Culture

Diverse people waiting in line for their job interviews or business appointments

A strong company culture is a requirement for today’s companies to attract the best employees. One survey found that 77% of workers consider a company’s culture before applying for a position, and 56% consider culture more important than salary regarding their happiness at work.


Organizational culture is the combination of norms and values at your company. It includes both visible elements like dress code and whether there’s an open plan or private offices and less concrete factors like whether strict procedures or flexibility are considered the priority.


Once your company has developed a great culture, recruiting and hiring practices can help reflect that culture to job seekers and current employees. The recruiting process demonstrates a company’s values, communication style, approach to work-life balance, and opportunities for employees’ growth.

Values Alignment in Recruitment

Employees are happier and more productive when their values align with those of their company. They’re also less likely to look for another job and more likely to feel fulfilled from their work.


The recruiting process allows employers to clarify their understanding of the company’s values and how they affect their team. Managers should be prepared to discuss the company’s values and specific examples during interviews and other recruiting conversations.


As part of the interview process, employers should ask job candidates to explain their understanding of the company’s values directly, along with less direct questions that incorporate these values.


Asking candidates to walk the interviewer through their process for decision-making is another good way to understand whether the candidate and the company’s values are compatible.


For example, if a company prioritizes teamwork and cooperation and a candidate’s thought process doesn’t involve consulting with coworkers, there could be a mismatch.


While screening for values alignment, managers should consider how a candidate’s values can contribute to the existing team’s values, not simply whether there’s an exact match. This can help minimize bias toward candidates with similar backgrounds to current employees.

Communication Style and Transparency

Many companies value honesty and good communication; the recruitment process is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate these qualities.


Transparency in recruiting starts with the job listing. Companies should describe the position and its responsibilities as clearly as possible, using straightforward language that allows applicants to understand what the role will look like.


Splitting up qualifications and requirements into “must-have” and “nice to have” sections will allow job seekers to decide better whether the job could be a good fit for them.


Pay transparency is essential as well, especially among younger applicants. Of surveyed Gen Z workers, 53% said they would be unlikely to apply to a job without a listed salary range. Including as much detail as possible about benefits in the job listing is also a good idea.


Transparency and clear communication should continue throughout the hiring process as well.


Keeping candidates informed about whether they’re still in the running for the role and closing the loop by letting applicants know they were unsuccessful ensures that everyone interacting with the hiring team gets a positive sense of the company culture, whether they ultimately accept a position there or not.

Work-Life Balance and Flexibility

Today’s employees care about flexibility and work-life balance; good company cultures reflect and embrace that.


One survey found that two-thirds of workers wanted their companies’ flexible work arrangements to stay in place. These include remote and hybrid work, flexible scheduling and part-time work options.


Offering whatever flexibility is practical for your company and clearly communicating these options is a great way to attract the best job applicants. Company cultures that value balance should also incorporate it into their recruiting process.


Flexibility during the interview process can include offering phone or virtual options for first interviews, offering plenty of opportunities for interview time slots outside of regular business hours, and giving candidates enough notice to make childcare arrangements or other required plans around their interviews.


Giving candidates the same flexibility you offer employees should come naturally when your culture prioritizes work-life balance, and it’s the best way to show candidates what they can expect at your company.

Performance Orientation and Growth Opportunities

Companies with performance-focused cultures have employees who care about succeeding at their work and measuring their success. This culture starts with strategic, big-picture goals, encourages employees to experiment with creative ways to meet those goals, tracks their performance, and provides ongoing feedback.


Since employees understand what’s expected and how to perform well, they’re likelier to feel engaged and satisfied with their work. As part of the team’s long-term strategy, employees should also grow and develop their skills to advance their careers.


During the recruiting process, ask questions about times when the candidates have taken experimental or innovative steps in the past, how they’ve received and reacted to feedback, and how they’ve had their performance measured in past jobs.


Whether the candidate is from a performance-oriented culture or not, their answers should help clarify whether they’ll be a good fit for one now.


The hiring process can also include conversations about advancement opportunities, such as skills a new hire might gradually develop to qualify for a higher-level role in a few years.


Covering this upfront reflects the company’s commitment to employee growth and ongoing success.


Your Recruitment Practices Are Your Culture

Recruiting practices and company culture are interconnected. If a company stays aligned with its values, the recruiting process should naturally highlight the most critical parts of the company culture. Giving candidates an accurate sense of the culture lets managers make hiring decisions based on cultural fit, which can help reinforce a robust corporate culture. As a leader or hiring manager, now is the time to review your hiring practices and organizational culture. If there’s a disconnect, evaluate these two aspects of the business carefully to determine how to bring them into alignment.

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