Evaluating Your Team’s Culture: Will Candidates Find The Right Fit?

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” – Peter Drucker 

This quote, among many other discussions in the business world, point to the fact that organizations should be spending just as much time investing in their culture as they do working on devising their strategic plan.  

A recent 2018 article in Harvard Business Review discussed the four key aspects of company culture:  

Culture is sharedpervasive, enduring, and implicit.  

Your entire team contributes to the development of your organization or your department’s culture. Culture permeates all aspects of the day, the workflow, the team dynamics, and ultimately the perceived success of the team. Culture is long-lasting; it takes time, energy, and dedication to change culture.  

A candidate will most certainly sense the culture when they arrive for an on-site interview. Just as you are likely evaluating a candidate’s first impression, remember they are likely making a first impression of your organization right when they walk in the door.  

The Harvard Business Review articles goes on to reference that two main components of culture are: 

  1. People interactions and  
  2. Response to change  

Is your team likely to rely on one another or are they primarily independent?  

How does your team respond to change? How is change communicated and implemented?  

Another aspect of culture may relate to how your department/team carries out the mission of the organization. Candidates who are drawn to your overall organizational mission and have values that are aligned with that mission will likely be seeking out the ubiquity of that mission when they seek employment at your institution.  

When preparing to bring a candidate on site for an interview, questions about culture will almost certainly arise. Many candidates may ask questions to gain insight of their potential new environment such as:  

  • If you had to describe the culture of your organization in one word, what would it be?  
  • Tell me about the culture of your department.  
  • What are the team dynamics like here?  
  • Why do you love working here?  

When reflecting on those questions above, do you believe all of your team members would give consistently similar answers?  

Are candidates getting a sense for your team or organizational culture before the interview? What is the interview day like? What about following the interview? 

As an employer seeking candidates with the right “fit”, be sure to take note of what message your culture is sending out. Candidates also have the advantage of selecting a culture that best fits with their own personal mission in their professional journey. 

Jackie is a full-time pharmacist and career coach at TheHappyPharmD, where she helps pharmacists live life by design. She loves her family, changing the world and the profession of pharmacy.

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