With our launch we've decided to make culture fit the focus of our first blog post! That was probably a mistake considering the popularity and breadth of the topic within the startup world, and that we only have an hour to churn this out. We'll keep digging into this topic in future posts, as well as other subjects like exploding offers, back-channel references, when to hire a sourcer, and more so subscribe to get regular updates!
Where do we start? We could start quoting Clifford Geertz or Margaret Mead, or Eric Van den Steen; thankfully we decided to avoid any intentional efforts to kill any interest in our blog on the first post (unless we already lost you).
So what does culture mean in the startup world? You have varied artifacts like beanbag chairs and kegerators, pinterest-worthy first day swag bags, or gif integration preferences on Slack, but that doesn't tell us much. Businesses specializing in employer branding release lists associating their clients with superlatives like "the most mostiest moster" that are then attributed to norms or values associated with the companies' cultures, but again it misses the mark. Culture fit can also be a tricky subject if it's confused with trying to adhere to hiring candidates that fit the current demographic majority (read Dan Lyons' Disrupted to see what we mean).
There is nothing wrong with a company showing its "start-upiness". Apart from culture fit being confused with hiring bias, none of what we listed above is bad. I've always loved first day swag bags, will happily park myself on a beanbag chair for hours, and superlative lists can often highlight some pretty awesome and sometimes rare perks companies offer. That said, none of this tells you anything about what keeps the company together, or even worse it can give the wrong impression. If you're telling candidates that happy hours are integral to your culture then you could be communicating that your employees need to drink in order to deal with the current growth pains (rather than that they like to socialize outside of work hours).
Norms, values, and practices matter. What's the prevailing practice for resolving disputes and working towards reconciliation between coworkers? What's the common ground most widely shared across different teams and offices? How independently do regional or satellite offices operate? At PopShop culture fit means that we've interviewed your teams and understand what drives your company's success, and that we've vetted every candidate to make sure they have the same qualities that hold your company together.
Let us know what you'd like to hear more about, or how we can help reinforce your team as you grow!