5 things about your organizational culture you should share with candidates

Having a frank conversation with your potential candidate could mean a higher likelihood of you finding the perfect fit for your team.

Finding someone to fill a position isn’t always hard, but finding someone who will complement your existing team and bring energy and enthusiasm to the job can be hard. Hiring managers can make it a lot easier if they give candidates enough information about the organizational culture so they can self-select the right workplace.

According to social researcher Mark McCrindle, this has never been truer than with Generation Y, who demand their workplaces fit them and not the other way around.

But in order to ensure the right ‘fit’, there is some key information about the organizational culture that candidates really need in order to make a truly informed decision.

Workplace structures   

Most workplaces fall into two categories of power structure. There’s the old-fashioned top-down hierarchy, where all the power is concentrated in the hands of senior managers who manage the task load of their subordinates.

Then there are the more modern ‘flatter’ structures that distribute power by issuing responsibility for particular objectives, and letting the teams manage their own task loads.

Some people are what Michael E. Gerber (author of The E-Myth Revisited) calls ‘technicians’. They do well in hierarchical structures because their responsibility is limited to their tasks. Others are more entrepreneurial and need the challenge and freedom of running their own show. Flat power structures just stress technicians out, while hierarchies repress an entrepreneur’s natural instincts.


High performers are usually motivated by individual reward linked to performance, but those who value belonging care more about the team’s success. Some people need variety and growth to love what they do while others just want stability. One person’s challenge is another’s stress. Employers who are explicit about their reward structures can avoid carrying unmotivated and disengaged employees, and focus on candidates who bring energy and passion to the workplace.


Am I punching the clock or scoring goals here? Is it strict business hours or is there flexibility? Is there an unwritten expectation of putting in unpaid overtime? Does creativity and brilliance get you ahead or do you have to wait for the boss to leave?

In other words, what does it really take to succeed here: results, extra hours or a sufficiently long tenure with the company?

Work ‘space’

Employers like Google have shown us that the physical and psychological space that a workplace provides has a big impact on employee happiness.

Is this a fun place to work or is the atmosphere as grey as the cubicle walls? Is there time for play or only for pay? Is diversity valued or seen as a threat? Is it open-plan or a private office? Is there natural light or buzzing fluorescents? Is the organizational culture in this company collaborative or cut-throat? How does your workplace engage and motivate employees?

Wellbeing and engagement strategies

Recent research by Gallup once again confirms that employee commitment to the company’s wellbeing mirrors the company’s commitment to theirs.

And according to the Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide, employee work-life balance is also moving up the business agenda. Jobs that prevent people from looking after their physical and social health become a drain, while those that enhance it are rewarded with higher engagement.

Similarly, healthy and happy people are more productive and more likely to relish their role for the long term. Boasting about your wellbeing programs can not only help avoid the wrong hire; it may just get the right one over the line. It’s really about answering the unspoken questions that all candidates have. Examples include:

  • “Can I succeed here?”
  • “Can I grow here?”
  • “Will I enjoy working here?”
  • ”Will I be fairly rewarded for my work?”
  • “Will I be secure here?”
  • “Will I be respected and valued here?”
  • ”Will I have balance and wellness here?”

Not all people are motivated by the same conditions and rewards, so giving candidates the opportunity to make a truly informed decision by giving them the full picture of the organizational culture can prevent the wrong hire, or reinforce the right one. If you have created a workplace where employees love what they do, don’t be shy about sharing this with new candidates.

Create a place for employees to love what they do.

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