It’s happened to many of us: we go through a recruitment process, have one or several interviews, ask about the organisation and work conditions, before finally accepting the job. Then we start. But after a few weeks, sometimes days, we realise that it’s got nothing to do with the place that was painted to us during the recruitment process.
What went wrong? Two things.
The first thing is that the description of the organisation and its corporate culture that was given to you was aspirational. The values were in fact the stated values, what’s done when everything goes well. At the end of the day, the recruiter wants you, so they’ll make things rosier than they are to make sure you sign up. Wrong strategy. Too many organisations are wasting resources by not being upfront about the truth and then losing the people they have recruited because they are disappointed by what they find. It would be more helpful and less risky to paint a realistic picture and state ambitions.
The second thing is that you didn’t try to find out what the culture of this place really was. The question is, “how can you find out about the culture of a business without being in the business?” Analysts face the same question when they buy or sell shares. Research conducted by Walking the Talk showed that 94% of respondents reported that culture plays an important part in their investment decisions, with over 70% indicating that it is either quite or very important in their investment process. Only 6% of respondents indicated that culture played no part in their investment decisions. The analysts have come up with ways of identifying culture from afar. Here are some of things you can do:
The best thing you can do, however, is to ask the right questions during the interview process. Feel free to ask the usual questions about the job, pay conditions, leave and other perks, but zoom-in on culture to conduct your own culture assessment. Here are some of the questions you can ask. They are somewhat unusual questions, so the recruiter will probably not be prepared for them, and their answer will reflect the truth.
These simple questions will give you a lot more accurate information than what you have been told.
Are there other questions you’ve asked in the past to find out about culture?
Have you ever experienced a real difference between the culture you were described and the culture you found?
For further insights view our selection of case studies, ebooks, reports and white papers or contact us to learn how we can transform your culture.