Failed recruitment kills your culture, but how do companies get this wrong?


[London] – You know what long weekend means, come back to a full inbox you can never expect to clear on your first day back. As I distract myself with some Linkedin readings, I am anguished.

We talk about how some companies emphasize on getting their culture right using employee benefits such as “Birthday day off, Options scheme, Yoga retreats etc. etc….We boast. True; All of these form part of your retention plans because let’s face it, if things stayed the same since you joined the company x years ago, you would be thinking of leaving now, wouldn’t you?

We also talk about how failed recruitment costs your company money, here

One-third (33%) believe that hiring mistakes cost their business nothing, when in fact, a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000.

But what bothers me the most is how so very little of us understood just how important this acquisition (recruitment) phase is for a company to form the right culture from the get go.

Can we take a second to talk about the elephant in the room please?

The culture of your company is not what your Founders want (hoped) it to be, its formed by the attitude of people you bring in and that attitude is the byproduct of the beliefs they found during this recruitment phase. If you’re not currently part of this phase, this is how it looks like:

  1. Candidate sees Job advert
  2. Candidate reads job advert, resonates to his/her belief, applies for job
  3. Candidate interviews with Recruiter, sold on the role, sold on the expectation of the role – expectations aligned
  4. Candidate interviews with Hiring Manager, sold on the role once more, sold on the expectation of the role, sold on career growth pathway – expectations aligned
  5. Candidate interviews with Leadership team, sold on the role once more, sold on the expectation of the role, sold on career growth pathway, sold on company’s vision and beliefs – expectations aligned
  6. Candidate accepts offer
  7. New Hire goes through on boarding process, hiring team keeps in touch – on boarding perfection
  8. New Hire starts – Expectations, Beliefs, Vision, Missions, Goals aligned
  9. Retention plan comes into play……

Since my rapid growth journeys, I’m often asked, “What’s the secret to balancing hyper growth and the right culture?” Well, there’s no such as a secret sauce! There’s no easy way to achieving this. If you had asked my leadership now, we’re in agreement that it is a damn hard job to do, the world’s most difficult balancing act to date.

What did we do then?

We mastered this: [To compromise Time over Quality].

Some will call us “picky” but most will have the time to learn we are the right choice. If Rome wasn’t built overnight, so isn’t forging a ‘real’ relationship with your potential hire. A Wrong hire affects business, the Right one brings added value. When you are forced to hire within a limited time-frame, jumping the gun on someone who long-term would not be the right fit is suicidal. As the hiring manager, you (we) have the responsibility not to cost your company money and someone’s (candidate’s) career. And this is what some managers actually do, they spend their day doing their day jobs, and nights being part of this recruitment process.

So why do so many companies get this wrong? Good intentions, wrong execution.

Classic Exhibit A: Company hires a HR team with a Talent only Focus (hire, hire, hire, hire!) – Fail

Classic Exhibit B: Company splits the HR team into People versus Talent, with no shared values – Fail

Classic Exhibit C: Company hires and empowers a People team with a single focus, bring in the right cultural fit.

My advise?

Put the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th action plan aside, get your basics right, get your recruitment goals right.

“Founders, managers, business owners, your talent team is your first step to establishing the culture you had hoped for. Take the time, put in the effort to find the right team that shares your beliefs, your company’s vision because they are going to be the first taste of your brand.”

And you ever wondered why so many recruiters end up in HR and stay for eternity? Because they found joy in the passion for people, and unfairly, the experience they have in this acquisition phase makes it just a little bit easier to reach this target. [Recruiting peeps] So if you’re in recruitment pitched for a People role, forget the whole Internal vs External pros and cons list. Just have a little faith next time and remember this,

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will – Karim Sedikki

Okay, Tuesday night rant over.