Company Culture is a Priority for Top Performers

The current hiring environment demonstrates that candidates believe company culture is just as important, if not more, than financial compensation. Job seekers prioritize health and happiness as they wade through the ocean of job vacancies available. This means companies who want to build a team of top performers need to prioritize culture during the hiring process.

It’s personal.

hiring process, hiring top performers“It’s not personal, It’s business.” That phrase doesn’t ring true in the era of “The Great Resignation.” It’s very personal – and that means candidates are looking for jobs that both have meaning and contribute to an increased quality of life.

It goes beyond the salary and benefits. Most companies are raising pay, but still struggling to find quality candidates. Job searchers look for their ideal workplace environments (on site, remote, flexible, etc.), careers and companies that inspire them, and co-workers that share their “worldview.” Even more important to employers, top performers seek to work for companies that support and provide the opportunity to work with other top performers.

That’s where company culture comes in. To attract high-performing employees to the right roles, companies must prioritize and be able to articulate in real terms the cultural mission, vision and values that their candidates will seek to be a part of – and remain loyal to. Leaders must initiate, execute, inspire and embody company culture to acquire, preserve and foster teams of A Players and top performers.

Reputation matters.

Candidates should be encouraged to research the company culture as they begin the hiring journey to ensure a good match – and it’s as simple as a Google search to get started. But does your company reputation paint your culture accurately to the top performers you want to attract?

Ask yourself some questions: If I were a team member here, could I both articulate our culture and confirm that it’s perpetuated in our company?  If I were a client, would I want to interact with my team? If I were a customer, would I see my company in a favorable light? What do potential clients and job seekers find when they search for our company?

Candidates can get a good feel for a company culture in a quick scan online. They evaluate things such as:

  • Online reviews/testimonials from customers, suppliers, partners, and employees
  • Social media posts and engagement to see what the company considers important
  • Hiring and onboarding processes described in forums or from the HR web page
  • Hierarchical structures
  • Former employees
  • Marketing and shareholder reports
  • How the company connects with employees and the community they are in/serve

Not every role is right for every person. So be truthful and confident by showcasing your real company culture, and the top performers who will thrive in your environment will find you.

Encourage engagement.

Assessing the culture fit between a company and a candidate should be assessed by both parties before and during the hiring process. But you can only learn so much by reading online materials or job resumes.

A company can showcase their culture and encourage engagement by:

  • Actively engaging on social media
  • Sharing work environment photos
  • Highlighting and recognizing employees and their achievements
  • Being highly responsive
  • Sharing employee testimonials

This allows candidates to see the “behind the scenes” and ascertain whether the fit may be right before moving forward. Inactive companies leave themselves open to wasted time sifting through piles of applicants that are not a good fit.

As a candidate progresses through the hiring process you can avoid common hiring challenges by encouraging them to ask questions about company culture during interviews. In the standard Topgrading Competency Interviews, top-performing candidates meet one-on-one with employees and are given the opportunity to ask specific, direct questions about company culture, such as:

  • How much time does leadership spend in the office?
  • How do you celebrate work achievements?
  • How long have you worked here … why is this position vacant?
  • How does the company view and support continued education and professional development?
  • How many current employees have flexible schedules or work remotely?
  • How does the company give back to the community?
  • What metrics are used to measure success?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Are there any activities in which I may participate with my peers?

The answers reveal the human side to the company and show candidates how – or if – they would fit in and thrive.

It’s not a fad.

 Candidates evaluating a company’s culture before starting the hiring process is not a trending fad, rightfully so, it’s here to stay. Topgrading historically has emphasized to its clients the importance of cultural fit – and the strength of diversity – in developing a strong team that will consistently out-perform the competition.  Companies must consider their culture a priority as they look to fill roles with top performers.


Topgrading can help. Contact us today to learn how we can cut down or eliminate the cost of mis-hires and find the right people for the right roles in your company.

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