- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 09 May 2012 17:34, Updated 10 May 2012 04:15
Job candidates with the appropriate skill set are being increasingly overlooked in favour of potential employees who exhibit the right “cultural fit” within an organisation.
Insights from recruitment firm Hays show a growing trend of favouring cultural potential over candidates with a deeper skill set across a wide range of industries, including highly skilled roles like project management.
At RedBalloon, we’ve always placed the highest emphasis on cultural fit when assessing candidates, which stems from the fact our values inform everything we do as a business.
Ideally you want a candidate who has great skills and the right attitude, but if I was asked to choose between two candidates, one more highly skilled and one who demonstrated values and an attitude reflective of the organisation, I would choose on the basis of the latter in almost every instance.
It’s my experience that employers are increasingly looking to the values of their company for guidance, and how a candidate will live and breathe these in the everyday fulfilment of their role. The impact of a “bad fit” cannot be overestimated.
The importance of culture is also reflected in the 2012 RedBalloon/AltusQ Employee Engagement Capabilities report, which, for the second year running, puts culture on a pedestal for creating and maintaining a happy workforce.
The report shows that organisations with a highly engaged workforce have the highest capability scores when it comes to culture, because employees deliver when their environment gives them the space and means to flourish.
But what are the core ingredients that deliver this Holy Grail of a great workplace culture?
According to the report, the core ingredients for engagement success are flexible working arrangements, recognition programs, non-cash rewards/incentives, training and development programs, paid parental leave and time off for study. These are the basics required to deliver on expectations and start to engage a workforce. They are the base of the pyramid, so if you don’t get them right, the whole structure will topple.
Organisations need to shift the way they think about the standard workday, and how they expect employees to work their hours and meet their goals because incorporating flexible work options and mindsets can go a long way to creating a happy and healthy employee experience and increased engagement. And that can only be a positive thing for business.
Culture also starred in the 2011 Insync Surveys and RedBalloon Dream Employers survey of 7100 respondents, which ranked company culture as the third most important factor in a person choosing their dream employer. So it seems employers and employees are placing a similar amount of weight on the question of culture.
According to Hays director Nick Deligiannis, its quarterly report revealed employees are increasingly choosing jobs based on how they see the culture of an organisation.
He says they have seen several cases of candidates turning down job offers because they didn’t feel the company culture reflected their long-term career goals. Cultural values in business help you stand out.
I’m a marketer and a “sucker” for new things but the sheer volume of messages that I’m bombarded with each day overwhelms. It is very hard to be a remarkable “purple cow” – as writer and entrepreneur Seth Godin implored – when everyone is claiming to be a purple cow.
Real cut-through comes from the authentic experience someone has of a brand. Which always comes back to values and culture.
At RedBalloon we figure that rather than making promises and trying to sell stuff, we will just let people know what we stand for. Really, we are just a bunch of passionate people who are all focused on making sure that we deliver amazing experiential gifts. We understand that people have a choice and we are so appreciative when people choose us.
Marketing has come along way from the 1950s but the premise is the same: I want to know that I am dealing with someone real, and I want to know what you stand for.
At RedBalloon we have a shared sense of purpose – creating and offering meaningful experiences – and a specific part of that is our values.
When I set up RedBalloon I’d never been a CEO before so I read voraciously on the topics of leadership, business, entrepreneurship and innovation. What I discovered was that those organisations that grew and thrived were those built on values with a shared sense of purpose.
It is our values and purpose that have defined our direction at RedBalloon. Business is tough. Choosing our RedBalloon values and living a business based on these values has not always been easy. When it’s easy it’s because our values are like “guiding stars” helping us make decisions and recruit people to build the amazing workplace I’m incredibly proud of. Tough when they are the final touchstone between you, the rock and a hard place and by living them you know you won’t please everyone all of the time.
Have you set values for your business? I’d love to hear your experiences.
Naomi Simson is founder of fast-growth experiential gifting retailer RedBalloon (redballoon.com.au). An employee engagement advocate, RedBalloon is named as one of only six Hewitt Best Employers in Australia and New Zealand with an engagement scorecard of over 90 per cent. Comments and questions can be sent to Naomi via her blog at www.naomisimson.com.