Once upon a time there was a girl. She was a fair girl, independent and filled with hope for the future. Unfortunately for her there were those who had different ideas. They forced her into exile, and after a trek through the dark parts of the forest she landed herself upon a tiny little cottage.
Upon entering the cottage the girl was shocked; there were seven beds, but rather than children there lay in them seven tiny, hairy men. They were dwarves, and, it came to pass, dwarves in need of a motherly figure. Over the next few weeks they became fond of one another. The dwarves taught the girl how to enjoy life, and she in return, showed them how to look after one another.
The tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves may seem like a strange way to start a post on recruitment but it is actually the perfect analogy for the merging of different cultures. To simplify the concept, that is all that hiring a new face within a company is. Each and every organisation can be represented as the Seven Dwarves, being functional but having a need for something else, a certain je ne c’est quoi, that is not filled within its current make up.
This is where new recruits come in. They are, for want of a better metaphor, Snow White coming in and offering something new, before becoming one with the company as a whole.
It is arguably the most important thing to get right when finding a potential new recruit that they fit in within the company culture. Yes, they will have their own skills and abilities, but in comparison with someone who already fits in with the company feel, the skills and abilities are easy to come by. Skills can be bought, but finding someone who will fit the mantra and the culture of the company is priceless. To continue the metaphor, finding a Cinderella would be fine; but no one ever talks about Cinderella and the Seven Dwarves. Each company has a need for a very specific dynamic, and finding that relies on four things:
The first, as mentioned before, is to ensure that someone fits in with the culture of a company. If they do not, if they are not a good reflection of the company mantra, the recruitment would not be a good fit. Secondly, it is the same for buying into the values of the company. Each organisation has their own values and it is important that the new recruit upholds those values. If the company believes in sharing knowledge, as one example, then someone who insists on silence and isolation whilst working would not be a complementary recruit. Instead their own values contradict those of the company and, once more, that would be a bad fit.
With existing cultures in particular it is incredibly important to ensure that the ‘newbie’ has the urge to be a part of something bigger. They must want to emphasise the values AND the culture. They must want to be a part of the company as a whole, so gauging their level of buy-in during the interview process is key. Sell them your company - are they buying?
Finally when recruiting, the process needs to be mutually beneficial. Everyone has something they can offer, the question is whether it is the right thing for the company so getting to the root of their offering during the interview is important. Chat, and see what transpires. Likewise, the company needs to offer the right kind of thing to the prospective employee. Recruitment is a two way street. It has to be mutually beneficial.
This is where the Snow White analogy can be used again. Recruitment is finding Snow White and discarding the offers of poison apples. It is beneficial and can help a company flourish assuming the fit is right so both parties get a win:- you find the right candidate and they find somewhere where they can see themselves having a long future.