“The Feeling is Mutual” is the second in a 10-part series outlining the concepts included in “The Physics of HR; Mastering the Laws of Motion,” the Whitaker joint set to publish in mid-2016. The first installment, “We Make People Move” can also be found on HRHardball.com

I’d never join a club that would allow someone like me to be a member.” – Woody Allen

What kind of employees is your company attracting?

Like begets like. What we transmit to the universe will dictate what we attract. Lest I sound a little too closely aligned to “The Secret” or other like-minded books on the power of visualization, my focus is strictly on the presentation of your organization to the potential candidates (and, by default, potential customers) in the marketplace.

Is the company you think you are aligned with the company others see from the outside? The corporate culture that your corporate leadership chooses as your “brand” may not jibe with your real corporate personality. It’s like those first half-dozen dates with your husband-to-be; he’s opening doors for you, having deep conversations for hours, and treating you like a queen – six months later he’s clipping his toenails on the couch while sitting in his boxers. So despite good intentions, your corporate culture is not represented by your Vision or Mission Statement. It’s represented by the people in its employ.

Your culture is defined for you, not by you.

Get over here you....

Get over here you….

So when the topic of “culture change” comes about, Staffing becomes the catalyst, not a new word cloud, acronym, or “jeans day.” You can define any culture you want, but it all starts with the people. This is where we, as the talent gatekeepers of the company, can earn our keep in multiple ways:

  1. Candidate Intel – Do you ever ask your job candidates about the reputation of your company? I know it’s common place to ask a job-seeker “tell me what you know about Acme International,” but changing that question a little bit can provide some amazing information about how your company is perceived outside the walls. “From your perspective, what do you know (or think) about the culture here at Acme International?
  2. Recruiter Intel – Even if you don’t utilize external recruiting assistance, it’s never a bad idea to keep an open communication with a few trusted external sources. Believe me, THEY definitely have an opinion to share about how candidates view your company. They can also give you an idea of how you are faring vs. the competition.
  3. New Hire Intel – The people you have brought into your company over the last 6-12 months are going to be potential ambassadors for your company. What has their experience been to date? How is the company different/the same as what they believed it would be?
  4. Former Employee Intel – Good golly, keep your eyes on this demographic. It’s there for the taking if you look for it, and not always in the kindest language – go getcha some tough love, you’ll be better for it.

The real work starts after that – updated job descriptions, interview guides, attraction statements, performance documentation, annual reviews….you get the picture. 

As #WorkplaceScientists, we must first determine what message we are sending before we can truly make an impact on the culture of our company. Align that with the culture you desire and begin to make the changes needed.