Sustainability in staffing

or why cultural convergence is essential for success in recruiting

Who hasn’t heard of this? The applicant has all the skills, the CV is excellent, the interview is brilliant, the applicant’s spcial skills are considered above average. HR and business agree: this is the dream candidate they have been waiting for. And yet the employee doesn’t make it past the probation period, because the chemistry is off or management is disappointed by the new employee’s deportment or their attitude to their work.

Many companies make considerable efforts to find the right talent and key players. They hire headhunters or personnel consultants and select candidates on the basis of elaborate competence profiles, at the same time overlooking a very important factor that influences the sustainability of their recruiting: the compliance of the applicant’s personal and professional values with the prevailing culture of the company.

Corporate culture – just an abstract term, or highly effective regarding behaviour?

Corporate culture – deemed the sum of all shared values, standards, unwritten regulations and fundamental convictions of an organisation – defines how things happen within a company. This cultural framework determines to a large extent how employees act, what is considered to be good and right, and what is not. Corporate culture mostly works subconsciously. Often it is not adequately reflected, visible or described.

Employees and managers with “different” personal values, approaches and ideas on how to do the work quickly come up against the tolerated limits of corporate culture. The behaviour of newcomers is perceived by the organisational system as annoying or disturbing, is devalued or answered with conflict. Any diversity in thinking and acting that individuals bring with them is often not appreciated within the company, and the new employee is socialised or confronted as quickly as possible.

If this process of cultural acclimatisation does not work due to excessive divergences between corporate culture and personal values, there will be disruptions on both sides. The result is often termination – initiated by whichever side – which means a high level of costs, frustration and effort.

Experienced recruiters attach great importance to corporate culture

As experienced recruiters, we are aware of interruptions in professional careers within many CVs. These show how cultural discrepancies often lead to termination, internal dismissal, a lack of commitment, or conflicts. Managers, especially those who have achieved the best results in a company for years or decades and risk moving to another division or company, can fail due to cultural conditions. That’s why the cultural fit is crucial in filling vacancies sustainably.

Our claim “Find the best person – not the best CV” underscores the fact that we have taken cultural fit into consideration, building it into our recruiting process. Several steps are necessary to achieve the best possible match between candidates and corporate culture:

  1. Making corporate culture visible – analysing the job profile is not enough
    In addition to the job and position profile, we analyse the culture of the company, the standards and values of an organisation. To this end, we talk to those responsible for corporate culture, such as HR managers and executives.
  2. Making people aware of their personal values – interview to reveal values
    To make sure a career decision is also sustainable for the candidate, it must be taken in accordance with the candidate’s inner convictions and values. In interviews, we deliberately ask about values and attitudes such as team orientation versus striving for autonomy, cross-functional attitudes versus competition orientation, development versus task orientation or a desire to experiment versus striving for security and consistency.
  3. Measuring and managing culture and personal values – motivators must be questioned
    According to the motto “If you can measure it, you can manage it”, the effect of an applicant’s motivators is placed in relation to the company profile and tested for matches, significant deviations and predetermined breaking points. For example, a candidate with a high level of aspiration for autonomy in decision-making can serve as a role model in a company that may be too eager to discuss instead of taking decisions.
  4. Identify and discuss differences – expectations should be realisable
    The procedure described above makes the corporate culture visible, and differences in value vis-à-vis the candidates’ attitudes can be discussed and evaluated. The comparison offers valuable information on whether the expectations of the potential employee are in line with the working environment, thus providing a basis for sustainable staffing.

Sustainable recruiting thanks to support from C.M.S. AG

The procedure of Corporate Management Selection C. M.S. AG contains the basics for sustainable recruiting and optimal performance. It enables us to assess the future success of the search mandate.

Would you like to find out more and benefit from our recruitment process? Contact us. We are looking forward to having the opportunity to present our unique selling points in personnel consulting and providing you with long-term support in sustainably filling vacancies.

Andreas Thum
Corporate Management
Selection C.M.S. AG