The Role of Tech Recruiters in Building Company Culture
You might think, “How can a recruiter contribute to my company or employers’ culture? They don’t even work here…”
It might not seem obvious that we often interact with a candidate more than the employer does before they join a company.
That’s not always the case, of course, I’m sure lots of recruiters work in different ways. But the more specialist a field is, the more likely it is that a recruiter has an existing relationship with the individual or has spent a reasonable amount of time understanding their career history, experience, skills, motivation, and personality. All of these and more contribute to company culture.
From that, most of the really good recruiters will have a reasonable sense of a person, what they’re interested in, topics and causes they care for, where they’d like to take their careers and what experiences or challenges they want to commit time to. Even more so if, like Rebel, you’re a company that cares deeply about our planet and more broadly how your employees feel at work.
Some companies may care more about productivity rather than focusing on how someone feels, but that is a company culture too – and not focusing or thinking about company culture doesn’t mean there isn’t one, it more likely means you’re not focused on defining it. In some cases, that’s fine, in others, it’s not. It might be harder to describe or define if it’s not considered early on but it’s there.
If you’re speaking to a recruiter who doesn’t ask about culture and the environment you harbour, it’s likely they’re not particularly bothered. It’s also unlikely that they’re particularly well motivated by the work you’re doing, cus’ if they were they would take an active interest in what folks think about the day-to-day.
“How do you weed out the blaggers?”. I’ll admit this is hard, but there are some things that make it easier. Definition is the main one and having a clear idea of red lines, what sort of behaviours or activities would you flag as inappropriate? It’s worth remembering here that people can and do change a lot. So it’s unfair and unreasonable to assume someone would behave in a certain way because of past employers or the companies they’ve worked for.
The only real way around this is by digging into people’s interests and passions. If someone is really closed off about this stuff, they may simply not like or trust recruiters. So, with the usual caveats, if they say they’re comfy to discuss certain topics directly with an interviewer and they meet the bill in other areas re. skills, experience, and the package they seek, then they’ll probably be worth speaking with. But it may be the case that they aren’t a match when it comes to culture and the environment they want to work in. And it takes more than just asking “what motivates you”, but seeking examples of when they will have exhibited behaviours that align with the culture.
Plenty of this is vague because all companies have their own culture. One group might define progressive as providing great parental leave, flexibility, or part-time options. But again, companies not offering any of those may have the best culture going.
Ultimately though, unless you’re making a concerted effort to adjust your culture, you probably don’t want to be hiring miles outside of the realm of the type of people you have already. And if you are looking to change your business’s culture, it won’t happen by hiring more of the same or letting the same people continue recruiting in the same way.
Written by Ben Williamson – Sustainability Recruiter.