Talent hunting 101: How to hire culturally without missing out on technical ability

Here, we look at how businesses can hire culturally without missing out on technical ability.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are dependent on their workforce. Simply put, the culturally stronger your team, the brighter your future will be.

Steve Thompson, managing director of digital marketing recruitment specialists Forward Role Recruitment, understands how important it is to not only recruit the very best talent out there, but also the importance of hiring someone who embraces your company’s culture.

A culture within a business can be hard to put your finger on, but when someone doesn’t match up, you can certainly tell that it’s missing. Culture embodies everything from the way people get on, to the core values that your business was founded on.

If the personality and culture of a new employee matches the rest of the business, then it is more likely that they will perform better, experience a greater feeling of job satisfaction and may be more likely to stay with the same company for longer. People who are actively looking for roles are starting to prioritise culture as highly as other factors such as salary and benefits.

Will Craig, managing director at Digital Impact, says that the importance of culture in the modern workplace should not be underestimated. Craig says, ‘The single toughest challenge to a business’ culture is staffing. Recruit the right people and you’ll find your workplace stronger than ever; recruit the wrong people and you risk poisoning the well. However, as anyone who’s ever had to hire for a position knows, picking the diamonds from the rough is far from easy.

‘While you should never compromise on the quality of your hires, there’s one small tweak you can make to help find the gems out there: prioritise passion, culture and talent over experience.

‘It’s really easy to chase people who are already equipped to do the job right now. Picking up someone super experienced might help you now, but if they aren’t right for the company it’ll come to harm you later. Ignoring a bad personality and hiring for their experience risks tainting the rest of your staff and disrupting the culture you’ve worked to create.

‘The simple version is this: make sure you pick the right person, not just the right CV.’

Home grown talent

Many agencies in particular are now choosing to focus on producing their own home grown talent. This may be through hiring someone who fits culturally, ticks plenty of boxes but is perhaps a little rough around the edges skills wise, and then providing them with ample time to self-develop.

This can be through reading the latest articles online, sending them to industry conferences and hosting internal training sessions. Those who are able to educate themselves about a little known industry are incredibly valuable, and they’ll appreciate the chance to learn and grow.

Think outside your area

How often have you missed out on a candidate with a great application just because they lived a little too far away? If you’re looking to secure the very best, those in competitive industries cannot afford to be too picky.

Jeff Ellman, co-founder of UrbanBound, comments, ‘A company’s best talent can’t always be found in its backyard. Recruiters are currently faced with the challenge of finding talent with specialised skills and experience. That’s why today, more and more companies are taking on a global mindset when it comes to recruiting and hiring to cast the widest net possible.

‘To help hone in on these perfect candidates and convince them to accept job offers, recruiters are relying on strong relocation strategies. A strong relocating benefit allows recruiters to search for talent outside of their region and ‘tips the scale’ for candidates who may have previously been wary about the headache of moving. Strong relocation strategies are a win-win for both recruiters and employees.’

Ellman concludes, ‘Companies are able to acquire the best talent and provide employees with the support to execute a seamless move. A company’s relocation benefit can make or break a signing deal, so it’s important for companies to have all the tools necessary to know they can snag top talent to fill their open positions.’

Look at your own networks

Our social and professional networks are filled with people who are educated and skilled, but for some reason they never cross our minds.

Rachel Carrell, CEO of Koru Kids, is a strong advocate of looking close to home before expanding your search, and says, ‘Almost without exception the best people came via my own social networks. They weren’t friends – that can be risky – but rather friends of acquaintances or vice versa. It didn’t take long to find them; just a few emails and messages on Facebook, which I use for recruiting a lot. Plus, of course, using your own social networks to recruit is free! That’s especially important when you’re a startup.’

Further reading on culturally focussed hiring

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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