How do you make sure you’re hiring people who will strengthen your company culture rather than tear it down? You can begin by slowing down to define and create a clear system that will pay off in the long run.

Even if you are currently feeling the pressure to get a position filled, it’s worth the extra time to build a solid foundation for hiring because a culture miss is never worth the cost to your company.

With the right foundation, you can create a hiring process that helps build a great company culture.

1) Define Your Culture Target

Our company's 10 Core Values were defined and voted on by the employees:

People Values

  1. Respect others as inherently valuable
  2. Form clear, open, and honest relationships
  3. Build positive, proactive, and loyal teams

Work Values

  1. Always do the right thing
  2. Work hard to achieve goals
  3. Be innovative and take responsible risks
  4. Do more with less (resourcefulness)

Attitude Values

  1. Be humble
  2. Teachable - never stop learning (willing to learn and receive input)
  3. Have fun - upbeat endurance, sense of humor

There isn’t a magic number for how many Core Values to create, but we’d recommend keeping the list on the smaller side. 10 has been plenty for us! If the list gets too long, no one can remember them all anyway.

2) Define Your Performance Target

A great company culture isn’t only comprised of people being nice to each other -- it also encourages high performance. After all, it’s a lot more fun to be on a winning team. So don’t forget to factor performance standards into your core value system.

Creating clear expectations is also key to employee engagement. Our president often says, “It’s difficult to be aggressive if you’re confused.” An employee can’t be aggressive about achieving goals if they aren’t clear on performance expectations.

Start by establishing the top 6 high performance outcomes for each role in your company. This process will take some time but will pay off on the front end by defining your candidate requirements and provide a standard for performance evaluation after the hire.

Next, identify the top 6 traits or competencies that are required to produce the desired outcomes. This list should include natural abilities that fuel high performance.

You’ve now created your measuring stick for new hires.

3) Attract the Right Talent

Create an interesting website that highlights your values and performance expectations. Show pictures of your smiling employees, your attractive building, anything that promotes what is great (and true) about working at your company. This helps attract more people who share your values and are excited by the challenges the work will provide.

Don’t forget to write a compelling job ad that reflects both your great company culture and your clear performance expectations.

4) Learn More About Your Candidates

As important as it is to read resumes and conduct interviews, it’s hard to get to know someone from those limited interactions alone. You also want to know what this person is like to work with. How do they interact with their co-workers? How likely are they to feel energized by and engaged in the work assignments?

Using a personality assessment like the MAP adds that extra dimension of insight to help you understand those important traits.

5) Help Everyone Get Off to a Great Start

Once you’ve made the offer, finish up the hiring process with good onboarding.

Some ideas for welcoming the new team member:

  • Offer them lunch the first day with a few colleagues
  • Introduce them to their team
  • Create a banner
  • Show them where the coffee is (it’s the little things!)
  • Explain the policies
  • Make sure they have all the resources to get started
  • Give them introductions across the company (We like to send out a company-wide email with a fun survey. Coworkers across all departments send welcoming, humorous GIFs in response!)

Give the Manager Insight into the New Hire

To ensure that the new employee is effective, the manager will need to invest in the new hire’s professional growth and development. Use the MAP to help the employee and manager understand each other.

In fact, it can be a great practice during the first week for the manager and employee to sit together and discuss their MAPs -- their similarities and where they might potentially encounter challenges while working together. This allows each party to get a head start on understanding each other and setting the foundation for an effective working relationship.

A Great Company Culture Is Never an Accident

Great company cultures have to be built; they do not just appear. Start by defining what you want - in both culture and performance - before placing a job ad. When you’re tired of searching, you will be tempted to cut corners and overlook warning signs if you have not clearly laid out what you want.

Then, attract the right talent through showcasing your culture. The types of people you want in your company are the types who care deeply about your core values. So make it easy for them to discover what those are! Cultivate a consistent presence across your website, social media and hiring channels.

You must also learn about your candidates. Best-in-class companies use hiring assessments to really get to know people before they hire them. Make sure to choose a well-rounded assessment that measures a candidate’s personality, motivators and behaviors. You need to know all three of these aspects of a person if you want them to thrive and be engaged in their role.

Finally, you cannot skip a quality onboarding process. Your new employee should be in awe that they get to work in such a great place, not feel like they’re the victim of a bait-and-switch! Showcase both your culture and performance expectations with a warm welcome and a presentation of your company’s accomplishments (we have a prominent wall that showcases company milestones and employee awards). Make them feel like they are joining a family. Ensure they have all the tools to succeed and that you have set them up for success in their new role. Then, watch them go!

At Talent Insights, building great company cultures is our passion. What does your ideal workplace look like? How do you plan to get there? Building a MAP can be a great first step.