Culture – have you really experienced it?
What do you think of when someone says ‘culture’ to you? Do you think going to a museum, art gallery, opera house, staying up late to have some paella and sangria in Spain? Or do you think of the sometimes challenging to describe essence that makes up a place, country, town, company or workplace?
For me it is all these things, although the paella and sangria reference was a little crass (sorry to anyone reading this who is Spanish). No offence intended or is that me being overly polite and apologetic because I come from Britain the land of bowler hats, stiff upper lips, cups of tea and an odd sense of humour? Hopefully you are getting the point now.
Culture is an integral part of who we are and how we react as societies. Navigating the cultural minefields is a challenge and whilst you may get a flavour of this when travelling I would argue you only really begin to scratch the surface. Unless you truly engage with local people and try to understand what motivates them, angers them and makes them laugh. Sometimes this takes more than a two week holiday. I have been fortunate enough to have lived in Britain, Poland and Malaysia over my relatively short lifespan, it has truly opened my eyes and my head to understanding and valuing different ways of doing things and reacting to events.
I have also been fortunate enough to be able to build a working culture from scratch too and seen changes in corporate cultures, for better or worse. Never underestimate the importance of this and the impact that this can have on how people work.
So how does this relate to the world of recruitment? Well let me explain.
If you are searching for a job it is important that you truly understand the working culture of any prospective employer - how does this match with your own internal values (often these are partially shaped by the cultures we grow up in). Your recruiter will be able to give you a good idea of what is going on in a company and once they get to know you will get a good feel of where you may best fit. But they can only do this if you are open with them, which is why it is important to find a recruiter you trust. This will ultimately lead you to finding a role and company/team that you will feel at home in and you will be more successful in.
If you are a company searching for a recruitment partner to help you find the right people for you it is a very good idea for you to understand your company culture and what you are looking for in new people to further enhance you culture. If you find a recruitment partner who matches your culture or even enhances it then you have found a winning strategy. Allowing your recruitment partner to fully engage with you and understand you will lead to shorter recruitment times and better fits straight away.