Cultural Fit

Corporate Culture Fairy Tales

In the application process many companies describe their culture in the most dazzling ways. For new employees, however, a rude awakening often follows. Have you embellished your company culture before? Best not to again, as this could have serious consequences.

Hip, agile, innovative: the company culture that is sold in the job interview often has little to do with reality. The result: disappointed expectations and frustration.

After only two months on the job, say goodbye to the new sales manager. What was it? Why did he leave so soon? After all, his professional skills were outstanding, his references flawless. According to Frank Rechsteiner, expert on the topic of cultural fit, it often happens in the interview process that HR managers present the company’s culture in a very desirable way – even if it’s not the reality. Employees leave after only a short while on the job, realizing that the company values were not in line with their own, and that the expectations they had of the company culture were not met.

Recruiting expert Frank Rechsteiner is involved with cultural fit in the IT labor market. He has done several studies for this.

In order to avoid this phenomenon, a company only has to steer clear of a few simple errors in the recruiting process:

Error #1: The most important thing is convincing the candidate to take the position.

Companies compete for highly qualified candidates, and to convince them often times the company culture is presented through rose colored glasses. This is not sustainable, however, as soon as the candidate begins working they will quickly realize they’ve been duped, and leave shortly thereafter. This can cost the company a lot in training and onboarding costs, not to mention the cost of missing out on a potentially great leader.

Error #2: If the skills fit, the rest will fit as well.

In the past skill matching for a position was all-important, according to Rechsteiner, but today we know that the cultural fit is just as important. Many companies still continue to focus solely on the professional qualifications of a candidate, however, and neglect to consider whether the candidate shares the company values ​​and will fit well within the team.

Error #3: Corporate culture must be defined by the management.

Top management is often unclear on how corporate culture is implemented and practiced, says Rechsteiner. Executives may have defined the mission and the vision of the company at some point, but whether or not an employee identifies with it remains a mystery. Therefore, it is important to involve the workforce. This is the only way in which corporate culture can be shared and internalized by all.

The way to authentic corporate culture in 3 steps

In order to hire and retain new employees, corporate culture must be authentically and clearly communicated. At times you may even have to design a new culture, states Rechsteiner. There are no quick fixes, but the advantages of having a clearly defined and desirable company culture are innumberable, and successful recruiting is only possible with transparency.

  1. Reflect: Who am I?

    Be critical and, above all, honest with yourself. How do you live the current corporate culture? How about the employees? Which values ​​are most important?

  2. Involve the team

    Get Feedback! Find out what values ​​are important to your company and implement them. Ensure that the value propositions are openly communicated and understood.

  3. Be a good example

    As a leader, you have the task to carry out the corporate culture at all times. Make sure to lead by good example, and show what your company is all about! In the next application process, you’ll have no problem showcasing the desirability of your company.