corporate culture

Organizational Culture: The Secret to Hiring Success

By Dr. Sterling Carter and Stephen Levi Carter

As you know, finding the best talent is one of the most critical tasks for any business. Unfortunately, this task is quite obviously much easier said than done. For as much as we enjoy relying on hard data to make decisions within our business, hiring is still more art than science. Resumes have their own set of problems and interviewing often involves biases—even if we are aware of them.

For as much as we try, there isn’t a foolproof way to objectively find the best talent in the marketplace. Having said that, there is one proxy that is better than nothing. By following this proxy, we can increase our chances of hiring the best employees for our organizations.

Specifically, we’re talking about organizational culture.

Organizational culture is something that C-suites have acknowledged for years, but the discussion came to the forefront after Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh published Delivering Happiness. Culture moved from a buzzword relegated to the bottom of CEOs to-do lists to a concept under serious consideration corporate boardrooms. In fact, according to a Deloitte study, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe that a distinct workplace culture is essential to business success.

The New Standard

We are living in an age where your organization arguably cannot afford to ignore culture. Culture, in fact, can be your north star when you are hiring new talent—whether you are part of a small, scrappy startup looking to expand or a large corporation that wants to expand market share. Having a collective understanding of your organization’s values—both how they were formed and where they are today—can ensure that you are hiring individuals that will positively contribute to your organization. This is a critical task: one study revealed that 89% of hiring failures were due to attitudinal reasons.

When our research tracked 20,000 new hires, 46% of them failed within 18 months. But even more surprising than the failure rate was that when new hires failed, 89% of the time it was for attitudinal reasons and only 11% of the time for a lack of skill. The attitudinal deficits that doomed these failed hires included a lack of coachability, low levels of emotional intelligence, motivation, and temperament.

Put it in Writing

How does this work in practice? Putting your organization’s principles on paper is certainly a great place to start (if you haven’t already). These principles should not be simple buzzwords or lofty platitudes; rather, they should be key attributes that comprise your organizational culture. Some of these attributes may include whether you provide employee autonomy or expect employees to share opinions or generate ideas, but this will obviously vary based on your organization.

Upon having a good understanding of your organizational culture, you can test for these traits when searching for your next hire. Yes, your prospective employee must have the talent and skills for the position. But by screening for culture, you can avoid missteps and find stellar employees who can take your organization to the next level.

Moving Forward

For more information regarding improving your organizational culture and hiring the right people, email us at staffing@sterlingstaffingsolutions.com or call us at (281)240-3536.

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