Which Workplace Culture Matches Your Personality?

Tom Gimbel
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways

​What? Recruiters and hiring managers are placing a premium on cultural fit for new candidates.

Now what? To find the best employees, companies need to vet candidates on soft skills.

So what? Ask questions that help you determine what it will be like to work alongside a candidate, not just what output they will produce.

Company culture is something that’s been talked about a lot in the post-recession era, and it’s something that more and more organizations are focusing on. But why is culture so important? Marketing talent is in demand. The economy’s been improving and companies are hiring. People feel comfortable leaving their current roles and exploring other opportunities. In addition, companies have to be more competitive to attract talent. A salary typically isn’t enough to get someone on board anymore. The way that organizations are winning (or losing) the talent war is through their culture.

Today’s focus on culture also directly shows in the way that companies are hiring. Rather than focusing solely on a candidate’s technical skills, hiring managers are paying close attention to whether they’ll bring new and creative ideas to the table, get along with the people around them and help them grow. Here’s how to find this new crop of candidates.

Don’t get caught up in hard skills. 

Finding the right candidate is about a lot more than matching a résumé with a job description. Ask yourself: Are they creative? Are they collaborative? Do they have good communication skills? Are they showing initiative by already taking classes on SEO or design if that’s not their area of expertise? Hard skills can always be taught if the candidate is willing to work hard and learn. It’s important to find people who are willing to put in the work and truly go for what they want.

Know which questions to ask. 

To determine whether a candidate is right for your organization, you have to know what to ask in an interview. These questions help determine whether a candidate will fit into and contribute to the culture of the company:

What kind of environment do you thrive in? Open work space? Or cubes and closed doors? Is the environment they describe similar to what your company offers? 

What are you looking for in your next role? Are they looking for work-life balance? Or do they believe in work-life integration? How does that align with the organization’s beliefs?

Tell me about a job you didn’t enjoy. What did you dislike about it? Was it the manager? The culture? What changes could they make?

What motivates you? Money? Autonomy? Access to leadership? Flexibility? Are these things that your organization provides?

Set expectations. Be specific. 

Don’t try to paint the company as something it’s not. That will backfire when someone comes on board and realizes the gig isn’t what was described to them. If your organization works beyond the traditional nine-to-five, tell the candidate. Let them know how often they’ll work with other design or production teams within the company. Discuss the small details, like whether employees can listen to headphones at their desk. Paint a picture of what everyday life is like to attract the right person who will be happy in the role.  

Use the “airplane test.” 

A great culture can’t exist if you don’t like the people you work with. During an interview, ask yourself if the candidate passes the airplane test: Could you sit next to this person for three to four hours on a flight and not get sick of them? Marketing roles are very collaborative. You’re going to want to like the people you work with.

Creating an effective workplace culture takes a lot of nurturing, protection and time. Two big factors that go into that are finding people who will help grow and develop the culture, and letting the culture-takers go. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned throughout my career is that you have to be protective of your culture and work alongside people who will help spread your company’s message—not hurt it. That’s how you develop and scale a culture that will help the organization grow.

Author Bio:

Tom Gimbel
Tom Gimbel is CEO and founder of Lasalle Network, a recruiting firm based in Chicago.
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