Your Company Culture Impacts Employee Recruiting

10 Minutes Read

Whether or not you think about your company culture, just know that it's definitely impacting your employee recruiting.

Is your company culture something that you spend much time thinking about?

I’m guessing, probably not.

If you’re like most business owners, you probably think more about recruiting amazing employees to help you BUILD SUCCESS.

What if I told you that your company’s culture shows up and directly impacts:

1) Your recruitment process

2) Your interview

3) Your hiring process

4) New hires and their performance

5) Organization’s existing employees

Company culture all of a sudden sounds like something to pay attention to and nurture, right?

We’re going to cover a lot in this article and try to make the case that your company culture impacts your recruiting and your hiring, then, in turn, impacts back on your culture.

Whether or not you think about your company culture, just know that your organization has one. It’s there, whether by design or by default.

Joseph Hollak


Company culture has many working definitions.

Some try to explain it as “the way people act in a company” and include aspects such as dress code, employee recognition, work atmosphere, etc.

Others may say that company culture is “the values and beliefs of the employees at a corporation or other organization.”

If you said “it’s how we do what we do” you’d still not be wrong.

Whether or not you think about your company culture, just know that your organization has one. It’s there, whether by design or by default.



What I meant above with “by design or by default” is your business has developed a workplace culture over time whether or not you intentionally worked on it and nurtured it along or if you and your employees just let it happen naturally without much thought or planning.

I think the culture of your company can be positively (or negatively) influenced by many things, including:

  • Your personal values and beliefs. Who are you showing up as and are you having a positive or negative impact on your organization’s culture?
  • The company’s vision and mission. Are they placing profits before people for example?
  • How your employees are treated. Do your employees feel satisfied and engaged? Do you believe in their development and support investing in your workers?
  • Who you chose to bring on board and who you chose to fire.

You get the point that there are a lot of things you can do to cultivate the culture your company has and it will be formed along the way either by design or by default.


As you can see, there are a lot of ingredients that make up your company’s culture.

But the most important ingredient with the biggest impact (by far) is your leadership.

Company culture starts with its leadership, whether that’s just you as the sole owner at the top, or you and a partner, and we can even make the argument to include your department heads and managers in this “leadership” discussion.

It all starts at the top and there are many aspects of the company culture that can be fostered by your leaders, including:

  • looking for examples and opportunities to congratulate your workers on their victories and accomplishments
  • providing feedback to employees in a safe and individualized way
  • fostering collaboration between team members through teamwork or regular team building activities

The first step towards cultivating your desired company culture is understanding that it starts with your and your leadership team.

The second step in the process to create a corporate culture is knowing what you want it to look like. Begin with the end in mind is the key to success.



Company culture is the single most important element that you can build into your company. There I said it. Agree or disagree with me down in the comments.

Recruiting employees based on their cultural fit will help to increase productivity and promote a sense of belonging amongst team members, ultimately leading to higher retention rates for new hires. For this reason, it’s critical to have an understanding of what makes up a strong company culture at your organization so that you are in tune with these traits during your recruitment process.


  • A strong company culture value transparency: This trait means knowing where issues arise before they cause serious problems or damage the reputation of employees – which then leads to internal low morale and poor performance levels among workers
  • An office mentorship program should be established with clear expectations and measurable benchmarks (e.g., mentors must provide feedback to mentees at least once per month).
  • A healthy company culture values a growth environment: This trait means employees are given opportunities for professional growth by being offered workplace training and educational opportunities or be put on a developmental plan, which will support their career goals.
  • Many companies host an office retreat every six months for all employees (or department) with the objective of strengthening the company community and relationships among colleagues.
  • An organization with a company culture at its core creates positive employee relations: This means employees are treated with respect, they work in a supportive team environment. As a result, employees have their needs met by leadership, managers listen to team members’ concerns and offer feedback on performance.

To create a professional culture takes time, tools, and strategies. But the effort is worth it.

As you can tell, most of the responsibility will fall to senior management and other decision-makers, as well as who else will need input into creating your ideal workplace. Again, the effort is worth it.


Most of us just want to fit into any environment we choose to spend time in. Organizations are no different.

Employees want to feel connected to the company they work for and since they spend so much of their waking hours with them, it would be nice if they liked their colleagues.

Even today, candidates look at a company’s website or social media profile before applying online for jobs. Therefore it’s vital that an organization has something in place online where employees can share what makes them proud of where they work.

Most employees probably spend more time with coworkers than they do with their own family members, so it’s no wonder they want that time to be in an environment that makes them feel physically and emotionally safe and supported.

This means feeling a sense of belonging and acceptance, all the way from their manager down to the end customer. This belonging and sense of acceptance are what will drive your employee satisfaction ratings and employee engagement numbers. Both of which will drive workplace performance.

If employees don’t find that workplace culture fit inside your organization, you can bet they will go elsewhere to find it.

So, yeah, company culture is that important to employees.


For many business owners, the dream is to create a work environment that attracts and retains top talent. But that might be easier said than done.

How can you create a company culture that people don’t want to leave? Try these six secrets from other successful companies:

  • Create an engaging and open work environment. This might include giving employees the freedom to choose their own projects or having regular brainstorming sessions where ideas are shared openly between teams. Encourage your team members to be creative in how they schedule time for themselves, such as working from home on Fridays when necessary. If possible give them opportunities for professional growth.
  • Many organizations have moved to a strategy of promoting from within. This has many advantages, such as providing a clear path to career progression, but it also means that you need to develop your existing talent so they are ready for promotion. Developing employees is an investment in the future of your company.
  • Offer competitive salaries and benefits packages. This might not be enough on its own, however, which is why many companies invest heavily in employee retention strategies. Why? Because studies show that employees won’t put up with a bad cultural fit for a little more money.3
  • Engage all staff by going beyond traditional management roles (i.e., managers should also do some low-level tasks).
  • Establish in writing core company values and then regularly review how well your organization is living up to them.

I’ll share this story from a client of ours that will remain anonymous. They have never made establishing company values a priority. They hadn’t defined their company values, let alone put them in writing and share them with the entire organization.

Because of this, unfortunately, if asked, they couldn’t tell you what their company values were or how they expected employees to behave along the way as they move towards the company mission.

Think about this for a moment.

Imagine you’re sitting in front of a very impressive candidate that applied for a job inside your business. This is a candidate who would make an amazing hire and the interview is one of the best you’ve ever had.

Then the candidate asks, “So, tell me more about your company values.”

Your brain freezes and an uncomfortable silence fills the room. You can’t communicate your company values because you never made them a priority.

This is a reflection of the culture that you, company leadership, have built. What do you think is going through the mind of this amazing candidate who has applied for a job with you if you can’t articulate examples of the company’s culture.

A healthy culture is absolutely critical to attracting talent to your business as is your ability to explain that culture to candidates.



It might have been some time since you’ve applied for a job, but try to put yourself in the shoes of someone looking for employment.

When you are looking for a company that’s hiring, the most important factor is: can I see myself working there? Will I be happy there?

Those are 100% culture concerns.

Professionals today don’t want to waste their time in a job with an employer that has a toxic culture or one that doesn’t fit the candidate. They want to know in advance if the cultural workplace fits. Otherwise, they have to leave the employer and start the process all over again. They want to get it right the first time.

Make it easy for candidates when they interview for the job. If they can see themselves fitting in with your culture, then hiring the best candidates becomes so much easier.


Company culture affects both attraction and retention rates, and maybe one of the most important factors in determining a company’s performance and future success.

So how do you create a culture that attracts great talent? Here’s a few ideas that you can turn into strategies:

  • Promote and celebrate company culture in every piece of employer communication.
  • Create a values statement and share it. Often.
  • Promote an inclusive, diverse workforce where differences are celebrated.
  • Offer perks like paid leave programs or permission to attend conferences that don’t align with your core business goals.
  • Give employees autonomy over their work hours and provide flexibility
  • Be transparent with expectations and communicate honestly.
  • Allow employees to speak freely on social media without fear of retribution for their words.
  • Encourage creativity by encouraging new ideas and giving time to experiment with them, even if they don’t work out as planned.
  • Develop in-house talent through company-sponsored training programs or open house events where people can learn about your business.

These are just a few ideas that we know to work.

Remember, your organization will create culture over time for sure. It will either be by design, or by default, and it will either help you land the best candidates and make your recruitment process easier or candidates will look to other jobs.



You have an open position within your company and you really want to identify the strongest candidates for the job. A recruit with the skills and tools that will support your vision and help to move the organization forward for years to come.

You know that hiring a recruit that fits your existing culture would be the icing on the cake.

First, you want to create a recruiting environment that will encourage potential recruits to apply so you have a long list of candidates to choose from.

Next, create a job ad that is clear about the expectations for the position and what you are looking for. It’s perfectly ok to elaborate about your company’s culture in the job ad.

Then, make sure your company culture is attractive to those candidates by highlighting some of your current employee’s examples on your website and on social media. When candidates do their own research about your company, you’ll want them to find examples of your culture online.

Now it’s time to interview candidates. This is one of the most important steps.

You want to find someone who’s a great culture fit so you’re not wasting time training them on what it means to work at your company and how to do their job effectively.

Companies that get this right report happier employees within their organizations that tend to stay longer.


Once candidates are hired and are on board, they need to know what the culture is like. This helps so that they can identify with it and feel confident in their decision.

Open communication about your company’s values is a great way to help new and seasoned employees understand what you value and why.

Here are a few ideas that we’ve seen work in real-world companies to show off your culture to the new employee that has joined your team and is trying to fit in with other employees:


If the recruit doesn’t bring up your organization’s culture in the interview process, then make sure you do. After all, you’ve worked so hard to develop one that you’re proud of, make sure it gets discussed in the interview.


Include company culture information and discussion in your onboarding process. Let the recruit self-discover that they made a smart choice by taking the job because they fit nicely with the company’s culture.

Almost all employees, new and old alike, want to know what the values of their company are. They also want guidance on how they can be successful with these values as well as encouragement that this is a good place for them to work and grow professionally.


This can incredibly effective. Pick a person, usually a manager that embodies your organization’s best practices, that will coach the new employees and help them get acclimated to your company’s culture. The new employee will appreciate the support.


One of the best ways to show new employees that you value a certain aspect of company culture is by showing them how it’s done.

Emphasize the importance and get buy-in from your team on this topic when possible, so they are invested in upholding it as well.


It might not be in your control if an employee decides that they want to leave your small business, but it’s worth making sure their decision isn’t because of company culture.

Making a bad hire is really expensive, in both your time and money (both of which are your greatest limited resources).

Here’s how making a bad culture fit hire can cost your business:

  • The new hire leaves and you have to start the whole process over again to fill the open position.
  • Or worse, the recruit decides to stay and the entire office is disrupted.
  • If you hire a bad culture fit, they might not be productive.
  • If they’re not productive, that’s more work for you and your team.

I used to tell my team “We don’t let ‘crazy’ in the front door, because it will cause key employees to leave out the back door.”

Protect your most valuable limited resources (your time and your money) but getting it as close to right as you can.



For the small business owner that wants to read more about company culture and how to build it, we’ve made this list of business book titles about culture:

  • The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do by Clotaire Rapaille (2010)
  • Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, MD. (1998)
  • Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin (2008)
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. (2000)
  • Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard, A Memoir from an American Icon and Harvard Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Stanford University



Wow. Looking back we covered a lot of ground here.

Some important points to remember are don’t underestimate the importance of company culture and what it can do for a small to medium-sized company. You will achieve your company mission and vision (or not) because of the people you hire.

They will either get you to your vision (because you can’t get there by yourself) or they will cause unnecessary chaos, confusion, and

I hope you found this article helpful. In fact, let’s keep the learning and the conversation going down in the comments below.

What was most helpful here or inspiring for you? Leave us a comment below.

Picture of Joseph Hollak

Joseph Hollak

Joseph is the Founder of Build Success™ and actively coaches, consults, and trains business owners, founders, partners, and executives. He earned his Master of Science in Organization Development from The University of San Francisco and can be bribed to do almost anything with tacos.