Recruiting is an expensive process. In fact, research by Oxford Economics found that replacing a single team member can cost your company as much as £30,000. So it’s incredibly important to get it right, and recruit the right candidates for your team, first time round.

There are plenty of models and research available around how to identify who will fit into your workplace culture when recruiting. But when it comes to the crunch time, do these really apply? Trying to establish a picture of your ideal candidate is tricky. Inevitably, everyone from the CEO to the recruiting manager is going to have a different opinion with strong ideas of who would fit in. These opinions are usually influenced by the way in which they themselves are motivated.

Whilst I was facilitating a recruitment round-table debate at a charity headquarters recently, the topic of who will fit into your workplace culture came up once again. The problems they are experiencing are like many of my other clients: on the one hand they need to increase the pool of candidates to select from, yet on the other hand they have a long list of criteria the candidate must match. Something has to give – but what?

Some of the leadership team were adamant that candidates must share their values and believe in the charity’s ‘cause’. The other half of the room asked why? Could not anyone with the right skills and experience do the job without having to be a firm ‘believer’?

To help them reach an answer to their dilemma, I explained the holy trinity recruiting criteria. Who will fit into your workplace culture is only one of three essential ingredients to finding and recruiting someone who will perform well and who you will ultimately retain.

The three key ingredients to recruiting the right candidate are:

  • Can they do the job?
  • Do they want to do the job?
  • Will they fit in?

All three are crucial. If the person can do the work but is not intrinsically motivated to do it, they will likely become bored quickly. However, if the person is competent and motivated to do the work required, and fits the culture then you are on to a winner! All three factors are equally essential if you want to be able to identify and recruit the right candidates. Any one factor without the other two will result in the person under performing, which is exactly why so many good people end up getting hired for the wrong job.

Will a candidate fit in? Defining your workplace culture.

In the table below are some questions to ask yourself so that you have a clearer idea whether a candidate will fit in to your team. When you’ve established that they will fit into your workplace culture, you can then use clever language tactics to attract those candidates, and ensure they accept your job offer:

Questions to Ask Yourself Considerations Language to Attract the Right Candidate
At what pace do we operate? How fast is our company growing? How quickly do we make decisions? Fast-growing start-ups move & change quickly versus more mature, slow moving established companies
  • Fast growing: “changing, agile, quick thinking, fast moving”
  • More established: “considered, evolving, balanced”
What is the depth and quality of the resources available to support this candidate? Will they be doing everything themselves?

Operating in a small team?

Have a larger pool of people & resources to call on?

  • Solo: “independent, initiative, autonomous”
  • Small team: “contribute, play an important part”
  • Large team: “supported, access to resources”
What is the leadership style of the recruiting manager? Delegates everything and controls little?

Delegates little and controls everything?

  • Delegator: “autonomy, freedom, initiative”
  • Controller: “clear direction, regular feedback, close supervision”
How competitive is our industry? How we are performing financially? Highly competitive industries need people with drive. When money is tight, this can lead to stress & under-performance
  • Competitive: “driven, ambitious, goal orientated”
  • Uncertainty: “risk taker, resilient”
What do we stand for as an organisation? How do we operate? Organisations with strong beliefs & values tend to operate with more transparency, others may be more political.
  • Transparency: “what’s important to you, collaborative, open”
  • Political: “comfortable with ambiguity.”

Being able to recruit the right candidates is crucial to ensure the success of your team. Recruitment success is not about cloning – but about increasing the diversity of your employees and therefore increasing your collective strengths.

Don’t have £30,000 to risk? The LAB Profile is a tool that helps you to define your workplace culture in 14 different ways, so that the language you use attracts the right people and turns off those who are not a good fit.

Interested in learning how to improve your recruitment process and recruit the right candidates? Get in touch with me today – and find out how to avoid recruiting the wrong candidates.