I remember one of my first bosses telling me that "we don't need to recruit people we like or get on with we just need people who perform". 20 years on I would now argue that he couldn't have been so wrong and perhaps that was why his business had a revolving door with lots of employees coming and going! It was a business full of individuals and had no team ethos.
We support clients to recruit senior leaders that will make a real difference, it's not just about the results they will achieve, how they will achieve them is equally as important.
It is clear that this article, whose thoughts are endorsed by the likes of the CEO at Netflix, strongly encourages companies to really think about the culture they want long before they hire the first person. Think into the future and visualise the type of company, what its culture looks and feels like, what customers you want to work with and what culture will align with theirs. Recruiting skills and technical expertise is the easy bit, developing a sustainable culture that your employees will thrive in is the difficult part.
The article highlights 3 top considerations to help your visioning;
1. Explain your culture before you hire
Don't hide anything. Put everything on the table to ensure you attract the right people to start with. Use your culture guide to assess candidates and don't leave any stone unturned.
2. Bake values into your hiring process
What are your company values? This isn't a Sunday afternoon process to pluck some words from a dictionary. Creating values that you really believe in and that will create a solid foundation to build your culture on will take time, collaborative thinking and need to be tested. Once you are happy then you need to assess potential candidates against them and don't allow anyone through the door that doesn't align fully.
3. Don't hire in your own image
Ensure you end up with a diverse workforce of people who will bring lots of different perspectives. This will ensure problems are solved in all sorts of different ways, it will create a culture of innovation and creative thinking.
Planning is everything! No knee-jerk reactions allowed to solve a short-term problem but which will create a longer-term culture imbalance.
A strong culture is essential if you want to scale your business. LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffmann says in his podcast Masters of Scale, "Truly strong cultures only emerge when everyone from the CEO to the receptionist feels they personally own the culture. A true articulation of your company that is understood and built by everyone." When you want to build a strong culture it starts with hiring the right people. It's easier to shape your culture when you are a small group so it's important to start early. Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, knew that to make Netflix successful he needed flexible problem-solvers who could change with the times so he designed the hiring process around finding and keeping these people.