Your Foosball Table Is Not Company Culture

Ever wonder what would happen if we live in a world where everybody dressed like each other and mimicked each other with no variations, no conflicts and nothing new to add or say? The answer is, the world would be a very dull place. Companies who have hired primarily for ‘culture fit’ usually lack diversity and the ability to innovate as opposed to those who hire based on merit. Companies who are more diverse see a 35% increase in performance and those with teams that have the same amount of men and women are 15% more likely to earn above-average revenue.  

Most companies have started to rely on perks to define their culture like free meals, a keg everyday, or a foosball table, but that will no longer cut it. Talent has started to get smarter and want things that matter to them professionally. Whether it’s more learning opportunities, career advancement or working for a diverse company -- companies need to build a culture around what matters and what will both now and in the long-term get them the talent they’re after.  

4 Ways to Build a Company Culture that Matters 

Hire According To Skill Sets 

A company’ culture might be as simple as honesty, modesty, integrity and discipline, or can be as complex as a vision statement that the founder of the firm believes in. While the general perception is that culturally fit employees are more likely to uphold these values, in reality, candidates with unique skill sets and attitudes can just as well as abide by values while adding their own unique essence to the mix. Firms with an existing company culture often look to hire candidates that will fit in perfectly right from day one. While this is one way to hire, it doesn’t work out for the best especially if you need a mixed variety of skill sets. While recruiting, hire employees based on what they can bring to the table, their ability to successfully do the work, and ensure that each employee adds value to the establishment of his or her skill sets. 

Recruit For The Job Profile And Not Only Your Company Culture 

Most HR representatives look for candidates that are similar to them, while this is perfect if they were hiring people to be their work buddies, this is not the case in a professional environment. Rather than focusing on the general appearance, educational qualifications and other set norms, lay emphasis on employees that will follow the norms, even if they act different, look unique or simply think out of a restrictive box. More often than not, candidates that appear different, fit in fine when they are allowed to be themselves. Help employees hone their skills, instead of asking them to conform to various guidelines. The skills needed to do almost any particular job is changing very rapidly, faster than our educational system can keep up, so focus on things that are more lasting like a demonstrated ability to think creatively, lead, and whether they have the passion and grit needed for the task. 

Be An Employee Centric Company That Is Flexible 

A company with a well-rounded company culture is one that accepts different candidates from various socioeconomic backgrounds while keeping in mind that at the end of the day, it is the employees who are working for the betterment of the company. While middle and top management personnel might have a high rank within the firm, they don’t directly generate revenue for the firm, the grass root level employees do. The company culture should be flexible enough to make exceptions for candidates that are worth placing a bet on, even if they don’t fit in as initially perceived by the HR representatives.  

Emphasize On Diversity Without Compromising On Quality  

Recreational activities such as foosball tables and a canteen with food for diversified pallets might add value to your office, yet an office with employees who work exactly like one another isn’t productive in the long run. Sooner or later such employees fall into a runt, get frustrated and leave. Employees with the spark to complete tasks in a unique way while abiding by your company’s values are exactly what firms need. Professional training and courses, certifications should be offered to any employee who meets the minimum eligibility criteria as this can not only sharpen their minds and enhance their will to work, but this can also help them develop leadership skills and make internal promotions a feasible option.

What are you doing to create a culture that is beyond the foosball table and free meals? What do you want to be known for when an employee is asked “What type of culture is at your company?”  

Will Staney

Will is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former Head of Global Talent Acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio andGlassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAPwhere he lead strategic programs includingemployer brandingsourcing strategy, recruiting operations and systems process design.

During his over 7 years as a recruiting practitioner, after 10 years in sales and marketing, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". He would push innovation from the inside, execute on his vision, and once it was realized he would pass the torch on to those he had mentored and move on to his next challenge. He was destined to start a consultancy so he could help as many companies as possible adopt a more proactive recruiting strategy with community in mind.

In his free time, Will enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his two kids, Foster and Felicity.