Hiring to improve company culture

Hiring with company culture in mind is fast becoming a recruitment and resourcing “have to”.

Yet, under the Equality Act 2010, companies are required to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation from their recruitment processes.

This means that HR has to be particularly careful when hiring for “culture fits”, to ensure they’re not getting incorporating bias into any stage of selection.

To avoid any diversity pitfalls, HR Grapevine spoke to Jo Sweetland, Managing Partner at Green Park, as she explained what every company needs to do to promote a good culture and hire diverse employees – as well as sharing her own, personal nightmare job interview experience.

What is the key thing that you need to ask a candidate, if you consider company culture to be an important factor?

Find out the type of environment in which your candidates are able to thrive and feel comfortable in and always look for qualities that enhance your existing or aspirational culture. However, it is fundamental that you are honest and transparent about your current environment and the aspirational culture you may be working towards. We all want to be inclusive, but promising something you can’t deliver, or aren’t close to being able to deliver, will only ever impact your employer brand negatively.

Some example questions are:

  1. How would you describe your working style?
  2. What environments have you enjoyed working in most?
  3. Tell me about a time where you thrived in your job?
  4. How would your co-workers describe you?
  5. What working culture would bring out the best in you?

What should be considered a good fit for the company?

We should always be in pursuit of ‘culture add’ over ‘culture fit’, if we’re ever going to offer truly inclusive work places.

Have you ever had a nightmare interview for a job?

My first ever job interview was very intense but it ultimately taught me a very valuable lesson. I was being asked about how I would sell my practice to a client and after I answered the first time, without feedback, I was asked the same question again. I gave my second attempt and was met with the same question a third time.

Scrabbling around for more facts or figures, I felt like I was going to crack any moment and then the person interviewing me stopped and said: “No, it’s about you, they buy into you”.

I surprisingly got the job and actually took that advice with me and, although not taking the same approach, I ensure every member of my team learns that lesson too.


This article was published by HR Grapevine on 13th June 2017. To view the article, click here: http://bit.ly/2ttOIXW