Recruitment: The source of the current culture

Recruitment: The source of the current culture


Whether the situation in the workplace is satisfying or frustrating, the source of the state of affairs has its roots in recruitment.

If there is a sound recruitment process established that ensures that new personnel share the values of the business, are willing to contribute to a positive workplace culture and to the achievement of a shared vision for the business, the energy too, will be positive and the results will show.

On the other hand, if recruitment is conducted on the basis of the applicant’s suitability in terms of skills and experience alone, there is a high degree of likelihood that the person selected will not prove suitable.

The problem occurs when an employee who is assumed to be a right fit is engaged and the fact that they actually do not fit the culture remains undiscovered for some time. By now, they are entrenched in the organisation and so too, are the person’s more negative side effects. The person’s drain on other people and therefore, on the culture, are only slowly becoming apparent and to turn the ship around is no easy task.

It is difficult to over-estimate the significance of recruitment on the potential of the business and its well-being.

Most businesses treat recruitment as a task that needs to be carried out when a position needs to be filled or when the growth of the business dictates that a new person is required to fill a particular role. The process is far too important to be treated in this way. It should be carried out in a systematic way that backs up the company values and results in the engagement of a person who supports the team and its goals of meeting organisational goals.

Delving deeper, if we are to determine alignment with the values of the business, the articulating of those values becomes the first step. What do we stand for? What are the fundamentals that will not be comprised for additional revenue or profit?

Deeper still is the core purpose of the business. Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “It Starts with Why? (which is also the name of his seminal book) explains that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. If you can clearly understand and then articulate the higher purpose of the business, customers will be easier to find and stay with you longer.

These fundamental questions – and their answers – lie at the very core of the recruitment process, which starts to look like this:

  1. Establish -  and then articulate – the Core Purpose of the business

  2. On the basis of the Core Purpose, establish the Core Values that underlie that purpose

  3. Clearly set out the role that is required, so that its place within the business – and within the team – are obvious

  4. Proceed through the advertising components – remembering that this is a marketing exercise. (What is the ideal candidate likely to be doing now? How can I attract them to the position?)

  5. Interview with questions that

    1. Provide evidence as to the candidate’s values

    2. Provide them with an opportunity to explain how they would respond to real-life situations relevant to the future role

    3. Demonstrate how they would react to being a part of your team

    4. Indicate what value they would be to the business

  6. Select with two people being involved and include the candidate arranging for you (or the interviewer) to speak with an independent former employer

  7. Induct thoroughly so that the new employee immediately feels a part of the team


    This process should be detailed, followed carefully and reviewed regularly, so that its better points are retained, its ineffective or awkward aspects discarded or altered and that improvements are added – and, in turn, reviewed as to the effectiveness.


    Arguably, given the impact of the outcomes, this is THE most important process you will have within your business procedures manual. It should be treated as such.

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What John Matthew believes about small business

That the owner has risked many things that others take for granted;

That there is no guaranteed income or reward for the considerable effort that is required;

That often, the family home is on the line to support the business and its constituents;

That there is a dignity and self-respect that is earned;

That entire communities would be better places if there was an increased appreciation and respect for small business.

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